Eighth-grader with Down Syndrome cheers her last game


A Tuscaloosa teen, Markecia Erby, overcame a few hurdles to fulfill a dream. (abc3340.com)


A Tuscaloosa teen overcame a few hurdles to fulfill her dream. The eighth grader, who has Down Syndrome, cheered her last game tonight.

Meet Markecia Erby, a young girl fulfilling a dream some thought was never possible.

“She had a teacher that encouraged her to try out. I said, ”Kecia are you sure that’s what you want to do?” She was like, ‘Yes ma’am! I want to be a cheerleader.’ So at that point, as opposed to me saying ‘You shouldn’t do it or you won’t be able to do it.’ It then became my goal to say, ‘If that’s what you want, Mom is going to encourage you to do it,” said her mother, Carolyn Roshell-Erby.

With boosted confidence Markecia tried out for the cheer squad. Unfortunately, she did not make the team.

“I always tell her, ‘You do the best that you can and if you do the best that you can, someone else will see what you’re doing and that will encourage them to do the same if not more,” said Erby.

Not taking no for an answer, Markecia kept practicing, mastering the routines with the hope of getting a better outcome.

“Her colleagues took her in and they embraced her. So they would take their time to make sure she knew every movement to the cheer and teach them to her in segments,” said Ebry.

The second time she tried out for the team, she made it!

“We see her as a person who has a heart. A person who breathe the same way we do. A person with the same interest as the other girls,” said Megan Sanders, Head Cheer Coach at Eastwood Middle School.

After a successful end to middle school, Markecia says she’s looking forward to cheering many seasons to come. This Saturday, Bryant High School will have an open cheer clinic preparing for try outs. Coach Sanders says she was able to sign Markecia up for the class to show the high school coach her skills.