Editor's note: Check back at the end of the week after we cover the sendoff.
Westlake’s #1 Fan, Chad DiLillo, is retiring.
Chad will be leaving Westlake High School at the end of March and after a trip to Florida with his family, he will return to Westlake and begin a full-time job in Bedford Heights.
In honor of his departure, the high school will conduct a “State Sendoff” for Chad. The “State Sendoff” is a tradition that has been in place for some time at WHS, and recently featured wrestler Logan Paul. Any time a team or individual qualifies for an OHSAA championship, the marching band and the cheerleaders lead the honoree(s) throughout every hallway in the high school as students line the halls and cheer for them as they pass.
Chad's State Sendoff will take place on Thursday, March 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Chad has been at Westlake High School since 2006 and has been a fixture at athletic events. He has led out the football and basketball teams at almost every game, frequently leading the cheers. He has even lead the cheers for opposing teams.
Check out this 2011 story on Chad on WKYC.
His support has meant a lot to the athletes and coaches at Westlake High School. He has attended more athletic events than any other person with a season pass in the last two years.
Here what Westlake coaches have to say about Chad:
Scott Jones-Head Girls Soccer Coach:“Since the day Chad walked into Westlake High School, he has been our #1 Fan. His support and enthusiasm has been a big part of why our athletic teams have been successful. We will definitely miss him.”
Shawn Hood-Head Boys Basketball Coach: “Before I took over as basketball coach I had come to many games as a spectator. Once I became the coach, there were many things I was uncertain about, except wanting Chad to be a major part of our program. I wanted Chad to be the face of our basketball spirit. I look forward to seeing Chad every morning when I enter the high school. I'll miss him in the morning, but I'll still look forward to him leading the boys out at our games.”
Jeff Short, Former Head Baseball Coach: “Chad was our batboy for eight years and loved to be around baseball. He even taught me a few things about having passion for something! He truly is Westlake’s #1 fan. I am happy he was able to share in the run to the state championship last season. Those memories will stay with him forever. He will always be part of the Westlake High School family. I wish him the best as he begins a new chapter in his life.”
Brendan Zepp, Current Head Baseball Coach, “Chad has been an integral part of our baseball program for the past several years. Not only has he been our batboy, but he also has been our biggest cheerleader off the field. You can often see Chad out in the stands during the games getting the fans fired up for a rally. No matter the score, Chad always feels like the Demons still have a chance. He will be sorely missed in the dugout this Spring.”
Art Daniels, Long time teacher and Coach: “Chad has taught all of us more then we could have ever taught him.”
Mike Antonyzyn, Long time Head Wrestling Coach: “Chad has been our Number 1 Fan for many years and will always be our Number 1 Fan!”
Tom Shiban, Head Softball Coach: “Chad’s smile and friendly personality will certainly be missed in the hallways at Westlake High School, but I’m sure we’ll continue to see his unbridled enthusiasm and unmatched school spirit at future Demon sporting events. He truly exemplifies Demon Pride!”
Tony Cipollone, Director of Athletics: “Chad is the ultimate Demon. His enthusiasm and love for any sport is unmatched. Demon Pride is alive and well in the form of Chad.”
Dr.Daniel Keenan, Superintendent of Schools: “Chad Dilillo exemplifies Demon Pride and true sportsmanship. We are grateful for the enthusiastic support he always has provided for all of our student-athletes and the leadership role he has always taken in seeing the crowd is involved in every game. While Chad’s departure means he won’t physically be in the building every day, he will ALWAYS be a part of Westlake High School.”
Please feel free to join the State Sendoff for Chad on Thursday, March 28 at 1:30 pm.