Westlake High School Honors #1 Fan

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WESTLAKE, Ohio -- He is Westlake High School's number one fan and on Thursday, he got a championship sendoff.  It was Chad Dilillo's last day before beginning a new chapter of his life.

It's hard to miss Chad.

"He always has a smile on his face and he can always put a smile on the athletes' faces and whenever he walks the hall he would be cheering and making everyone laugh," said Westlake sophomore Jamie Sandor.

Chad has been to just about every athletic event the Demons have participated in since 2006.  His love for the Demons began eight years ago when he served as a bat boy for the baseball team.

"Just his involvement with the older kids, he loved it so much, he started, wanted to go see the older boys play the varsity sports and we ended up going to basically every single home and away game that we could possibly attend," said Chad's dad, Gary.

Chad is a special needs student and Thursday was his final day at Westlake High School.

"It's bitter-sweet, we're really happy for Chad and how he is moving on and we, of course, love him here and it's going to be really sad to see him go," said Corinne Furci, a junior at Westlake High School.

Chad got a 'State Sendoff,' something reserved for Westlake sports teams or individuals who qualify for state championship.  The honoree gets to march through the hallway accompanied by the band and cheerleaders.

"He means a lot to the school and it's very important to him to be at the sporting events and he is always there for us.  He brings a smile to everyone's day and he's very important to the school and we are going to miss him very much," said junior Madison Dunlap.

Perhaps the group Chad will miss most, the Cheerleaders, afterall, he had a special bond with the females.

"He's really become attached to the cheerleaders, they are definitely his favorite people, he is a ladies' man," said Gary and Connie Dilillo.

Chad is leaving for Florida for an extended spring break with his family.  When he returns, he'll begin a job with Bridges, a rehab service in Middleburg Heights.  He may be leaving Westlake, but not without plenty of memories.

"I'll remember the crowd cheering my name and this is why I love Westlake and you know these kids are amazing to me and this is an honor to be their number one fan," said Chad.

Chad often got to address sports teams after a game, his departing message on this, his final day, was simple.

"The one thing I say to the soccer team is don't let the fan down, anytime he wants, you gotta win that game," he said.

Chad received his high school diploma on Thursday afternoon before leaving the high school.

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