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Chesy grads get ready to say goodbye to high school

CHESAPEAKE — It was a bouquet of bouncing balloons that Lisa Lewis was steadying as she waited for the 87th annual graduation at Chesapeake High School to begin.

Lewis had gotten the balloons for her daughter, Olivia Brock, as part of Saturday night’s festivities at the high school gym.

She admitted the occasion was “very emotional,” as she sat in the reserved section for parents.

In a hallway where the graduates were meeting before the ceremony Sidney Boyle and Cassie Rucker joined with a couple of other friends to have a last-minute photo taken in their cap and gowns.

“I’m excited but in a way I don’t want to leave all my friends,” said Boyle, an honors graduate.

She plans to go to Marshall University in the fall to study business and marketing with the long-term goal of owning her own graphics design business.

Rucker also plans to go to Marshall to study early childhood education, though she’s not sure where she would like to teach eventually.

“I’m happy, but I am going to miss people,” she said. “I like the small-school feel. It’s like family.”

Shane Pelfrey took a special honor while in his senior year at Chesapeake. He was the only wrestler in the area to go onto the state championships in March. There he placed in the top 12.

“I’m happy to be graduating,” Pelfrey said. “It is a very special time.”

His long-term goal is to enlist in the Navy, following in the footsteps of his dad, Patrick Pelfrey. The elder Pelfrey spent 10 years in the service.

“I’m really proud of him,” Patrick Pelfrey said.

Dakota Terry said he was feeling “pretty good” about the upcoming ceremony.

“I’m more excited than nervous,” he said.

His next step will be heading for the military or to work for a barge company. But the night was bittersweet as he admits there are things he will miss.

“My friends and all the fun we had,” Terry said. “It’s all been fun. We had a blast.”