A Wisconsin cheer squad finds itself in a unique predicament after a ruling was handed down deciding the athletes could compete in the forthcoming state championship meet, but only if they’re coaches didn’t come along, too.
As reported by the Kenosha News, the Tremper High School (Kenosha, Wis.) cheerleading team — the defending state champions — will be allowed to return to the state meet, but will have to compete without their embattled coaches, the same coaches who oversaw a team banquet that included controversial awards that have since identified as body shaming.
The Tremper cheer coaches, including head coach Patti Uttech, will be barred from the state event. The decision was officially made by the Kenosha School District and Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis, who confirmed that the team would travel with a pair of chaperones (a school nurse and school counselors) and use a certified coach from a different team when they were ready to take the floor.
“The ban doesn’t impact students and we actually worked in collaboration to have another coach from another school district that has the proper certification to be on the floor with the girls,” Savaglio-Jarvis told the News. “The girls appreciate her very much.”
Per Savaglio-Jarvis and others close to school board president Don Wade: he advocated for runners and their family, all while insisting that any penalty that directly impacted the cheer athletes was wrong.
“This is inappropriate. It is truly not who we are as a community,” Wade told the Kenosha News. “To punish these athletes for something that took place a year ago is disgraceful and ultimately creates a whole new group of victims.”
For now, those prospective victims are still heading to the state championships, albeit without the coaches who led them there.