Cheerleading Program Still in Limbo after Coaches Fired - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Cheerleading Program Still in Limbo after Coaches Fired

Jahlisha Gilchrist Jahlisha Gilchrist
Brittney Fitzgerald Brittney Fitzgerald

By Leland Kim

EWA BEACH (KHNL) -- Almost a week after two high school coaches on Oahu were fired, more confusion instead of clarity. This, after an alleged "policy violation" that leaves the cheerleading program at Campbell High School in limbo.

The coaches were fired last Wednesday, and while the athletic director said the cheerleading program will continue, the cheerleaders say he gave them mixed messages. Now, they're more confused than ever.

The elite Campbell High School cheerleading team made it to state finals last month, but that moment is a distant memory, as the cheerleaders wonder if they can still cheer.

The athletic director Sam Delos Reyes met with them and their parents on Saturday.

"It was ridiculous," said Jahlisha Gilchrist, a Campbell High School cheerleader. "We tried to ask him so many questions, because we wanted to know, and he just kept on ignoring everything we said. My mom was so mad, she had to get up and leave."

The two coaches got permission from the assistant athletic director Glenn Flores to attend state finals and stay an extra day at a hotel. They were fired last week, after being told they needed permission from Delos Reyes himself.

"I was upset also because these girls have worked so hard to where they got to, and if it wasn't for the coach, they wouldn't have gotten that far," said Freddie Keahi, a father of one of the cheerleaders.

Although the athletic director said last week the cheerleading program will continue, he left doubts in cheerleaders' minds.

"We asked him if we could still cheer, and he was like, 'No, you guys are suspended,'" said Gilchrist. "Then at another point, he said, 'You guys can come and sit on the sidelines.' We were so confused, like what can we do?"

Confused and sad their cheerleading program is in limbo.

"I grew up with these people," said Brittney Fitzgerald, another cheerleader on the team. "This is my second year with them. Every day of my life, 365 days a year, I see them, and to take that away from me, it's like taking a part of me away."

Cheerleaders hope the school administration reconsiders its decision.

Campbell principal Gail Awakuni did not want to go on camera, but did say the coaches have the option of filing an appeal with her. She plans to meet with the cheerleaders' parents Wednesday afternoon at four.

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