Norwin student wants to regain spot on cheerleading squad

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 4:30 p.m.

A Norwin High School senior is fighting to earn a spot back on the varsity cheerleading team after school officials informed him that he violated cheer policies.

Travis Troya, who left the varsity team to pursue a spot on a nationally ranked competitive team, has been pleading with district officials to let him rejoin classmates on the varsity squad. Troya returned to Norwin after he suffered an injury practicing with the competitive team in California.

“The student does not meet the eligibility criteria to return to the Norwin cheerleading squad,” Brandon Rapp, district athletic director, said through a spokesman. “It's a matter of student confidentiality.”

In a letter dated Oct. 2, officials explain that Troya became ineligible for the cheerleading team once he did not meet requirements for the sport. The letter is signed by Rapp and Timothy Kotch, high school principal.

The reasons for their conclusion were based on Troya's decision to quit to explore other opportunities, his failure to meet guidelines and requirements established for being a member of the squad, perceived unfairness to other members of the squad who have been fulfilling requirements and that re-admittance would not be in compliance with the rules and criteria set forth, according to the letter.

Troya and his mother pleaded with the school board on Monday to allow his participation.

“I thought maybe they could make a decision to override the superintendent,” Troya said. “I want to be able to spend my senior year cheering with my friends.”

Troya, who has been cheerleading since fifth grade, earned a spot on the team in June, he said. He elected to quit after he was offered a spot to cheer on the Cali Allstars Smoed, a competitive cheerleading team that has won world championships.

He moved to Ventura, Calif. to practice with the team, while still enrolled at Norwin through the cyberschool program. He suffered a meniscus tear to his right knee during practice and decided to back to North Huntingdon in hopes to rejoin the school's cheerleading team.

After talking with Linda Rundy, head cheer advisor, Troya was informed he would need clearance from the district athletic director and high school principal to participate.

He was disappointed to learn both officials found him ineligible, he said.

“I understand it's the policy,” Troya said. “The policy has been broken so many times.”

Troya said he is working on a letter to officials pointing out past occurrences with the cheer policy has been bent to allow members to return to the team.

“Hopefully, when we send it in, they'll make a decision to let me back on the team,” he said. “I'm not the type of person to give up.”

Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626.

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