Kentwood has a hemming issue:: It's more than 'just because'Wednesday, October 24, 2007 By Laura Mittleieder
There is no doubt that every girl has asked the same question in school. Why do the cheerleaders get to wear their skirts and I cant? Every girl has asked that question and the same answer is given every time, their skirts are appropriate. The fact of the matter is, is that Kentwood just doesn’t understand what it is the cheerleaders actually do. We are more worried about why the skirts are shorter then most and not concerned about how the cheerleaders are going to take the national competition this year. This team has the potential to win nationals and they have the drive to do what it takes to get it, but what Coach Kim Kawachi can’t understand is why the student body is putting the team under scrutiny about uniforms? “Why now,” says Kawachi. The uniforms haven’t changed in four or five years and now people are starting to complain about wearing skirts. These girls are put under a microscope for all sorts of things not just what they look like on the field. They have to have good grades, be presentable as if a college recruiter were to walk up to you at any given time. The Kentwood team spends hours upon hours figuring out precisely what they want to look like. “Ultimately I chose the uniforms along with captain input,” says Kawachi. They are fitted by a professional fitter and they are pretty expensive when it all comes together. If the uniforms are that much of a problem just take a look at the volleyball and gymnastics uniforms they reveal just as much or maybe even more then what a cheer uniform would. There are school around our nation that have shorter skirts and schools in the same district that don’t have a problem with the skirts. “This just has to make you wonder,” says Kawachi. What else can Kentwood possibly want from this team? Just recently a local school, Kent-meridian lost their cheer coach. When the new coach arrived guess who was the first person to be called for direction on where to go. Kentwood’s very own Kim Kawachi. “Every school around here wants to be like Kentwood,” said Kawachi. They call kawachi for direction and understanding on how to make it to nationals. On top of winning state and going to nationals for the last five years why do we put the team under so much scrutiny and picking at everything wrong or what we just don’t like about them? Kentwood is no different then other school. Kentlake, Kentridge and Kent-Meridian all have the same rules as Kentwood so when the administration tells her to change the length of the skirts then she will. The skirts are school appropriate. They are required to wear two different pairs of briefs under their skirt. A black pair and a silver pair so there is no movement. If something is done otherwise then the girl who disregarded the rules doesn’t cheer. “People in our own school don’t really realize what we really do,” said Kawachi.