No cheer in Oregon City: Parents upset about changes for cheerleaders

OREGON CITY, Ore. - Claire Reeder is proud of these trophies, and she has good reason. The Oregon City High School cheer team is a program on the rise. In just a few short years they've gone from barely having enough athletes for a team, to winning third place at statewide competitions last year.

Parents like Tracy Dato and Jackie Kmetic volunteered a lot of time to help make that possible, but now they're worried all that hard work will be lost.

"There would be no competition, no tumbling, no acrobatics, no stunting, no competing, so taking a lot of opportunities away from the kids," Dato said.

These parents say the principal at Oregon City High School has decided to change the cheer leading team into a pom-pom squad, because they've heard he isn't happy with their performance at different games this season.

The major difference: They wouldn't be able to enter statewide competitions, and if you don't compete, you can't win scholarships.

That hits close to home for Reeder. She's been involved in cheering for 9 years and knows how valuable an experiences it can be.

"For some of these girls to not get that opportunity would be terrible," Reeder said. "I know I was so proud when I found out I got to cheer in high school, so that would be sad."

She's not alone. Many athletes train year-round, and if they can't cheer at Oregon City High School, these parents worry they'll just go somewhere else.

"In order to compete, they will have to go to an all-star program which costs parents $5,000, or they can just switch schools and Oregon City loses out on some amazing amazing talent," Kmetic said.

KATU reached out to the superintendent to see what the district thinks about these changes, but we never heard back.

The parents plan to tell the school board how they feel at their next meeting Monday night.