Head cheerleading coach resigns; assistant coaches to step in


Urmilla Kuttikad

The Rock Bridge Varsity Cheerleaders raise senior Kayla Cooper up during a practice.
The Rock Bridge varsity cheerleaders practice after school. Photo by Mariah Brady

Former assistant coaches Brittany Stroup and Rebecca McCaulley have replaced Jessica Kendrick as head cheerleading coach of the Bruins’ squad.

Kendrick resigned Thursday, Nov. 7.

Dr. Jennifer Mast, principal, Columbia Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Linda Quinley and CPS Athletic Director Bruce Whitesides met with parents of cheerleaders Nov. 7 to discuss Kendrick’s resignation.
“We were kind of confused at first; we were all kind of surprised that it happened, and it seemed somewhat out of the blue to us,” varsity cheerleader Bailey Washer, a junior, said. “But I think for most of us, we heard it and then we started questioning, ‘What’s next? Who’s going to be our coach next?’ because we had a game the next day” when the football team defeated Francis Howell Central Nov. 8 in the Class 6 District 3 semifinal.
The cause for Kendrick’s resignation remains unclear. RBHS Athletic Director David Egan said Stroup and McCaulley will take over head coaching duties but declined further comment. Mast was unavailable for comment.
“I don’t really think any of us had any idea. Everything just seemed normal, and then there was a meeting, and we found out,” Washer said. “It wasn’t like [anything] had stopped. JV had a game [Thursday] night, and we have a game [Friday], so stuff hadn’t been cancelled or added or anything.”
Though the switch in coaches is a big change for the teams, Washer said the cheerleaders are moving forward from this and will finish the season strong.
“Fall season’s almost over, so I don’t think it’ll affect fall very much,” Washer said. “I think basketball will be most affected, and hopefully we can sort everything out before next season, so we’re able to compete at regionals and state again.”
By Urmila Kutikkad