During Webster’s game against SLUH on Sept. 15, junior Daniel Kennebeck saw a SLUH player pushing down a Webster player go uncalled. Kennebeck then yelled to the referee, “Get off your knees, ref. You’re blowing the game.”
Dr. Jon Clark, principal, heard Kennebeck’s comment and approached him about it after the game.
According to Kennebeck, Dr. Clark asked if he had said it, and Kennebeck replied with, “Uhhh yeah.” Dr. Clark then said, “I know it was a slip of the mouth, but we’ll talk tomorrow.”
The next day Dr. Clark pulled Kennebeck out of class and told him he would be punished, but Kennebeck would choose the punishment himself. He had the option of a two-and-a-half hour detention, no sports for at least one week or to join one of the respect clubs at WGHS, like the feminist coalition and pep club. Kennebeck had a day to decide.
After his 24 hours, Kennebeck went to Dr. Clark and said he wouldn’t attend any Webster sporting events for two weeks and would also join the Pep Club to “promote positive cheering.”
Kennebeck said, “I think that’s a fair punishment. I understand the reasoning, and I’m okay with [the punishment], but some people thought it was over the top.”
Dr. Clark said, “I’m proud of our WGHS Statesmen pride and positive spirit at our athletic events. However, it is important to remember that school rules and behavior expectations apply. Profanity, negative comments to the opposing teams or referees, and inappropriate comments are not tolerated. WGHS is known for having great school spirit, supportive fans, and positive energy. It’s important that we continue this legacy. Go Statesmen!”
About students who deviate from school-appropriate chants, co-pep club president and senior Becca Riley said, “I don’t really care that much. Jerry Collins (activities director) doesn’t really like it. If I tell them to stop, they don’t listen.”
Varsity soccer player and senior Mick Hanrahan has seen and heard student sections from his four years of varsity soccer. He said, “Usually when they yell at refs or players, you hear it, but you don’t really pay attention. It’s funny sometimes, even when opposing student sections yell at me. I’ve had a couple times where the ref says something to me about the student section and laughs.”
Junior Emily Rapp said, “I feel like they do have a freedom of speech but also they get too competitive. Have something nice to say or don’t say anything at all.”