Controversy came to the Moshannon Valley School Board meeting Monday night when a parent demanded the resignation of varsity girls soccer coach Brian Wicker after stating he was being disrespectful and unfair to players.
But several players defended the coach against the allegations.
Last season was Wicker’s first year as coach and Melissa Lansberry alleged that Wicker has made disrespectful comments to her daughter and other players, and has treated her unfairly.
She said the problems started almost immediately and said she lodged a complaint against Wicker the first week of practice in mid-August — but no action was taken against him.
Lansberry said when her daughter and other players spoke up against Wicker, he retaliated by reducing their playing time, saying she was “blacklisted.”
She said Wicker has pinned the players against each other and has divided the team.
Lansberry said her daughter has suffered emotional abuse by Wicker and this has caused her to struggle with her grades this year.
Lansberry said prior to this year her daughter was a standout player and a straight-A student and was being recruited by colleges to play soccer for them. But this past year, she said Wicker unfairly relegated her daughter to the bench and she has lost recruiting opportunities from colleges.
“I feel the school district has failed not only my daughter but the entire team,” Lansberry said.
Lansberry demanded that a full investigation be conducted and said she believes the only solution is for Wicker to resign as head coach.
Lansberry also said she has eight signatures from players asking that Wicker be fired and if he continues to be the coach they will no longer play soccer.
Several players attended the meeting and defended Wicker.
Autumn Adams said she was never asked to sign the petition and said she didn’t hear Wicker make some of the statements Lansberry is accusing him of making.
Tressa Lumadue also defended Wicker. She said last year was difficult and said she was close to quitting the team but said Wicker was one of the people who supported her.
She said the problems weren’t due to Wicker but some of the players.
“We had a lot of drama,” Lumadue said. “But I think was mostly from people quitting on themselves.”
She said Wicker was one of the best things to happen to the team and said they are more fit and better prepared for games.
“I think you made a terrific choice of who the coach should be,” Lumadue said.
She also said she didn’t think was appropriate for players to ask other players to sign a petition against the coach because there is a lot of peer pressure involved.
“I think there should be better way of taking this on,” Lumadue said.
Michaela Kitko, who is also a student representative on the school board, said most of the players who were benched were benched because they…