High school male cheerleader gets team disqualified from competitive meet

ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. (WXYZ) - For 14-year-old Brandon Urbas, making the cheerleading team at Lakeview High was a dream come true.

"It's my life," Urbas says. "I love it. I live, laugh, cheer."

The only male cheerleader on the squad, Brandon says he has received nothing but support from classmates, including the football team which makes sure there's no trouble.

"They just tell me that if I have any problems to let them know and they always have my back," Urbas says.

But trouble did come when his cheerleading team took part in a recent competition in Port Huron against other Michigan high schools.

Once the competition was over, Brandon's team was disqualified when the result sheets were posted. His coach said it was because males were not allowed to compete.

In a statement today to Action News, the Michigan High School Athletic Association said while girls can join competitive boys teams, "Boys may not participate on a girls team in MHSAA sponsored postseason meets and tournaments. Schools have adopted this position to preserve participation opportunities for the historically underrepresented gender."

Lakeview Principal Brent Case tells Action News the district was unclear on the policy. It is also unclear why the team was even able to compete in the first place with a male cheerleader if it violated state rules.

Brandon's family says it will fight to change the rules for Brandon and future male cheerleaders.

"I absolutely think it's unfair," said Brandon's mother Vicki Urbas. "I think it's discriminating against him."

As friends show their support on Facebook, Brandon says he was devastated when he found out the team was disqualified because of him.

"I cried," said Brandon. "I felt like they were taking away my dream of being able to do it in college and getting scholarships."

Brandon is allowed to still cheer at games, but not competitively against other schools.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association says it has no plans to revise the rules.

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