A Wilson mother is speaking out following Fike High School’s decision to suspend its athletic director and girls head soccer coach.
Kelly Barnes says the athletic director encouraged other players on the soccer team to “haze” her freshman daughter at practice.
Kelly Barnes’ daughter, Parker, is a freshman at Fike High School and is a goalie for the Lady Demons.
She says her daughter loved the game, but something changed on March 26.
“I was asking her how practice was and she was complaining about her shoulder and her arm hurting,” Barnes said.
Barnes says at first her daughter held back, but eventually she opened up.
“They were instructed to rough each other up, but the other goalie asked if she could pick her up and throw her down and the answer from the coach was ‘yes,’” Barnes said. “The coach also told Parker she knew that she was at a disadvantage, that she was outsized. Then as it proceeded for roughly 20 minutes Parker was just continuously picked up off the ground and thrown on the ground to ensure that her team could not score.”
Barnes says she then contacted the school and met with the principal and the athletic director, Toni Varacchi.
“I think the coach directed the hazing event,” said Barnes. “At the end of the day based off of everything that took place. She was humiliated, embarrassed, demeaned in front of the entire team and everybody including the coaches were laughing.”
Wilson County School’s Public Information Officer told us Varacchi was suspended with pay on April 9.
She did not say how long the suspension would last.
Barnes says Parker will not play soccer at Fike again until she can be sure something like this won’t happen again.
CBS 17 tried to reach Varacchi for comment, but so far have not heard back.
Amber Lynch, the Wilson County Schools public information officer also sent CBS 17 a statement that reads:
“Toni Varacchi was suspended with pay from her duties as a coach and teacher effective April 9, 2018. Any Wilson County Schools employee who is suspended with pay is not permitted on school property during the term of their suspension. This is a confidential personnel matter and the school district is prohibited from releasing any additional information at this time.”
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