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'We miss her so much:' Bradford HS cheer team pays tribute to Kaylie Juga

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KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Bradford High School students came together to honor Kaylie Juga at Friday night's football game.

The memorial comes after controversy this week, as the school district initially told students they could not hold the event.

The cheer team paid a special tribute to their teammate Friday night. They say they felt like Kaylie was cheering with them from up above.

The Bradford High School student was shot and killed in June. Friends say it hasn't been the same without their teammate.

"We have moments where we are sad and we kind of shut down for a minute," cheerleader Gianna Pignotti-Wojtak said. 

They're keeping Kaylie's spirit alive, and paying tribute with a special halftime performance.

The Kenosha Unified School District initially said no to the memorial for legal reasons, saying if they allowed a memorial for Kaylie, they'd also have to allow people to support Martice Fuller, Juga's ex-boyfriend who is accused in her death.

"Very heartbreaking," cheerleader Emily Niederer said. "We felt the months of training to get this done is gone." 

The students fought back, and the school board reversed its decision.

Now the community is putting the controversy behind them and coming together at a candlelight vigil outside the stadium. And inside, with Kaylie's pom-poms and sneakers in their hands, these resilient teens are taking the field for the teammate that's no longer cheering by their side.

"It’s very emotional, we miss her so much," Pignotti-Wojtak said. "I'm so happy we got to do it." 

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