Still mourning teammate, Warren High swim team keeps hair tradition going

Having given pause after a teammate's death, the boys swim team at Warren Township High School in Gurnee decided to keep up an annual tradition Wednesday.

That's when swim team members gathered to have their hair bleached blond at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture in Libertyville. At least 14 junior varsity swimmers participated. Another 12 JV swimmers will head to Tricoci next week.

Teammate Joshua Church, 17, of Wadsworth, died of natural causes in November during a private club practice at Vernon Hills High School. Church, a junior, was on Warren's varsity swim team and an honors student. He also was active in a youth group at Village Church in Gurnee.

Although Church's teammates had considered skipping the annual hair bleaching as they continued to mourn his death, they decided to keep the tradition. Varsity swimmers will be holding a bleaching event at Joshua's home in a couple weeks.

  Warren Township High School freshman Peter Mikolitis was one of 14 JV swimmers who carried on the tradition of bleaching their hair. Paul Valade/
  Tricoci University of Beauty Culture stylist Josh Burke-Barber bleaches the hair of Warren Township High School JV2 swimmer Peter Mikolitis Wednesday in Libertyville. Paul Valade/
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