Cheer Team: Capistrant named Warrior MVP

The Brainerd Warriors cheer team held its end-of-season banquet

Kaitlynn Capistrant

Kaitlynn Capistrant was named the Brainerd Warriors cheer team Most Valuable Player at the team’s season-ending awards banquet Saturday, April 24.

Capistrant led the Warriors to second place in the coed non-tumbling division at the UCA National Competition Friday, April 23. Normally the event takes place in Orlando, Florida, but COVID-19 forced the Warriors to compete virtually.

“This is a huge accomplishment for them,” Warrior head coach Carissa Ulness said. “We started our national journey three years ago. In our first year advancing to nationals, we didn't make it into the final round. In Year Two, we placed fourth in the nation and this year we came out second. I am extremely proud of them. Our goal going into next year is to bring home a state and national title.”

Capistrant is a six-year cheer team member and four-year letter winner. She is also a two-year captain. She was also awarded the Overly Prepared Athlete honor. Capistrant was selected for the Minnesota State Honors Team of Excellence. She earned a full academic scholarship to Bemidji State University where she plans on double majoring in mathematics and math education.

She also plans on continuing her career by cheering for the Beaver basketball and football teams.


Capistrant along with Bailey Schuler, Zach Capistrant and Breanna Frazer were named All-American Cheerleaders. Schuler, Kaitlynn and Zach Capistrant, Lizzy Knutson and Amy Iverslie were named Minnesota All-State Competitive Cheerleaders.

Schuler was named Veteran of the Year. Zach Capistrant earned the two-year captain award. Frazer was named Most Encouraging. Eva Harvey earned the Spirit Award.

Abby Schuler landed the Warrior Award for great attitude and work ethic.

Zaira Winkelman was named Most Dedicated, Iverslie the Most Improved and Elizabeth Knutson the Rookie of the Year.

“The Warrior cheer team competed at 10 local competitions this season and won the coed non-tumble division at all 10 competitions,” Ulness said. “This season has been extremely long and exhausting for the athletes with all of the changes due to COVID, but they pushed through and finished strong.”

Brainerd earned the Minnesota State Cheerleading Association’s Regional Academic Honor award. Earning bronze stars by owning a grade-point average between 3.0-3.49 were Iverslie, Bailey Schuler and Knutson.

Zach Capistrant and Harvey earned silver stars for owning a 3.5--3.74 grade-point average. Abby Schuler, Brenna Padgette, Kaitlynn Capistrant, Samina Crabtree and Kiley Hart were gold star recipients.

“There is no time to relax as we are preparing for our next season,” Ulness said. “Students in grades 6-11 that are interested in being part of the Warrior cheer team can attend the May 15 tryouts. Interested athletes can email for more information.”

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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