Competitive Cheer: Warriors open season with a win

The Brainerd Warriors competitive cheer team opens the season with a first-place finish Friday, Oct. 23, at the Lakeville Virtual competition. Submitted photo

Even when they aren’t in the same gym the Brainerd competitive cheer team is still tops in its class.

The Warriors placed first in the varsity co-ed competitive division and fourth in the varsity game day division Friday, Oct. 23, at the Lakeville virtual competition.

The team recorded its routine and sent it to the competition.

Competing on the varsity coed team were senior Kaitlynn Capistrant, juniors Amara Ruether, Zach Capistrant and Bailey Schuler, sophomores Eva Harvey, Brenna Frazier and Mackenzie Carter, freshman Elizabeth Knutson and eighth-graders Amy Iveslie and Myah Ruether.

Team members on the varsity game day were Kaitlynn Capistrant, Amara Ruether, Zach Capistrant, Schuler, Harvey, Frazier, Carter, sophomore Samina Crabtree, freshman Abby Schuler, Knutson, Iversilie, Myah Ruether, and eighth-graders Brenna Padgett and Kiley Hart.


The team is coached by Carissa Ulness and assisted by Kassii Daiker.

“This season has been tough for us as we had several months off due to COVID-19, but these athletes came back ready to work hard and prepare for our competition season,” Ulness said. “We spent three day sat a home camp and four days with our choreographer to prepare for our upcoming season. We have a smaller team this season, but that won’t stop us from our No. 1 goal of bringing home a state title.”

According to Ulness, competitive cheer is not sanctioned by the Minnesota State High School League. It’s up to each school district on whether a team will compete in person or by virtual arraignment.

“I am a Minnesota Cheer Coaches board member and as of right now our goal is to have an in-person state competition with limited or no spectators,” Ulness said. “The rest of our schedule we are unsure about. The good thing about cheer is we don’t have to interact with other schools or teams to compete.

“For regionals, we wait on the bus, check in, practice, compete and leave. It’s not ideal to compete with no spectators, but as long as these athletes can get on the mat and do what they love to do and compete in person we will manage with no spectators.”

Brainerd’s next competition will be the UCA 10,000 Lake Regional Saturday, Oct. 31, at Minnetonka High. At this event, both varsity teams will have a chance to earn a bid to the UCA National Championship in Orlando, Fla.

“We are thankful to be able to compete in person, but things will be different with no fans in the stands,” Ulness said. “We are extremely thankful to have the opportunity to compete this year, even if it looks a bit different than most years due to COVID-19.”

The junior varsity season will begin in November.


The Brainerd Warriors competitive cheer team opens the season with a first-place finish Friday, Oct. 23, at the Lakeville Virtual competition. Submitted photo

Warriors schedule

Saturday, Oct. 31: 10,000 Lake Regional at Minnetonka

Nov. 7: Jaguar Cheer Jam at Jefferson High School

Nov. 14: Stinger Spirit Competition at Big Lake

Nov. 14: MN Cheer Off - Virtual Competition


Nov. 21: Woodbury Competition

Dec. 5: Prior Lake Competition

Dec. 6: Eastview Competition

Dec. 19: Frosty Fest at St. Micheal-Albertville

Jan. 9: Tonka Freeze at Minnetonka

Jan. 16: Sweetheart Classic at Edina

Jan. 24: Crimson Cheer Challenge at Maple Grove

Jan. 30: MN State Competition at Roy Wilkins Auditorium, St. Paul


Feb. 4-10: UCA Nationals at Orlando. Fla.

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