Athletics: Weiss a third-generation Warrior Hall of Famer
Chad Weiss is one of five people being inducted into the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame.
BRAINERD — The older Chad Weiss gets, the more impressive his resume becomes.
That’s because the 2003 Brainerd High School graduate continues to display his athletic prowess on the baseball diamond each summer.
The foundation for his continued career was crafted at Brainerd where he was a three-sport athlete and a senior captain for all three sports.
Those accomplishments and his continued success are just a few reasons Weiss will be inducted into the Warrior Athletic Hall of Fame Monday, May 1, at the Brainerd All-Sports Banquet at Brainerd High School. Weiss will be inducted with fellow athlete Sara Wennerstrand, Warrior coaches Dave Herath and Ellen Fussy and former athlete and coach Walter Engbretson.
“I was at home, just working on a couple of house projects,” Weiss said when he found out. “Actually, Scott Parsons was the one who called me. He was my linebacker coach in high school. It was special coming from him. It brought tears to my eyes right away.”
Weiss reminisced about playing baseball through the different park and recreation leagues, VFW and Legion and how the team was always competitive. Then to put the cherry on top of his prep baseball career with a trip to state.
Brainerd finished fifth that year. The Warriors lost to Cretin-Derham Hall in the state quarterfinals and then won the next two games to finish on a high note.
“He was a good player,” Former Brainerd baseball coach Lowell Scearcy said. “He was a pitcher and I believe an outfielder. He was a very good player. In fact, when he was a senior, I think he was our top pitcher.
“He was a real strong, physical kid. He was a good hitter with a good arm. He was just an all-around athlete.”
Scearcy coached Weiss’s dad in college. He said the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when comparing the two generations.
“He was the same,” Scearcy said. “He was hard-working and polite. He was easy to coach and easy to be around.”
Weiss was a two-time All-Central Lakes Conference player on the diamond.
He was an all-conference wrestler his senior season. On the football field, Weiss led the Warriors in tackles during his junior and senior seasons. He was a three-time Brainerd Dispatch All-Area selection, a three-time all-Central Lakes Conference pick and a two-time all-section choice. In his senior season, Brainerd went undefeated for the first time in 64 years..
“Tremendous competitor,” Former Brainerd head football coach Ron Stolski said. “He was a really good player. He played both ways, but mostly defense. He was just an outstanding player. If I recall, he was a three-sport athlete, too.
“He came from the days of the multiple-sport athletes. We were blessed to have a lot of those, but he was very coachable and very athletic. He was just a Warrior kid all the way.”
Weiss also was a Warrior wrestler, but his career started on a dare.
“I think I was in eighth grade maybe,” Weiss said. “I’m sure some cocky, teenage boy thought I could take on Mr. Boran in a wrestling match. So we put a wager on it and he said if he could take me down I had to join wrestling. Knowing who Mr. Boran is it sure didn’t take him long to take me down. Long story short, I kept my word and joined wrestling. I had never joined wrestling before. I just started in eighth or ninth grade for the first time.”
Weiss’ athletic career wasn’t over when he graduated. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to play football or baseball, but fell in love with St. Scholastica and head coach John Baggs.
At St. Scholastica, he was part of some of the winningest teams in program history. In his senior year, the Saints went 36-8. In 2006 the team finished 37-6 and in 2005 they were 36-7-1. They finished a combined 58-2-1 in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference those three years.
As a senior, he was awarded the UMAC Co-Pitcher of the Year with fellow Brainerd graduate and college teammate Adian Kummet. Weiss finished the year 5-1 with a 1.60 ERA in 33.2 innings.
The guy with one of the best views of Weiss pitching that season was Scholastica center fielder and the UMAC Player of the Year Blake Eller.
“Chad was a grinder,” Eller said. “He was a wrestler, and a heck of a basketball player when we were younger, but then a heck of a football and baseball player. He wasn’t the biggest guy, but pound for pound he was as strong as anybody and worked as hard as anybody. He was just tough. Tough as nails.
“As a person, I got to be roommates with him for a year in college and he just looked after me like a little brother. He kicked my butt when he needed to and led by example on and off the field. He was just a good person to have in my life and in sports.”
Scholastica won the UMAC and advanced to the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Tournament that season. Weiss was named to the NCAA Division III All-Midwest Region second team and was an all-conference first-team selection.
“Chad threw strikes and had a couple of different pitches that could keep people off balance,” Eller said. “I remember when both he and Adian were pitching, if I was in center field I had the best view, but it was boring. There was just a lot of jogging in and out. Then to think that he’s still pitching today at almost 40 years old is amazing. It doesn't surprise me that he’s still pitching. I haven’t picked up a baseball in four or five years and with my back, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed the next day if I pitched a game. That’s just how tough he is. To hear he’s still throwing and doing it at a high level, it doesn’t surprise me, but it amazes me.”
Weiss’ victory league career has been amazing. He helped Sobieski win the 2021 Class C State Championship after being drafted by them following the Region 8C Tournament. Weiss has been an ace for the Pierz Lakers since 2007. He’s pitched in 15 state tournaments and has been a three-time Region 8C Player of the Year.
“There are some days it doesn’t feel that great to do it, but up until the last year was kind of hard,” Weiss said. “As you get older you get more cognizant of taking care of your arm. At least try to ice after games and maybe do some arm exercises before the season even starts. You try to work your way into it and take it slow knowing it’s the end of the season that counts.”
When asked what it meant to be a Brainerd Warrior athlete, Weiss said pride and determination. He said the coaches instilled in the athletes the desire to be better athletes and that’s why so many succeeded upon graduation.
Weiss follows his mother Lehtitia Moilanen and grandfather Keith Moilanen into the Warrior Hall of Fame.
“My grandfather and my mom are in the hall of fame,” Weiss said. “That was one of the first things that my wife said to me when I got the call and found I was being inducted, she said ‘I wish your grandpa was here to see it.’ He was a huge fan of Warrior athletics and just a huge fan of athletics in general. He loved watching his grandkids play. He would always come down and watch some amateur games.
“If you had a really good game, he wouldn’t say much, but when things didn’t quite go your way he would always pull you aside and say ‘Some days are diamonds and some days are stone.’ He always had a way of cheering me up.”
Weiss is a water resources manager for the Mille Lacs Band DNR. He and his wife Amanda have two children Kinsley, 10, and Beckett, 5.
“There’s a lot of great memories with the football team starting before school starts with practices and two-a-days and getting close with those guys and then baseball comes as the weather starts to warm up and you want to get outside. There are just so many great memories.”
JEREMY MILLSOP may be reached at 218-855-5856 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jeremymillsop.