Bringing it on: District 728 competition cheer squad getting into the game

Kelsey Buck (front), Joy Peterson and Maria Gutenberg soared in an exhibition at Zimmerman on Jan. 16. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

by Bruce Strand, Arts  editor

This winter there’s only one cheerleading team operating in District 728 and you won’t see them on any sidelines leading chants. This club team is competing, and entertaining, on its own.

Julia Ward was tossed into the air and is about to be caught by Maddy Cole, Joy Peterson, and Jack Fitzgerald. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Competition cheerleading has been around a long time. National finals have been covered by ESPN for years and “Bring It On” was a hit movie on the subject.  For the past two years, Elk River District Competition Cheer Team has gotten into the game.

With nine boys and two girls, coached by Nicole Bollea, the Elk River-Rogers-Zimman group has placed first in the coed division in three meets and was a close second in their final competition meet last They’ve entertained in several halftimes. The last chance to see them will be Monday evening at ERHS’s basketball game against Osseo.

“This is only our second season and we are well on our way to building a fantastic team,” said Bollea.

She added that their division, coed, is usually pretty small. There are many divisions based on size of the school, size of the team competing, and coed or all-girls.

Captains are senior Mackenzie Hanson and sophomore Joy Peterson, both of Elk River. Other squad members are junior Bill Gleason of Elk River; senior Jack Fitzgerald and sophomore Maria Gutenburg of Rogers; sophomore Erika Lampert and freshmen Maddy Cole, Kelsie Buck, Bethanie Greene and Julia Ward of Zimmerman; and sophomore DeAnn Schmitt of Big Lake.

Bollea is assisted by Brittany Bromley, Brandon Severson, and Sammi Faulkner.

Julia Ward Kelsie Buck and Mackenzie Hanson are hoisted during a pyramid move. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Makenzie Hanson is caught by Maddy Cole, Jack Fitzgerald Erika Lambert in basket toss. (Photo by Bruce Strand)