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Our Staff

We pride ourselves in having the best staff that lives our motto: "Work Hard. Be Nice." Here is just a glimpse of the EA Staff and what we're all about!

Kyle Pappas


Kyle has been involved with cheerleading in high school at the age of 17. After spending three years on the University of Nevada, Reno cheer team, Kyle was convinced that CU Boulder would be a great place to finish his degree and his school cheerleading career. Upon graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in Psychology, Kyle began working in the competitive cheer industry, working at several gyms, both small and large, winning several National Championships. Well versed in both stunting and tumbling technique, Kyle has a special gift for helping athletes understand the "mental block". In 2012, Kyle left the All Star cheer community to pursue a career independently in the industry he loves with athletes that he noticed to be underserved, High School Cheerleading, and Empire Athletics was born. Now with two Denver locations and an International branch, EAI, on top of working directly with teams throughout the season, doing choreography, and conducting coaches education clinics, Kyle is the Head Coach of Team Netherlands and travels internationally to work with multiple country's cheer programs in camps and clinics. Kyle is also an active member of the cheer judging community and enjoys the numerous opportunities that judging provides for him to keep up to date with new and current trends in the industry.

Allison Searls

Lead Coach

Allison fell in love with cheer when she was 6 years old. She did all-star cheer for 8 years. She cheered at Skyline High School and went on to cheer at the University of Wyoming. She has coached gymnastics and cheer and is excited to continue her coaching at Empire! She majored in Elementary Education at Wyoming. She is beyond excited to be a kindergarten teaching in Greeley and share her passion for cheer here at Empire Athletics.

Keri Pison

Site Tumble Director

Keri started gymnastics at a young age, and then quickly found her passion for cheerleading. She started as an All star cheerleader and then transitioned into high school where she cheered all four years. After high school Keri went on to cheer at Colorado Mesa University for 5 years. She now has 10 years of experience in the cheer industry, and is excited expand her experiences through coaching.

Hugh Burrow

Head Coach

Bio Coming Soon!

Corey Nyholem

Head Coach

Bio Coming Soon!

Allison Gigliotti

Junior Coach

Allie has been cheering for 6 years and counting. She believes that cheer is an incredible outlet and beautiful sport. Throughout her cheer career she has learned winning and losing, but most importantly she learned what having and building a cheer family is all about. She loves her cheer family at Empire and seeing her family grow through the athletes she gets to coach at Empire. She did All-Star cheer for 6 years, starting at age 12 at level 1 and now she is at level 6 at 18. She could not be more grateful for all she has learned throughout those years.

Brooklyn Bergeron

Customer Relations Manager

Bio Coming Soon!

Christiana Rossell

Front Desk

Christiana has done competitive cheer for the past 9 years and will be starting high school cheer next year. She is hoping to cheer in college. She loves watching and helping people find they’re love for cheer and tumbling.

Brooke Gigliotti

HS Program Director

Brooke fell in love with the sport of cheerleading from a young age both in recreational and her school programs. She began coaching Pop Warner and PAL youth cheer programs until her own children started actively playing baseball and soccer. She switched gears from coaching to team management,volunteering in multiple aspects of recreational, high school, and competitive sports. After 15 years away from cheerleading, an opportunity to coach a high school cheer team presented itself and the passion for watching high school athletes find confidence, build trusted relationships, and celebrate even the smallest of successes together as a team was quickly reborn. After a few years within the high school coaching community, Empire became the home in which Brooke is able to share her knowledge of team management with the sport she loves and works directly with our High School coaches, Athletic Directors, our EA coaching staff, and whenever possible our amazing athletes.

Bradlee Simnioniw

Lead Coach

Bradlee’s experience in the sport of cheer started in a competitive All Star program at age 7 and continued as she transitioned to 5A high school cheer. After high school, she was a member and captain of the Colorado Mesa University team throughout undergraduate program. Bradlee has coached two high school cheer programs, and is currently also teaching in the Adams 5 Star school district. In addition to tumbling, Bradlee brings extensive sideline and competitive experience as a flyer, mid, base, backspot to Empire.

Nathan O’Connor

Choreographer/ Head Coach

Nathan began power tumbling at the age of 3. He competed at the elite level up until the age of 14. He had the opportunity to represent Team USA at the World Age Group Championships in St. Petersburg, Russia where he placed 6th. Nathan got into cheerleading at the age of 14 where he competed High School and Allstar. In 2017, Nathan was a member of the Twist & Shout Diamonds. He won NCA AllStar Nationals and placed 5th at the World Championships. He continued my cheer career at Oklahoma State University where he participated in game day and competition for 4 years. Nathan is now a student at Regis University, pursuing his Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

Shayne Henry


Shayne grew up in Castle Rock, CO and was a part of the CO-ED Cheerleading program at Douglas County High School from 2006-2010. She is a graduate of Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO where she received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and had the opportunity to cheer for the CSU Rams all 4 years. Shayne was a part of UCA Staff throughout college and has coached for various teams since graduating. She is excited to join Empire Athletics and to work with athletes from all around Colorado

Hannah Carver

Head Coach

Hannah's cheerleading experience began with middle school cheer and continued for the next 10 years as she worked her way through high school and college. During her time at Colorado Mesa University, she cheered on the Mavericks while earning her bachelors degree and was also involved with coaching a high school program in the area. Over the summers, Hannah would also dedicate her time to being part of UCA staff and traveling throughout the states to instruct and demo at high school camps. She offers a bubbly personality, experience in multiple positions, and a love for cheerleading that she is excited to share with other athletes!

Lillia Orvis

Admin/ Coach in Training

Bio Coming Soon!

Kathryn Kennedy

Administrative Assistant

Kathryn has been involved with cheer at Empire Athletics for 5 years and joined the Monarch High School cheer team her freshman year and was on the team all four years of high school from 2017-2021. Kathryn is currently attending the University of Colorado Boulder and is studying elementary education. Kathryn started working at Empire in 2022 and loves working with all of the athletes.

Sindey Brees-Martinez

Choreographer/ Head Coach

Coach Sidney cheered for 11 years, 7 in the allstar world at Colorado Lightning Athletics while also cheering 1 year at Horizon High School, and 4 years at Colorado Mesa University (Go Mavs!). Sidney has coached cheerleading since 2015, and is currently at Regis University getting her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology. Coach Sidney enjoys reading, movies, sushi, and practicing yoga. She is excited to help athletes learn to be the best they can be in this amazing sport.

Mike Sokolowski

Site Tumble Director/ Lead Coach

Mike moved to Colorado from Chicago during the summer of 2020. This December, He will graduate from the Dr. Ida Rolf Institute in Gunbarrel and plan to continue my studies in osteopathy - taking clients as soon as the turn of the new year! I have 9 years of coaching experience between gymnastics and cheerleading. In my free time, you'll find me trail running, climbing rocks, or making music - fun fact - I'm in a band! Super excited to work with you.

Sam Snyder

Head Coach

Sam has been tumbling and cheering since she was 3 years old. She grew up doing All Star cheerleading at local gyms in both Las Vegas and the Denver area then continued to cheer at Ralston Valley High School her senior year. Sam has been a part of the Empire family since day 1 and has been working at the gym since 2014! She loves being able to pass her passion for cheerleading on to a younger generation of athletes and see the joy that the sport brings to her athletes. Sam is currently a Doctor of Physical Therapy student at Regis University, set to graduate in May of 2023.

Taylor Clayton

Head Coach

Bio Coming Soon!

Michael Elliot

Head Coach

Bio Coming Soon!

Nykelle Funk

Junior Coach

Nykelle was a gymnast for 11 years prior to becoming a cheerleader. Her freshman year of Highschool she joined the Erie cheer team and has been doing it since, and hopes to continue for the rest of Highschool. She has a love for tumbling and likes teaching others how to tumble, similar to when she used to teach her little sister. She enjoys hanging out with her friends and family, going fishing, and watching movies when she isn’t cheering.

Kaylee Torres

Administrative Assistant / Junior Coach

Kaylee did gymnastics from a young age and fell in love with the aspects of the sport. She took off a few years and once in high school wanted to try cheerleading. She is currently a Erie high school cheerleader, she has been doing cheer for 2 almost 3 years. Before that she did gymnastics for 8 years. When she was doing gymnastics she helped coach the younger teams with tumbling.

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