Our Staff

Hockey

Bryce Gervais

Director of Hockey
 

Originally from Battleford, SK, Canada, Bryce has had an extensive career in Hockey, some of his experience includes:

  • 3 Seasons in the BCHL (British Columbia Hockey League)
  • 4 Seasons with Minnesota State Mankato Mavericks (NCAA Division I)
    • FUN FACT: Junior Year finished 2nd in the nation in goals scored with 27
  • 3 Seasons with the Chicago Wolves (AHL)
    • FUN FACT: 2017 Bryce was awarded the Tim Breslin Unsung Hero Award with the Chicago Wolves
  • 1 Season with EHC Olten (Swiss League)
  • 2 Seasons with Heilbronner Falken (DEL2)
  • 1 Season with Iowa Wild (AHL)
  • 1 Season with Stavanger Oilers (Norway League) LEAGUE CHAMPIONS!

Alex Timm

Skills Coach
 
From Barron/Chetek, WI, Alex grew up playing hockey since the age of 8.  He played 2 years of Junior Hockey after High School, one for the North Iowa Bulls and another with the Minnesota Blue Ox before playing a season of NCAA D3 for Finlandia University.  Now Alex is sharing his love of the game with VSA athletes and working with his dad on their aquaponics farm, Green Leaf Farms.

Jonathan Garcia

Power Skating/Performance Coach
 
From Salt Lake City, Utah Jonathan has been training and coaching hockey players for the past 3 years.
 
Jonathan is a world champion speed skater with the following accolades:
  • Two-time (2X) Olympian:
    • 2014 Sochi, Russia
    • 2018 Pyeongchang, South Korea
  • Nine-time (9X) United States National Team Member
    • 2017 World Cup Bronze Medalist
    • 3rd Place, Team Sprint
  • 2017 World Sprint Championships
    • 4th Place, 1000 Meters
  • 2016 Long Track World Cup Gold Medalist
    • 1st Place, Team Sprint
  • 2015 Long Track World Cup Silver Medalist
    • 2nd Place, Team Sprint
  • 2014 Long Track World Cup Gold Medalist
    • 1st Place, Team Sprint
  • 2012 US Short Track Championships Gold Medalist
    • 1st Place, 1000 Meters Time Trial
  • Three-time (3X) US Short Track American Cup Champion

ERIN CONNOLLY

Goalie Coach
 
Originally from Mequon, WI, she transitioned to full-time goalie in her second year of squirts. She played high school and tier 1 hockey for three years and started training with Larry Clemens in Madison her sophomore year of high school. Erin has been training and coaching with him ever since. In college, she played for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for four years. While in net, the team set program wins records every year, had several firsts including playoff and regular season championships, and achieved three national tournament appearances. Erin’s coaching experience includes High Performance Goaltending, Team Wisconsin, ECA Stars, and UWEC Women’s Hockey.
 

A few accolades from Erin:

  • WIAC Women’s Hockey Player of the Year
  • Laura Hurd National Player of the Year Runner-Up
  • Judy Kruckman WIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
  • Leader-Telegram Female Athlete of the Year
  • 4x First Team All-WIAC
  • 4x All-American Scholar-Athlete

Baseball

CJ KOEHLER

Director of Baseball
 

Originally from Grafton, WI. CJ brings a lot of knowledge when it comes to the game of baseball as he currently serves as an Assistant coach for the UWEC Blugolds baseball team mainly working with hitters and fielding.

Prior to his job with the Blugolds CJ was an assistant coach at Finlandia University where he mainly worked with outfielders while also working with hitters and pitchers. Prior to his time with Finlandia University Koehler was the Varsity Head Coach for Port Washington High School. CJ has also worked for multiple baseball facilities running private/group lessons, camps, and clinics.

ADAM LAROCK

Coach/Instructor

Originally from Eau Claire, WI – Adam has an extensive baseball background and will be assisting our Baseball Staff with programs and offering individual lessons.

  • Played at Eau Claire North and made the State Tournament in 2016 while being a 2-time All-Conference Player
  • In college played at the University of Iowa, Madison College and UW-Milwaukee
  • Participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament after winning the Big Ten Tournament at Iowa
  • Was named the North Central Community College Conference MVP in 2019
  • Both pitched and played the field at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Played for the Eau Claire Express for 3 seasons

BEN DANIELSON

Coach/Instructor

Ben Danielson was a 4-year Varsity Starter for Irondale High School in New Brighton, Minnesota where he played Catcher, Infield and Pitcher. After High School, Ben continued his baseball career at the University of Minnesota Duluth where he was presented All-Tournament honors during the Conference Tournament his Sophomore year. He played catcher, third base, and relieved for the Bulldogs by pitching 10+ innings without a run his senior year. In fall of 2022, Ben relocated to the Eau Claire area where he manages for a local branch of a construction company. Ben loves to throw the frisbee around, play softball, and big game hunt.

STEPHEN SCATASSA

Lead Pitching Coach
 
  • 4 year high school varsity starter in the Chicago Catholic Leauge
  • Saint Marys University 4 year starter
  • All-MIAC First team 2016
  • ABCA Rawlings All- Midwest Second team
  • D3 Baseball.com All- Midwest Region First Team
  • Pitching Coach at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire

DREW STEINMETZ

Lead Skills Coach
 
Drew is originally from Chippewa Falls and played four years with Chippewa Falls High School.
  • Attended Madison College as a walk-on and played 2 years under Coach Davenport
  • Assistant Coach with the Madison Mallards in 2017
  • Head Coach for Post 77 Legion from 2017-2019
  • Head Assistant Coach at Madison College with Coach Davenport from 2020-2021

Softball

Abigail Place

Skills Coach
Abigail comes from Chicagoland area. She played as a four year starter at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire, where she was a catcher and second basemen for the Blugolds. Throughout her playing career, she was awarded with the accolades of 2x All-Conference, as well as a Second Team All-Region player. She was also nominated and awarded as a Blugold Super Six recipient at the university, one of the top awards an student-athlete can receive. After the completion of her collegiate career in the spring of 2021, she decided to stay and jump on the coaching staff at UWEC.
 

Shelby Acker

Pitching Coach
 
Shelby (Crank) Acker is a Chippewa Falls native. Part of the Chippewa Falls 2012 state championship team, Shelby holds the school record for most wins in her four years. Post-graduation, she pitched collegiately for four years at Division II Southwest Minnesota State University. After her career finished, Shelby pursued her Masters in Sport and Performance Psychology to bring awareness and elite mental skills to athletes all over.
Currently, she is the owner of Acker Mental Performance, a mental skills training organization. She utilizes this to bring mental performance skills to youth, high school, collegiate, and professional athletes across the country. Shelby is also a private pitching coach and high school softball coach in Madison, WI.
 

Melissa Litke

Pitching Coach
 
Melissa Litke is a Holcombe native who now resides in Chippewa Falls, WI. Coach Litke was a 4-year starter in high school for Holcombe where they attended the WIAA State tournament. Coach Litke was offered a spot on the Senior All-Star Statewide tournament. When Coach Litke wasn’t in the circle you would find her playing shortstop. Coach Litke has experience coaching players of all ages and levels. Most recently Coach Litle coaches the VSA 12U travel ball team and works mainly with youth pitchers to help them build up their mechanics, along with the confidence to pitch in a game.
 
If you are a young or new pitcher Coach Litke wants to work with you!
 

Mikayla Hogan

Skills Instructor

A Chippewa Falls native, Mikayla was the starting catcher at Chi-Hi for 4 years resulting in four 1st team All-Conference awards with 2 BRC POY designations, and three 1st team All-State nods while leading the Cardinals to 3 state tournament berths with 2 runner up finishes. Mikayla is also the all time leading scorer for the Chi-Hi women’s hockey team where she was 2x 1st team All-Conference & BRC POY, and 3x 1st team All-State bringing the Cards to state twice with another silver trophy. There was also a much less successful 3 yr Varsity tennis career in there too.

After a successful high school career, Mikayla went off to Division II St. Cloud State University where she was a 4 year captain and starting catcher for the Huskies. There she was a 2x NSIC  All-Conference player and currently ranks 1st all time in runners thrown out & pick offs. As well as top 3 in home runs, doubles, RBI, slugging %, and total bases.

Mikayla has been coaching softball and hockey for 18 years ranging from learn to skate kiddos through college athletes. She is thrilled to be joining the VSA staff to continue giving back to the community!

Emma Sather

Skills Instructor

Emma is originally from Chetek, WI. but is currently a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she is pursuing an Exercise Science degree and is a Pitcher/1st baseman for the Blugolds. She just transferred from the College of St.Scholastica, and is very happy to be back in the area. Emma has been coaching back home for 2 years, and is looking forward to coaching lessons here at Valley Sports Academy. Emma will also be receiving a coaching minor while completing her undergrad, and will continue her education to get her Master’s in Athletic Training. Emma is excited to continue spreading her love and expertise for the game!

Soccer

LIAM NEVIN

Director of Soccer
 
Liam has had extensive playing and coaching career in soccer that spans two countries. As a player, Liam was a member of the Queensland Academy of Sport and also played for Rochedale Rovers, as well as short stints with Olympic FC and Capalaba Bulldogs who played in the Queensland State League.
 
As a coach, he has coached at the college level with Division II outfit Missouri Western State University as an assistant from 2020-2022. Throughout his time at Missouri Western, the team amassed a record of 22-21-7, and reached a conference final in the 2020 spring season, as well as back to back playoff appearances in 2021 & 2022. In other coaching roles, Liam has worked with Sporting Kansas City youth programs, and most recently as the Manager of Soccer Operations at TOCA Soccer in Columbus, Ohio.

Emmanuel Boamah

Lead Skills Coach
 Emmanuel is from Virginia and comes to VSA with 7 years of coaching experience with:
  • Harrisonburg High School Varsity
  • Springfield Youth Club
  • Eastern Mennonite University Assistant Coach
  • West Potomac High School Varsity
He attended Eastern Mennonite University where he played 4 years of Soccer and received the following accolades:
  • United Soccer Coached All-South Atlantic Region First Team
  • VA SID All-State First Team
  • All-ODAC First Team
  • EDP U-23 National Champions in 2018 with Annandale FC (Cub team) 2016
  • VA SID All-State Second Team
  • All-ODAC First Team 2015
  • All-ODAC Second Team

Chris Brooke

Lead Skills Coach & Trainer
Chris comes to VSA with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology degree from the University of Texas at Austin – As a freshman at Texas, he was on the football team. He was a place kicker and punter, but his career ended early with surgery on his kicking ankle.
Chris played as a youth growing up in California and Texas. He was fortunate to play against international teams from Mexico as well as playing in Colorado for the National Championships. His soccer coaching career started with his oldest son playing soccer and has been involved in coaching for more than 14 years. He has experiences traveling the state of Wisconsin and Minnesota for tournaments with other teams and has two sons that he has helped coach their teams over the years.

Strength & Conditioning

NICK STIRMEL

Director of Strength & Conditioning
 

Nick comes to VSA with a degree in Fitness and Health/Exercise Science and a minor in Exercise Physiology. He has his NSCA CSCS Certifications and has spent the last 4 years working as a personal trainer. He also brings a long history of hockey playing and coaching to our VSA team!

Administrative

CHASE HOOPLE

General Manager
Chase is a Chippewa Falls native who is looking to give back to the Chippewa Valley. Growing up Chase was a multi-sport athlete playing hockey, baseball, and golf. After attending Chippewa Falls Senior High School Chase played 4 years of collegiate golf and got into coaching hockey where he has experience working with players ages 10U to High School.

PHIL SWILER

Community Relations and Public Relations
CONTACT: 715-523-9761
Phil is a Madison WI area native who is looking to help impact the Chippewa Valley representing VSA’s community growth initiative. Growing up Phil was a multi-sport athlete playing football, hockey, baseball, and golf. Phil comes to VSA with 31 years of Business Development experience, in both the private and non-profit business sectors. Phil has extensive sponsorship and advertising experience.  For the past 31 years Phil has coached hockey as both a head coach and assistant coach, working with players ages 8U to High School. He currently coaches hockey in Altoona, and is one of our VSA Guardian hockey program coaches.
 
A few accolades from Phil:
 
Played Junior Hockey for the Madison Capitals
Assistant Coach with the Eau Claire Area Stars HS Girls team in 2012-2013
31 Years Coaching Youth Hockey
Level 4 USA Hockey Certified Coach
All Conference Collegiate Golf Recognition

ROSIE PETERSON

Reception Manager
Rosie hails from small town Osseo, WI where she ran cross country and track in high school. She was involved in student counsel, was student body president and has been involved in numerous student-led clubs in high school and college. The youngest in a large, blended family; she’s competitive and loves sports of all kinds. When Rosie isn’t at the front desk, you might find her behind the bar in the Guardians Tower, driving the Zamboni or making her rounds ensuring parents and athletes are having the best experience possible. She comes to VSA with 2+ decades of administrative/customer service experience and is the smiling face that manages the front desk!