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.

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

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

EMILY BAUER

Skills Coach
 
Emily is originally from Wausau, WI with a long family history in hockey. She graduated from UW- Eau Claire where she played on the Women’s Blugold Hockey Team for 4 years during which they made 3 national appearances and set a new school win record for the program.

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

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

KINDRA WITTHUS

Director of Softball
 
Originally from Hudson, WI and was a 4-year softball starter for the Hudson Raiders. Other high school softball accolades include: 2-time Team Captain, 4-time 1st Team All Big Rivers Conference member, 3 year All Region Team, 1-time 2nd Team All-State, and 2-time 1stTeam All State! Kindra was also a multisport athlete including obtaining a black belt in Karate and a 4-year varsity starter and all conference basketball player.
 
After high school Kindra was recruited to the east coast where she played for Division I Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania. Her level of play and talent on the field remained strong as she was honored as a 4- year starter playing 3rd base, outfield, and primary catcher. During Kindra’s senior year, as a team captain and starting catcher, she helped lead St. Francis Softball to a 49-11 record, a regional win at Arizona, an individual Golden Glove Defensive Award, and an All-Conference award. Post-graduation, Kindra has coached softball teams, as well as doing clinics and private lessons. Kindra has been an Occupational therapist for 4 years working with athletes of all sports, specifically overhead sports. Additionally, she has a degree in psychology which she has been using to progress the athlete’s mental side of the game. Kindra also is an NCAA umpire and has her own business, St. Croix Valley Umpires, in hopes of growing the game from all areas.

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.
 

Michaela Woodward

Pitching Coach/Skills Instructor
 

Originally from Cortland, Nebraska- She played collegiate softball at Concordia University- Nebraska where she earned all-conferece honors as a pitcher, first baseman and power hitter before graduating with a degree in biology in three years. Michaela then moved to Peoria, AZ to attend nursing school while working as a supervisor for the Mariners/Padres Spring Training facility. Michaela currently works full-time as an Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse.

 
Accolades:
– 2015 GPAC Conference Champion
– 2x First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Conference
– 3x All-Nebraska NAIA Softball Team
– Single Season Homerun Record
– Multiple GPAC/Hauff Mid-America Sports Player and Pitcher of the Week honors
 
Fun Facts:
– Played softball in Cape Town, South Africa in Summer of 2016
– Started as TE/LB for WNFC’s Phoenix Prowlers in the 2019 and 2020 seasons
 

Mallory Sterling

Pitching Coach
Originally from Chippewa Falls and a four-year starter for the Chi Hi Varsity Softball Team, playing third base and pitcher positions. She then went on and played at Madison College for three years with one trip to the NJCAA National Tournament.
 

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.
 

Soccer

DAVID DRAFTON

Technical Soccer Director
 

David is a Virginia native from Alexandria, VA. David brings great depth and knowledge when it comes to soccer and development. Drafton played high school soccer for his hometown high school Howard Gardner before playing collegiate soccer at Eastern Mennonite University where Drafton was a 4 year starter!

  • ODAC Player of the Week 2x
  • Third-team All- ODAC 1x
  • D3 All-Star Roster Selection 1x/ Eastern Mennonite University/ Semi-pro player in England

After his time at EMU Drafton pursued a career in coaching for various programs including:

  • Alexandria Soccer Association
  • Coerver & DC Soccer Club
  • Up2Us Sports Washington
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, United Kingdom
  • Love The Ball Soccer
  • Flint Hill High School
  • Super Soccer Stars Coaching CoordinatorHe is also a National License U.S. Soccer Coach.

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

Director of Community 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 is originally from Osseo, WI. She comes from a family who loves sports of all kinds.  She ran cross country and track through high school and after high school became involved with CrossFit.  She comes to VSA with 2 decades of retail/administrative/customer service experience and is the smiling face that greets you at the front desk!