Meet the ESA Staff

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Steve Rau: Co-founder-

(Instruction disciplines: Baseball Hitting, Baseball Pitching, Softball Hitting)

Coach Rau has been involved with baseball in the Lehigh Valley as a player or coach for over 30 years. A graduate of Emmaus High School and former pitcher at the University of Pittsburgh and Muhlenberg College, he has been teaching the great game of baseball to players and coaches alike since the age of 15.

His vast playing experiences and coaching background allows him to provide the athletes of Elite Sports Academy with top notch advice and guidance to help them get to the next level. Some of his past coaching positions include Nazareth High School, Allen High School, Lehigh Carbon Community College, and the Allentown Diamondbacks of the Blue Mountain League. With two daughters, Coach Rau has worked with and coached a number of softball teams and has transferred his baseball knowledge over to the softball world.

Coach Rau holds a bachelor's degree in Business and also Information Systems, plus a Masters in Instructional Technology. This education coupled with a vast amount of IT experience enables him to bring technology and baseball together with his online instructional website, PlayBallAcademy which teaches baseball to parents and coaches all over the world.

He has specialized in baseball/softball video analysis lessons for both hitting and pitching, analyzing hundreds of players over the last several years using the Right View Pro Video Analysis System.

As the co-founder of ESA, Coach Rau is 100% dedicated to developing the skills of any athlete that walks through the doors of the academy, in the hopes of taking them to the next level.

Matt Conway: Co-founder-

Matt Conway has been involved with the amazing sport of soccer for almost 35 years. Matt graduated from Emmaus High School in 1989 and played soccer for West Chester University for four years. Matt still plays soccer competitively in the Lehigh Valley to this day and has been coaching the game of soccer in various capacities over the past five years, from a Coach's Assistant at Emmaus High School from 2006-2008 to currently Coaching Under 6 and Under 7 teams for the Saint Thomas More Soccer Club.

Matt's playing history and experience coaching players of all ages, allows him to provide a unique insight into the World's Most Popular Sport. Matt's goal is too bring his experience to Elite Sports Academy to raise the overall quality of training for the Lehigh Valley soccer player, no matter what the skill or age level. In addition, he will bring many of his soccer colleagues in the Lehigh Valley to ESA who also have a vast playing and coaching background.

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Baseball and Softball Instruction

Blake Barthol

(Instruction disciplines: Baseball and Softball Hitting, Baseball and Softball Catching)

Blake was a catcher for 9 years in professional baseball. While he was in the Rockies, Mariners, and Pirates organizations, he had the opportunity to play with some of the best coaches and players in the game today. He brings to our staff, not only catching philosophy and technique, but also pitching, defensive, hitting, and coaching knowledge. As one of the co-founders of PlayBallAcademy, he has helped many players, from little league to professional, improve their game. Blake has the distinction of being in the baseball hall of fame as a result of catching a perfect game in the minor leagues.

Nikos Milios

(Instruction Disciplines: Baseball and Softball hitting, Baseball fielding and pitching)

Nikos has been working with baseball players for the past four years. He has 10 years of experience with the game in a variety of positions. In high school, Nikos was a three-year starter for Southern Lehigh H.S., playing third base and pitching. His senior year Nikos was First Team- All Colonial league, Morning Call All-Area team, and 2014 LVLBL Pitcher of the year. Nikos has demonstrated an ability to work with kids from T-ball to high school through ESA summer camps, clinics, and winter workouts.


P.J. Yoder

(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Hitting, Baseball Pitching, Baseball Fielding, softball hitting, softball fielding)

Glenn Kushma

(Instruction Discipline: Baseball and Softball Fielding & Hitting)


Mike Deutsch

(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Pitching)

Darin Medlar

(Instruction disciplines: Baseball and Softball Catching)

Matt Reppert

(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Pitching)

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Chris Cope

(Instruction Discipline: Softball Pitching)

Nina Rems

(Instruction Discipline: Softball Pitching)



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