Meet the ESA Staff
Steve Rau: Co-founder- email@example.com
(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- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.Book Lessons Online
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.
(Instruction disciplines: Baseball and Softball hitting, fielding)
- Played scholastically at Whitehall High School; 2008 District 11 Champion, Lehigh Valley Keystone State Games team, Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup team.
- Played collegiate baseball for Keystone College and Kutztown University. All-Conference infielder (2010), two NCAA Regional Championship appearances (09 & 12), NCAA scholar athlete (2010).
- Coaching youth baseball and assisting camps/ clinics since 16 years old.
- ESA camps & clinics instructor.
- Allentown Avengers travel baseball program, head coach and administrator.
- North Parkland Connie Mack manager. (2010)
(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Hitting, Baseball Pitching, Baseball Fielding, softball hitting, softball fielding)
- Liberty High School all time leader in stolen bases ( 66 ), walks (66), and runs scored (83)
- Played in ACBL with Quakertown Blazers 1994
- Played at Alvernia College/University from 1992-1995. 1st team all PAC all 3 years
- 1995 ECAC Player of Year. Career avg. .422 and stole 37 bases in 40 attempts.
- 2010 Alvernia University Athletic Hall of Fame inductee
- Drafted by NY Mets in the 26th round of the 1995 Amateur baseball draft.
- Signed with the Allentown Ambassadors of the Independent League in 1997
- Assistant coach at Nazareth HS for 2 seasons 2001,2002
- 14 yr BML Career
(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Pitching)
- Played baseball and attended Whitehall High School 1981-1985
- Pitcher Rider University 1985-1988
- Played in the ACBL and the Alaska Baseball League
- Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 8th round of the 1988 Amateur Draft.
- Played in the Blue Mountain League 17 years.
- Current ESA Camp Instructor
Darin Medlar(Instruction disciplines: Baseball and Softball Catching)
- Parkland High School standout catcher 1988-1989
- TriCounty League
- Men's Senior Baseball League
- 17 years of coaching experience
- North Parkland Knee-Hi
- North Parkland Jr. Legion Prep
- Parkland High School Varsity Assistant
- North Whitehall Baseball Camp Coordinator
(Instruction Discipline: Baseball Pitching)
- Played scholastically at Dieruff HS 99-02 LV Prospects 00 & 01
- Played collegiate baseball for DeSales University 03-06; 3 NCAA regional appearances 03-05, 1 CWS appearance 03
- MAC Conference Awards: 1st Team 03-05; Rookie of the year 03; Pitcher of the Year 03-05;
- ECAC South Region Awards: 1st team 03 & 05, 2nd team 04, Pitcher of the year 2005
- ABCA/NCAA Mid-Atlantic All Region Awards: 2nd team 03-05
- Holds DSU records for: ERA, wins, complete games, & innings pitched
- Played in ACBL with Lehigh Valley Catz 03-05; ACBL Champions 03
- Coached at Allen High School 07 and LCCC 08
- DeSales University camp/clinic instructor 03-08, 12-13
Book Lessons Online
(Instruction Discipline: Softball Pitching)
- Emmaus High School Softball Coach: 2000-2008
- Varsity Pitching Coach (District XI Champions 2004 and 2007)
- East Penn Men's Softball Pitcher 1986-2009
- Pitcher for the Allentown Patriots (Men's ASA PA State Runner-Up 2004)
- Pitched in 4 National Championships - Nebraska, Georgia, Texas, California
- ASA USA National Runner-Up 2006
- Private Pitching Instructor 1999-Present
- Listed on National Registry for Fastpitch Instructors
(Instruction Discipline: Softball Pitching)
- Pitched on 1990 Allen HS state champtionship team
- Lehigh University pitcher from 1992 - 1995
- 1995 Patriot League Pitcher of the Year
- Ongoing pitching coach in the Lehigh Valley from the past two decades
Jenn Shellhammer(Instruction Discipline: Softball Pitching)
- Pennsylvania ASA State Champion: 14U, 16U, 18U
- Central Catholic High-School MVP: 1996, 1997
- Pennsylvania All-State High School Pitcher of the Year: 1997
- Fastpitch Magazine High School All-American: 1997
- Big South Conference All-Conference Selection: 1998
- Atlantic Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week: 2000
- Member of the Allentown Patriot Women's Major League Softball Team: 1997-2004, 2011
- Received Full Softball Scholarship to the University of Maryland
- ASA Women's Fastpitch Major League All-American Selection: 2004
- Pick-up Pitcher for the California Sunbirds Professional Softball Team: 2004
- Member of the Longstreth Softball PA All-Star Team who competed against the US Olympic Team: 2008
- Inducted into Allentown Central Catholic’s Hall of Fame: 2010
- Current: Assistant Coach Moravian College – 3 yrs
- FC Sonic Lehigh Valley NPSL Final Four
- Past Experience: Pennsylvania Stoners – 2008, 2009 2008 NPSL National Champions
- Reading Rage – 2005, 2006
- Moravian College – 2001-2004 3 yr All-Conference
- ENCO College Showcase Club
- Pocono Mountain HS – 1998-2001 All Conference, Area, District
- Current Men's Assistant Varsity and Goalkeeper Coach at Nazareth High School (3 Years)
- Current Head Coach LV Black Magic U-18
- Current Women's Assitant and Goalkeeper Coach at Pen Argyl High School (3 Years)
- Former Goalkeeper at Moravian College
- Former Goalkeepr at Nazareth High School
- Bilingual in Spanish and English
- NSCAA Regional, Advance Regional, National License, Advance National, State Goalkeeping License
- EPYSA ODP Staff Coach 3 Years
- FC Sonic (NPSL) Former Assistant Coach
- 2010 Final Four NPSL Championship (3rd Place)
- 2008/2009 Colonial League Coach of the Year
- 2009 New York Red Bulls High School Cup (Pennsylvania Coach)
- Chilean United Semi-Professional Team - Flushing Meadows, Queens, NY (1993 - 1995)