The 2013 National Scouting Report National Meeting finally arrived last week in Panama City Beach, Florida. NSR scouts from all over the United States and Puerto Rico gathered at the Bay Pointe Resort for this much anticipated event. Every year this National Scouting Report event draws NSR college athletic scouts from all around the country to discuss NCAA recruiting and how to get college athletic scholarships for young high school athletes. The purpose of this amazing gathering of NSR scouts each year is to help further educate them about NCAA and NAIA recruiting guidelines, provide them with more up to date methods of how to help athletes get athletic scholarships and simply get their batteries recharged for the next year!
This year NSR President, Rusty Rigney, started off the meeting with encouraging words. He shared how that NSR is “Changing Kid’s Lives” each day by getting them scholarship offers. He went on to share with the NSR scouts how that NSR is experiencing tremendous growth and shared with each person how that NSR is further expanding on foreign soil in Dubai and in the US territory of Puerto Rico. He shared with the group how that the NSR presence was having a huge impact on young people’s lives all around the world. Rusty went on to talk about the huge amount of “credibility” NSR scouts have in the field and how proud he was to be a part of the “World’s oldest, largest, and most respected scouting organization.”
Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram were all major hot topics during the 3 day meeting. I was tasked with helping each one of our NSR scouts better learn the importance and the proper usage of these very powerful social media outlets. These areas have proven to be great for several different reasons. These outlets allow NSR to share with the world ALL of the athletes signings, successes in high school and their progress in college and beyond. These media outlets allow the kids and the parents the opportunity to realize that NSR is a worldwide scouting organization that only works with qualified student athletes. These outlets give NSR the ability to allow the world to see that NSR is the One and ONLY true scouting and recruiting organization that college coaches depend on and have depended on for over 34 years! NSR is recognized by coaches as the CREDIBLE source for accurate information. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are great platforms to further promote our athletes and their successes.
Coach Robert Cagle shared with the group that NSR has experienced record growth. He delivered story, after story, all driving home the idea of the credibility NSR has in the field with our scouts and licensees. He went on to challenge each person to “Get on the Train” because the NSR “Train” was already building up steam and growing faster than ever. He asked each person present, “Are you on the train? If not, it is time to get on or get left behind!” Coach Cagle discussed the true quality of the people NSR had in the field. He mentioned the names of D1 head coaches and D2 coaches that had retired and are now NSR scouts. He talked about retired NFL players and MLB players who are now scouting for NSR and making a difference in the field. The message was strong and powerful concerning how that “NSR scouts literally change the lives of the kids we work with! NSR is the solution.”
The meeting continued on Friday with a powerful message from Coach Melanie Davis. Coach Davis is the retired, 31 year coaching veteran who recently stepped away from D1 Troy University. Coach Davis literally put Troy on the map in softball. This awesome public speaker talked to the NSR scouting staff about a lot of things that she LOVES about NSR! She looks at NSR as “An extra set of eyes and ears in the field.” Coach Davis said that she knows that NSR is the REAL DEAL scouting organization because we actually scout players and evaluate them before we will enroll them. Coach Davis made the most powerful statement when she said, “NSR is CREDIBLE and she always appreciated our help.” Coach Davis went on to give an example of how misdirected parents and athletes are in the recruiting process. She said, “I would receive 300 -500 emails per day from athletes, parents and coaches. These folks don’t understand that a college coach really only has time to look at the emails they know come from a CREDIBLE source.” NSR is recognized as that CREDIBLE source and she acknowledged this with the NSR team. Coach Davis also went on to talk about some of the many myths that parents, high school coaches and travel ball coaches use and believe. She concluded by encouraging our NSR scouts to get out there and show people the TRUTH about recruiting and continue to help young athletes reach their dreams of playing in college on scholarship. Thank you Coach Melanie Davis for taking your time to be a motivating speaker to our group.
In addition to these speakers, the group was inspired by J Brian Bergeron. J Brian shared personal stories of what NSR has done for his family. Both his daughter and nephew are playing in college because of NSR. He had numerous other stories of how he and NSR had “Changed Kid’s Lives”. J Brian explained how rewarding it is to help athletes live out their dreams. He encouraged all the scouts to continue working hard in the field, finding those athletes that have the desire and ability to play at the next level.
The NSR National Meeting was rounded out by Bryan Black and Phillip Sanford speaking about technological updates and enhancements; Alan Parham discussing NCAA changes and compliance guidelines; Mike Ewing explaining improvement in the field; and Cary Nadel, Steve Swain, Dave Johnson, Robby Wilson, Tanya Olson, Brendan Kennedy and Andrew Novelli all assisting in helping scouts with becoming more prepared to help kids with the recruiting process. All in all, the National Meeting was a huge success! Great information was shared while scouts from all over the country bonded and networked to maximize their impact for “Changing Kid’s Lives!”

National Scouting Report is on the ground scouting! The Gulf Coast Exposure Camp in Gulfport, Mississippi is scheduled for August 16-17, 2014.  This is the third year for this GREAT individual skills showcase and live game situation camp.   On Saturday the ladies will participate in the individual skills portion and then on Sunday, the coaches split up the girls into teams and they play live game situations.  NSR has been involved with the Gulf Coast Exposure Camp since its inception!  Thanks to Rocky Brewer, Brian Callaway and David Lastrapes,  NSR has always had the opportunity to supply the hospitality room for this event.  

Robby Wilson, NSR of Arkansas will be directing NSR's part in the Gulf Coast Exposure Camp.

Robby Wilson, NSR of Arkansas will be directing NSR’s part in the Gulf Coast Exposure Camp.

In previous years, Robert and Susan Cagle have worked this event. This year, the torch has been passed.  Robby Wilson (Arkansas & softball vertical), Lee Crane (Alabama), Larry Stone (Mississippi) and Cheri Naudin (Northeast Texas) will be scouting this event. They will work alongside the college coaches to evaluate all the athletes at the showcase. This is a great event of which NSR enjoys being a part.  We look forward to seeing the following coaches and the additional college coaches that make it to the Gulf Coast Exposure Camp 2014!

Dominque Lastrapes – Camp Director – University of Washington ’07
Chelsea Cantillo – Assistant Coach, West Point
Tom Gray – Head Coach, Southern Utah
Wendy Hogue – Head Coach, William Carey
T. J. Hubbard – Associate Head Coach, Louisiana Lafayette
Brittany Lastrapes – Assistant Coach, Miami of Ohio
Andy Lee – Head Coach, LSU Eunice Community College
Lindsay Leftwich – Assistant Coach, LSU
Michael Lotief – Head Coach, Louisiana Lafayette
Dave Martinez – Assistant Coach, Delta State
Kristina McCain – Assistant Coach, South Alabama
Glenn Moore – Head Coach, Baylor
Shanika Randle – Assistant Coach, Mississippi Valley State
Larry Ray – Previous Assistant Coach, Arizona, Florida, & Nicholls State
Angel Santiago – Head Coach, Nicholls State
Jessica Seamon – Assistant Coach, Nicholls State
Rory Shortell – Former Pro Baseball Player
Mike Smith – Head Coach, Ole Miss
Craig Snider – Assistant Coach, Flordia State
Vann Stuedeman – Head Coach, Mississippi State
Scott Woodard – Assistant Coach, Auburn


We can not wait to evaluate the GREAT softball athletes that will be at this camp.  Go get’em girls!



National Scouting Report is “On the Ground Scouting”!  Cary Nadel, NSR Northeast, is having a GREAT week.  National Scouting Report Northeast is partnering with the Rhode Island Thunder this week at New England’s Finest Showcase in Plainville, Massachusetts!  Cary will be hosting NCAA / NAIA Recruiting Seminars throughout the event.  The scouts at the New England’s Finest Showcase are seeing and assessing some great athletes.  In addition to Cary – Jesse Rubio (Massachusetts), Brendan Kennedy (Massachusetts & Maine), John Hissick (Connecticut), Andrea Hayes (New England) and Michael Bangel (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) are all scouting this event.  What a great way to end July and begin August, scouting these great softball athletes.

Melanie Rennie NSR Prospect 2015 is in right field.  She caught the first five  innings and hit a line drive up the middle.

Melanie Rennie NSR Prospect 2015 is in right field at The New England’s Finest Showcase. She caught the first five innings and hit a line drive up the middle.

NSR Northeast has also partnered with The Ruden Report.  The Ruden Report is a web site that solely reports on Connecticut high school athletics, across all sports.  Each week ,The Ruden Report honors a male and female player of the week and a team of the week.  Ruden also provides pre-season assessments of the top teams in the state, by conference.

The Ruden Report sponsors  and runs pre-season football media days.  This year, working with NSR, The Ruden Report will host recruiting seminars for some of the top student-athletes in Connecticut.  NSR looks forward to meeting these great athletes.

Dave Ruden of The Ruden Report, has covered high school, college and professional sports for 30 years.  Most recently, Dave was with The Stamford Advocate.  Dave previously worked at CBS Sports, ESPN and The New York Times.  NSR wishes Dave Ruden and Cary Nadel a successful year helping athletes in Connecticut!


Mary Louise Hunt is enjoying her "Full Circle Moment" while scouting some great volleyball athletes.

Mary Louise Hunt is enjoying her “Full Circle Moment” while scouting some great volleyball athletes.

National Scouting Report is on the ground scouting!  June 25th through the 29th was an exciting few days. The 30th Annual Volleyball Festival was held in Phoenix, Arizona at the Phoenix Convention Center. The four story venue was spectacular and perfect for such an awesome event. The Festival boasts a rich history of amazing volleyball. Approximately 450 club teams were represented and played a couple of days of pool play followed by a couple of days of tournament play. For the third year in a row, National Scouting Report proudly served as the recruiting arm for The Volleyball Festival. Before The Festival began, National Scouting Report assisted in a showcase for college-bound athletes. During the tournament, NSR hosted ten NCAA / NAIA Recruiting Seminars that were very well attended by parents and athletes alike. Attendees were informed about the “Myths of Recruiting” and NCAA/NAIA rules. At the conclusion of each seminar, there was a question and answer session. All in attendance, left with a great deal of knowledge and information to help their athlete with recruiting decisions.

National Scouting Report was very well represented. Cliff Weeks of Southern California was once again at The Volleyball Festival – Cliff was the original NSR link to The Festival and has done an amazing job cultivating that relationship. Also scouting at The Festival was Stacey Harris (San Francisco, California), Bryant Edleson (San Diego, California), Carissa Kalaba (San Diego, California), Gil Barkey (Denver, Colorado), Ryan Johnston (Phoenix, Arizona), Syndric Steptoe (Tucson, Arizona), Josh and CeCe Kroeger (Birmingham, Alabama), Mary Louise Hunt (Atlanta, Georgia) and Robert and Susan Cagle (Mobile, Alabama).

NSR’s Mary Louise Hunt of Atlanta, Georgia especially enjoyed scouting The Festival as Mary Louise participated as an athlete in the very first Festival event in 1984. Mary Louise recognized and re-acquainted herself with several of The Festival staff. Mary Louise described the event as, “A full circle moment”. Mary Louise and the other scouts saw some tremendous athletes. Athletes from Arizona, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland and Washington to name a few had a great time at The Festival. Bryan Kelley, director of The Festival was hospitable as usual. The meals provided for NSR scouts and college coaches were tremendous. The Volleyball Festival is definitely a first class event. Bryan also directs a sister tournament in Glendale, Arizona in February. The February event is called The Festival Fiesta Classic and is held at the University of Phoenix Stadium. NSR looks forwarding to seeing more great volleyball talent at The Festival Fiesta Classic on January 17-19, 2015.


Laurel Ivory

Laurel Ivory

Laurel Ivory, a 2018 NSR soccer goalkeeper prospect, has been named to the Florida State ODP team as the A-team goalie, for the third year in a row. This week Laurel, a rising freshman at Miami Country Day School, is also participating in her third Region 3 ODP camp in Montevallo, Ala.  And , this week Laurel was invited to the 2014 Nike National Training Camp powered by ID2 and ECNL on July 31 through Aug 4 in Beaverton, Ore.  The National Training Camp is a joint program between the ECNL, Nike, and US Club Soccer. The camp is part of the id2 National Certification and Development Program.  It provides an opportunity for the country’s top female players from throughout the country to be identified and developed in an elite training environment, while also being scouted for possible inclusion in U.S. Soccer’s National Team programs.  Laurel is 5’8″ from Sunrise, Fla., carries an impressive 4.1 GPA and plays for the nationally ranked Sunrise Sting U16 team, one of the premier clubs nationally.   The organization works with National Scouting Report and South Florida NSR soccer scout, Daniel Gurtov, to help their prospects in the recruiting process.

Named NY's Gatorade Player of the Year, Julia DiMartino is a two-time All-State performer as a pitcher and fielder.

Named NY’s Gatorade Player of the Year, junior Julia DiMartino is a two-time All-State performer as a pitcher and hitter.

The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, has named NSR junior softball prospect, Julia DiMartino of Brockport High School, as its 2013-14 Gatorade New York Softball Player of the Year which distinguishes her as New York’s best high school softball player. The 5-foot-6 junior right-handed pitcher led her Blue Devils team to a 21-1 record and a berth in the Class AA state quarterfinals.  Julia posted a 17-1 record and a 0.06 ERA entering the state tournament, striking out 271 batters while scattering 23 hits and 16 walks. She also hit .351 through 22 games with 23 RBI. She is a two-time First Team All-State selection and was the Greater Rochester Co-Player of the Year as a sophomore.  Julia has maintained a B average in the classroom. A devoted member of her church community, she has volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics and has fundraised to benefit breast cancer awareness.  The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Julia as New York’s best high school softball player. She is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year award to be announced in this month.  Already committed to Division I Liberty University in Virginia, her NSR scout is Tom Sydeski, also helped Julia’s sister Alyssa to attend Liberty where she graduated in May as a senior pitcher. 

A fourth-round pick by the A's, Jordan Schwartz excelled at two positions for Niagara.

A fourth-round pick by the A’s, Jordan Schwartz excelled at two positions for Niagara.

Former NSR prospect and Niagara University Purple Eagle, Jordan Schwartz, was selected last week by the Oakland Athletics in the fourth round with the 132nd pick of the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.  Jordan, a 6’2″ right-handed pitcher and outfielder from Hornell, N.Y., is the second highest drafted player in NU’s history.  Schwartz was the ace on the staff during the 2014 season, leading Niagara in ERA (3.12), starts (14) and complete games (five).  He also led the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in strikeouts with 109, including a league-best 31 strike-outs by looking. He finished the season fifth in the conference with a 3.12 ERA and third with an opposing batting average of .217.  Jordan made 38 starts in the outfield as well, batting .258 for the season with 31 hits, three doubles, 20 RBIs and scoring 13 runs.  He earned All-MAAC Second Team honors as a pitcher and was named First Team All-MAAC by College Sports Madness. Jordan was also selected to the 2014 Gregg Olson Award watch list which recognizes college baseball’s breakout players across the nation.

When asked why he chose Niagara coming out of high school, the two-time All-MAAC performer replied, “Niagara’s academic and athletic opportunities seemed to guarantee the chance to fulfill my goals.  Coach (Rob) McCoy was a big factor.  He presented Niagara academics and baseball with promise, pledging to build the team and the players to the highest level.”

In response to Jordan’s being drafted, Coach McCoy said, “”I am extremely proud of Jordan and few deserve it more than him.  He worked extremely hard and made himself what he is today. He’s a perfect example of what can be achieved when using trials and struggles to get stronger and tougher, instead of getting consumed by them. I look forward to him growing even more as a pro.”

Jordan’s NSR scout was Tom Sydeski.

Georgi Salant, two-time NCAA All-America, recently earned the DIII individual crown.

Georgi Salant, two-time NCAA All-America, recently earned the DIII individual crown.

Seven years ago, when Georgiana Salant became an NSR prospect in Southern California, her expectations were relatively simple – to play college golf.  Today, Georgi not only can say that she accomplished that early goal, but that she has also achieved an objective which was incomprehensible when she was a high school freshman.  Today, Georgi is a two-time First Team All-America and individual NCAA national champion for the Williams College Ephs in Willamston, Mass.

Playing the grueling course at the Mission Inn and Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla, Georgi fought through a rough stretch in Round One when she had five bogies in six holes to fire a steady 76 in the final 18 holes to win the individual DIII crown by two strokes.  But if being Medalist at the national tournament was something Georgi had only dreamed about, her head coach, Erika DeSanty, had given it much more thought.

“I just told Georgi that I have been picturing this for four years,” DeSanty said. “I’ve imagined walking down the final fairway with her having a chance to win the national championship. I don’t even have the words to describe how proud this makes me. She’s done so much for this program. It’s awesome.  It was four days of masterful course management.  She played smart and did exactly what she needed to do to score. Overall, she showed a lot of maturity and I have never seen her strike the ball so well and confidently.”

The Williams team also excelled by placing third overall in the team competition, a new benchmark for the program.

In an interview with Richard Lord of the Berkshire Eagle, Georgi added, “I’m not going to lie, I’ve thought about it once or twice, and to have it come true is pretty amazing.  Actually, I was pretty calm.  I tried to stay process-oriented and the fact I was also playing for the team and not just for myself helped me stay focused and not think about the end result.”

Moreover, Geori’s individual win and the team’s third place trophy helped the Ephs snag the 2014 NCAA DIII Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, giving Williams back-to-back titles and 17 overall Cups of the 19 awarded in NCAA Division III athletic competition.

And for an encore?  Georgi is off to Boulder, Colo., where she will be entering graduate school at the University of Colorado in pursuit of her next goal – a master’s degree in chemistry.  No one in NSR Nation doubts that Georgi will make that dream come true, too.



Alcohol and athletes

Over the weekend, an interesting tweet came across my Twitter account.  The first thing that caught my attention was that it was a re-tweet from Missy Tiber.  Coach Tiber was the head women’s basketball coach at Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, N.C., when I was an NSR scout.  I visited the Belmont Abbey campus numerous times and always stopped by Missy’s office to say hello and to talk about her team and her recruiting needs.   We would often run into each other at regional girls basketball showcases and tournaments.  Over time we developed a nice relationship.  She went on to become the head women’s coach at Southern Illinois University and today is the head women’s hoops coach at the University of Northern Alabama.  So, when I saw her name attached to a tweet, I was naturally curious to read what she thought significant enough to pass along to others.  Here was that tweet: “A weekend of hard drinking erases a week of hard training. Alcohol=poison for athletes, trashes the body, slows & weakens you in every way.”

That short statement became the inspiration for this blog entry.  As often is the case, once the corner of a page is turned, it is impossible for me to not turn it in full and see what the next page has to offer.  In this case, I immediately wanted to find out more facts about the effects of alcohol on athletic training, especially on high school athletes.  Off I went on an adventure into Cyber World to find what lay beneath the tweet.

As it turned out, however, I didn’t have to search far to find the perfect article, “Alcohol and Athletes.”  Published by the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education at Notre Dame University, this exceptional piece of information is backed by well-founded research and covers the topics How Alcohol Affects Muscle Development and Recovery and How Alcohol Affects Your Ability to Learn New Plays and Strategies.  Sidebar topics are wide-ranging and helpful in delving deeper into this important aspect of athletics. It even goes so far as to provide a list of NCAA banned drugs and the specific NCAA rules to which the use or abuse of alcohol and drugs apply.


Getting an early start in the recruiting process makes all the difference in the world.

Getting an early start in the recruiting process makes all the difference in the world.

You’ve heard the numbers. On average only about 1 in 15 high school senior athletes go on to participate in college athletics. Many more want to, yes, but line up 100 seniors and you can count on a paltry 6.6 of them getting the opportunity to live their dream.

So what makes the difference? What happens to cause the 93.4% to fall short?

First, parents and prospects must realize that recruiting is a ruthless competition. It is, in fact, the most competitive environment a high school student-athlete will ever encounter. What happens on the court, field or diamond pales in comparison.

Second, high school, club and travel coaches are not typically savvy in regards to recruiting, so the advice they offer is often outdated or inaccurate.

Third, parents too often choose cheap, ineffective promotional vehicles to get their athletes’ profiles in the hands of college coaches.

Fourth, parents simply wait too late to begin the process.

The sad note to add is that each year there are thousands of deserving high school athletes whose dreams go unfulfilled. That does not need to happen. When athletes enter the recruiting process in the eighth, ninth or tenth grades, their chances of grabbing the attention of multiple college coaches increases exponentially over juniors and seniors. The driving forces are relationship building and broad exposure. Neither of these can happen by posting info on free Internet sites or enlisting fly-by-night recruiting services.

Think back, please, to the odds we cited at the start of this article. To beat those kinds of odds, parents and prospects have to be proactive once the athlete makes it clear that he or she wants to play collegiately. That is when the competition for a scholarship starts and every day of procrastination gives the advantage to another prospect that takes the initiative to begin right away instead of waiting.