MEET OUR SCOUTS
Jason Lauren, who lives in Milwaukee, Wis., is the Owner and a Scout for ScoutU. Since 2008, he has helped over 300 athletes from the Midwest move on to play in college to programs at every level across the country — from major NCAA Division I schools like Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Missouri and Purdue to Division III and JUCOs. The athletes he has guided through the recruiting process have committed to 136 colleges in 25 different states, from Arizona to Florida, Texas to Massachusettes and accross the Midwest.
Jason has implemented recruiting methods for his athletes that have resulted in millions of dollars of scholarships. Through his personal conversations with college coaches over the years and going through the recruiting process with hundreds of athletes, he has learned the ins and outs of how the recruiting process works and how to best guide athletes and their families through it. Jason has established relationships with hundreds of colleges coaches at all levels, most of which have come by meeting in person at games and events. He has given recruiting seminars for many events, teams and schools. Jason has been featured in the Milwaukee Business Journal and has been mentioned in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel many times when his athletes have made their college commitments. He employed two scouts who became scouts with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Jason started his career as an award-winning sports journalist. He worked for the Green Bay Press-Gazette as a sports copy editor and reporter, covering hockey and writing a fantasy football column. He self-syndicated the column to papers around the country, including the Chicago Tribune. He also was the sports editor and a sports reporter for the Freeport (Ill.) Journal Standard. During Jason’s sports journalism career, he connected with several college coaches, learning how to communicate effectively with them. He graduated with a BS degree in entrepreneurship and minored in journalism at Northern Michigan University. He grew up in Ishpeming, Mich., a small town in the Upper Peninsula, and graduated from Westwood High School.
Jason resides in Greendale, Wis., with his wife, Laurie, 8-year-old daughter, Maisey, and their yellow-lab mix dog, Dorsey.
Jon Feyen is ScoutU’s General Manager and Ohio scout. As General Manager, Jon handles scout hiring, social media, updating athlete websites, writing prospect commitment stories and appointment setting. Jon owns nine years of experience working in college athletics. He managed events, kept statistics, wrote articles, operated social media and helped coaches with their recruiting. Jon’s resume includes experience at Division I, Division III and NAIA schools. He has worked hundreds of college basketball, baseball and football games, so he knows the talent required to compete at that level.
More than half the golfers Jon advised have committed to Division I programs, including Timmy Gannon (Elon), Elise Hoven (North Dakota State), Grace Durkin (Loyola), Kate Bogenschutz (Montana), Lauren Lupinek (Western Michigan), Lorenza Martinez (Loyola) and Elliott Nielsen (Northern Iowa). Jon also has worked with prospects in baseball and basketball, including Savannah Walsdorf who scored 1,538 points with 792 rebounds for Dakota State University.
Jon worked in advance scouting and video for the Milwaukee Brewers during 2018. He is constantly involved in the local sporting scene, owning experience with Minor League Baseball (2013-17), NBA G-League Basketball (2017-18) and several high school state championships. Jon also handled media relations and official statistics for the NCAA Division III World Series from 2008-17. Jon owns a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a master’s degree in sports management from Cardinal Stritch University (WI). His writing profile includes a published book (How Twitter Changed Sports Journalism) and the 2016 Spira Research Award for his thesis, “Analytics: The New Currency of MLB.” Jon and his wife, Brennan, have been married since 2019.
Jake Anders, who lives in Tampa, FL, has always been involved in sports and fitness. He played baseball from Little League to college club baseball and still plays in adult leagues to this day. Growing up in northern Virginia, Jake attended many Washington Nationals games and grew to love the sport of baseball. In 2015, Jake graduated from South Lakes High school in Reston, Va., playing all 4 years on the baseball team. Jake then enrolled to study at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC. In the spring of 2016, Jake founded the College of Charleston club baseball team. He took on the role as a player/coach and the team traveled all over the southeast to play in tournaments. To this day, the club team is still active and getting college students to continue their baseball careers.
In the spring of 2019, Jake interned for the scouting company Evolution Metrix. He traveled all over the southeast, scouting high school and college baseball. He built player profiles, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. The information collected was sent into a database for professional scouts to use. Some of the schools he scouted include Vanderbilt, University of South Carolina, College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and Clemson.
Jake graduated from the College of Charleston in 2019. After college, Jake was a performance coach for youth to D1 athletes. As a performance coach, he trained a wide variety of athletes including soccer, lacrosse, softball and baseball. Today, he continues to work with the general population as a personal trainer on the importance of exercise and nutrition.
Aaron “A.J.” Blackmon resides in Houston, Texas, where he was born and raised. A.J. has been involved in multiple sporting ventures over the last 10 years, as a player and as a coach/trainer. He has trained athletes ranging from 7 to 18 years old at Redline Athletics-Webster in Houston. There, his knowledge and expertise of performance and youth development were used to identify, correct and educate young athletes’ overall and sport-specific inefficiencies. During his time there, he trained with multiple college-level athletes across many sports (softball, baseball, football, soccer, basketball and Junior Olympic athletes). A.J. is a certified trainer and is actively pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management at the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
A.J. joined the United States Air Force in 2013 and while serving his country, he also developed skills to mentor/teach young athletes from multiple sports. While stationed abroad and overseas, A.J. had the opportunity to coach and mentor high school, college and professional European teams (for football and track & field). He then finished his enlistment in 2020, where he started to focus 100% of his efforts into youth development and sports performance.
LINDA BLACKWELL BENTLEY
Linda Blackwell Bentley, who lives in Chicago, Ill., is a former collegiate women’s basketball player at the University of Illinois-Chicago – an NCAA Division I school — and has coached both girls high school tennis and basketball. A three-sport All-Conference and All-Sectional varsity athlete in tennis, basketball and softball at a high school with over 3,200 students, she also was named All-State honorable mention in basketball and invited to tryout for the Pan American Games/Junior Olympics after graduation. Linda was recruited by various colleges and still has her National Letter of Intent from the University of Alabama-Huntsville, an NCAA Division II school. She was offered a full scholarship to play in both tennis and basketball there. Instead, she decided to accept a full scholarship and play for Illinois-Chicago and a was a top basketball player during her career there, averaging 14.4 points a game and being in the top 20 in career field goals made. Linda was the varsity basketball coach at Beacon Academy High School in Evanston, Ill., during the 2019-20 season. Linda earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and art education at UIC. She has made a career in business of graphic design and created marketing materials for various clients, including the Chicago Blackhawks and Nike. Additionally, she manages an art collection. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has acquired a portion of the collection to become part of its permanent collection.
Darrien Gordon, who lives in Richardson, Texas, is two-time Super Bowl champion and a former first-round selection in the NFL (San Diego Chargers, 1993). He enjoyed a 10-year career as a cornerback and punt returner for the San Diego Chargers, Denver Broncos, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers. He is a four-time All-Pro selection and was on the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl-winning teams in 1998 and 1999. He holds the all-time Super Bowl record for most interception return yards (108) set in 1999. He is also ranks fourth all-time in NFL punt return yardage.
Darrien attended Stanford University, where he was an All- Pac 10 selection as a defensive back. In high school, he was a two-time state champion in wrestling (1987 at 141 pounds and 1989 at 178 pounds) for the Shawnee (Okla.) Wolves. Darrien has experience as a football coach at the collegiate level, serving as an intern coach for Pittsburg State University in 2013. He has a passion for helping young student-athletes. As a volunteer coach for youth sports, he coached football, basketball and baseball in Southlake, Texas. He has coached and mentored several players who have played in the NFL as well as many who played at the collegiate level.
Darrien has four children, three of whom earned full athletic scholarships (Jalil at Towson University and Tariq at Lamar University, both in football; and Nailah at North Carolina State in volleyball). His youngest daughter, Aminah, is a senior at Southlake Carroll High School.
Brianna Kadiku, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has been involved with volleyball for over 12 years. After high school in 2016, she then went on to become a NCAA Division I collegiate women’s volleyball player at the University of Memphis on a full scholarship. Shortly after her sophomore season at Memphis, she transferred to the University of Oklahoma in 2018. There, Brianna was able to compete against some of the top NCAA Division I teams in the country and played in the NCAA Tournament. Brianna graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 2020. After her successful career at Oklahoma, she pursued her dream of being a professional volleyball player overseas. She played on teams in Paris, France and Suhl, Germany, while traveling and competing all over the world.
Brianna has garnered experience in volleyball not only from playing but also coaching. She has coached a multitude of volleyball camps that range from middle school to high school players. Every summer she travels to different schools across the country to coach camps and spread her knowledge of volleyball to young promising athletes. Along with coaching camps, she coaches club volleyball in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well. Through her experience in volleyball, she has made connections not only in Texas but across the country and the world.
Her love for volleyball started in the 7th grade, where she also played other sports, such as track and basketball. Volleyball quickly became her main sport when she started playing club volleyball in 9th grade.
Candelario G. Montes Jr. (Cande) who lives in Midland, Texas, is a former college baseball player at Odessa College at the NJCAA D1 level and Hardin-Simmons University (NCAA D3 school). He accepted a full scholarship at Odessa College as a utility player. Cande played for the Wranglers for 2 years, helping the team make the Regional Tournament in both seasons. He was the No. 4 starter on the pitching rotation and also played first base and left field. Cande transferred to Hardin-Simmons in Abilene, Texas. I was the No. 2 starter on the pitching rotation and played some first base. After Cande’s collegiate experience, he then moved back to the Permian Basin in Odessa and lived there for 12 years before moving back to Midland. While back in the Permian Basin, he privately started up a baseball/softball facility in Odessa in 2012. Cande also decided to pursue his passion to coach baseball and started a select travel baseball organization under Conference Baseball Academy before adding select travel softball. Cande graduated from Kermit High School in 1996, lettering in baseball all 4 years. In those 4 years, he was awarded Newcomer of the Year during his freshman year, District Co-MVP during his sophomore year, 1st-Team All-Conference during his junior year and District MVP and All-Permian Basin MVP during his senior year.
Jacksonville, FL & Western Australia
Wes Morgan is from Charlotte, NC, lives in Australia and plans on moving to the Jacksonville, FL, area. He was one of the top recruits in the U.S. out of high school. Wes received over 15 NCAA Division I scholarship offers. He signed to the top 3-point shooting school in all of Division I with the University of North Florida. Wes finished out his playing career at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, NC (NCAA D2). Wes then went on to play three seasons of professional basketball in Australia. He has helped sign multiple players to collegiate scholarship offers, some of which now are all-conference players in college in the U.S. Wes has been the head coach of many teams, including the Charlotte Panthers AAU, Devonport Warriors U16s (Tasmania, Australia) More Than Conquerors B Grade Men (Western Australia) and More Than Conquerors U18 (Western Australia). He has also been the assistant coach on various teams and universities, including Ardrey Kell High School, Converse University (grad player/coach) and Lees-McRae College JV program. Wes has also been building basketball clubs in Australia and most recently a faith-based club in Bunbury, Western Australia, called More Than Conquerors Basketball Club. These positions have made Wes fall in love with bettering other people’s lives and building a winning culture. His passion is recruiting, coaching, leading, mentoring and developing.
Wes lives in Bunbury, Western Australia, with his wife, Lindsey.
David Pender, who lives in Waycross, Ga., has been involved with sports as a player and a coach for more than 20 years. He attended Charlton County High School and graduated in 2006. During his time, he won 13 state titles between football and track and field. David ended his high school career as the most decorated high school athlete in Charlton County history. David attended Purdue University (2006-2009) as a defensive back. He received 2nd-Team All-Big Ten honors his senior year. He also received the Red Mackey Award, and award that recognizes athletes who exemplify the overall success of the university’s intercollegiate athletic programs. In 2010, David was a free agent signee for the Philadelphia Eagles. He also spent time with the Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals during the 2010-2011 season. After his playing career, David began teaching and coaching at the high school level (2013). He coached football, track and field and basketball in Charlton County for 7 years. He later moved to Waycross, Ga.,to serve as an assistant football coach and head track coach at Ware County High School. In 2022, Ware County won its first football state championship.
He has coached and mentored kids who are currently playing at the collegiate level in football and women’s basketball. David has trained athletes, ranging from ages 9 to 20 years old in Georgia. He has developed a true passion for mentoring and developing young athletes in southeast Georgia and northeast Florida. David is married to the former Starion Byrd.
St. Louis, MO
Dino Polimeropoulos, who lives in St. Charles, Mo., has played, refereed and coached soccer for over 40 years. He played at Webster University, has coached club soccer for over 10 years, including Panathinaikos Soccer Academy, Lou Fusz Soccer Academy and was a Director of College Recruiting for Juventus soccer Academy in St. Louis. Currently, Dino is coaching high soccer at St. Charles West, both the boys and the girls programs.
Dino has developed many relationships and contacts with college coaches, many of which call Dino with their recruiting needs. Over the years, Dino has developed an extensive database of colleges and coaches that is very detailed and very analytical. He has extensive knowledge of evaluating players and fitting them correctly to a college that is suited for the player and the player’s family needs.
Born in Lamia Greece, Dino has lived in the United States for over 40 years and has an MBA in finance and a masters in international business. Dino has been married to his wife, Laura, for over 26 years and they have two children, Bessie and Johnathan.
Andre Ratliff, who lives in Dallas, Texas, has over 20 years of basketball experience. He has been involved on all levels, including playing, coaching and training. Andre accepted a scholarship to play basketball at Grambling State University, where he was named Freshman of the Year, 1st-Team All-Conference, 2nd-Team All-Conference, Preseason Player of the Year and was voted to the Top 10 Best Basketball Players in the State of Louisiana (2007). He scored 1,000 points in 3 seasons at Grambling State.
Andre went on to coach and train athletes of all different levels, with the most recent stints at the Dallas Premier 17U AAU basketball club, OTF Academy Prep and post-graduates. Andre attended Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep High School, where he was an all-around athlete, playing 4 years of varsity basketball, 3 years of varsity football and 2 years of varsity baseball.
MICHAEL POPS SIMS
Michael “Pops” Sims, who lives in Dallas, Texas, and is from Grand Rapids, Mich., played basketball at Marquette University (1984-88) as a point guard and captain. He played 9 years professionally in the World League in Europe, the Global League and the Continental Basketball Association. Pops is the founder/director of Pops Sims Elite Basketball Services and is an Executive Director for Elite Player Development Academy. He has coached AAU teams and also at Christian High School in Grand Rapids. Pops was a high school all-American in 1984.
Autumn Sander, who lives in Orlando, FL, has always been passionate about sports and athletics. She played soccer from a very young age and though 5 years of college. Autumn grew up playing at the ENCL club level, was a 2-year starter on the Florida Olympic Development Program Team and played semi-professional (Women’s Premier Soccer League) during her summers home from college. In 2016, Autumn graduated from Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, FL, playing all 4 years on the varsity soccer team. In the fall of 2016, Autumn committed to play college soccer at Daytona State College. During her first year, she suffered her second traumatic knee injury requiring surgery. Because of her injury, she was offered another season of eligibility at Daytona State. After her 2 1/2 years as a Falcon, she transferred to Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN, to continue her college career.
During the summer of 2018, Autumn worked for a company called Challenger Sports. There, she traveled up and down the East Coast of the country coaching youth soccer and implementing soccer strategies ranging from simple possession of the ball to switching the field, formations and breaking away from defenders. She graduated from Cumberland University in 2021 with her bachelor’s degree in sport management, receiving the Sport Management Award (the highest degree in her program). Autumn had a sport information internship at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. She was responsible for writing press releases, designing publications, compiling statistics and records for dissemination for the media, community and opposing teams. She also assisted in the maintenance of the athletic facilities.
Jeff Taylor lives in Sarasota, Fla. Jeff has focused his career on coaching middle distance and long-distance runners, leading his high school athletes to multiple district, regional and individual state titles. He has 19 years of high school cross country/track and field experience. Having run on an athletic scholarship for Siena Heights University, a member of the NAIA, and having successfully transitioned high school athletes to college athletic programs throughout the country, Jeff has a unique understanding of the multiple factors that lead to a fulfilling and rewarding college athletic experience. The belief that relationships built on mutual goals has allowed Jeff to successfully place his athletes with college programs that meet both the athletes’ needs as well as the schools’ needs helping to cement relationships with both coaches and athletes. In addition to his coaching career, Jeff has worked as a teacher and in retail, using sales as a platform to introduce folks to a lifelong love of running. Jeff created a training program that grew from less than 10 participants to over 300 in just a couple of years. Helping folks set goals, identify the path to success and to achieve their goals has been his life’s work.
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