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THUNDERCAT STAFF

*To get in contact with a staff member, click/press their name*

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Collin McBride - Owner

With a background in biomechanics, Collin oversees the hitting, performance training and off-season throwing programs. McBride, a native of Waterloo, attended Lakeside Lutheran High School in Lake Mills, WI. He continued his baseball career at the collegiate level for Northwestern College (IA), where he met Co-Owner Charles Davis, and graduated with a degree in Exercise Science/Strength and Conditioning in 2017. From 2019-2021, McBride served on the College of Central Florida staff as the Strength and Conditioning/Hitting Coach. In January 2022, Collin was a Low-A Hitting Coach position for the Down East Wood Ducks in the Texas Rangers organization.

In December 2022, Collin accepted a Minor League Hitting Coach position in the Minnesota Twins organization for the 2023 season.

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Charles Davis - Owner

Originally from Simi Valley, California, Charles attended and played baseball at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, California. After High School, Davis attended Northwestern College (IA) to continue his baseball career and degree. In 2015, he ranked #13 in the NAIA for batters struck out per 9 innings (11.48). In May 2017, Davis graduated from Northwestern College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. In the summer of 2017, he started his professional baseball career in the Pecos League of Professional Baseball with the Bakersfield Train Robbers(California). At the end of his first year of professional baseball, he recorded a 2.50 ERA, 25 IP, and 44 Ks and earned the closer role. In 2018, Charles signed a professional contract with the Lake Erie Crushers(Ohio) of the Frontier League.

 

In 2021, Charles launched the Dairyland Collegiate League, which is a wood bat collegiate summer baseball league that consists of current collegiate baseball players and college coaches from all across the world.

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Jonny Rivera - Director of Operations

Jonny is the Director of Operations, hitting instructor, and college recruiting coordinator for the high school teams. Rivera, originally from Lowell, Indiana, was an assistant coach at UW-Parkside (Wisconsin). Rivera is Driveline pitching and hitting certified. Previously, Rivera worked as an assistant coach for Hanover Central High School (Cedar Lake, IN) until the Covid-19 pandemic shut down the 2020 season. In the summer of 2022, Rivera managed the Waukesha Foxes of the Dairyland Collegiate League.

 

Rivera obtained an MBA in Sports Management with Concordia University of Chicago. He graduated from Lakeland University in the Summer of 2019 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and four years of collegiate baseball experience with the Muskies.

Ally Dowdell - Softball Instructor

From Waterloo, WI, Ally Dowdell attended Waterloo High School where she was a 4-year starter. While growing up, she played travel ball for a few local organizations. She attended Clarke University in Dubuque, IA to continue her softball career. In her 4-years as a starter at Clarke, she appeared in 208 games and pitched in 64 games. She currently holds the single season and career home run records. After playing her 4-years, she was hired as the assistant coach for the Clarke softball program. In 2019, Dowdell graduated from Clarke University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Currently, she is teaching and coaching softball in the Columbus School District.

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Eric Nelson - Sports Performance Coach

For the Thundercats, Eric is the Sports Performance Coach. Nelson is from DeKalb, Illinois where he played baseball for DeKalb High School. He came up to Wisconsin to play college baseball at Edgewood College in Madison. Eric pitched for Edgewood College from the 2019 season through the 2022 season. In his first three years on the mound for the Eagles, Eric was the closer before becoming a starter in his last season. In 2021 he recorded three saves and pitched to the second all-time in strikeouts per nine innings (12.65) in a single season.

 

Eric graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and is a certified strength and condition specialist.

Seth Feldman - Hitting/Catching Instructor

Originally from Platteville, Wisconsin. Feldman comes to Thundercat Sports Academy as an offseason baseball hitting and catching instructor. Entering his 6th year as a Minor League Manager with the Minnesota Twins Organization, Feldman primarily worked with catchers and infielders. From 2019-2021, he served as Manager of the Dominican Summer League Twins in Boca Chica, DR. In 2022, Feldman was promoted to manage the Florida Complex League Twins in Fort Myers, FL. Prior to the Minnesota Twins, he coached as a Volunteer Assistant at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where he worked in a variety of functions including coaching catchers, hitters, assisting with recruiting, and coordinating all UW-La Crosse youth camps and lessons.

Feldman is able to speak Spanish and continuing to work towards fluency. He played baseball all four years as a catcher for UW-La Crosse and played on the 2015 & 2016 College World Series teams. Feldman graduated with a bachelor's degree in Sports Management from UW-La Crosse in 2016 and completed a Master's in Coaching and Athletic Administration degree from Concordia University Irvine in 2023.

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Ashley Nelson - Softball Coach

Originally from Dekalb, IL, Ashley is going into her senior year at Wartburg College where she is a pitcher with a 3.07 ERA in 353.2 IP. Ashley is studying biochemistry and hopes to advance her degree after receiving her bachelors.

Brent Behling - Pitching Instructor

I grew up loving the game of baseball. I have been pitching since little league, and continued through college at Concordia University Wisconsin.  I underwent Tommy John surgery junior year and took a semester off of school to train with a MLB pitching coach. I came back and threw a successful senior year. I tried out for an independent league team in Chicago, and at that time, my throwing career was done. However, I still had a very strong passion for the game and now focus that passion on working with the youth.  I enjoy seeing the passion I had at that age, within these kids and look forward to a new chapter of coaching.  When I am not coaching, or working my full-time job, my time is focused on my family, my amazing wife, and being present in my 3 beautiful girls lives at home and school activities, also volunteering at our church.  

Joey McNaught - Baseball Instructor

Joseph Kalafut - Hitting Instructor

Kalafut is a native from Columbus, Wisconsin. He signed a professional contract with USPBL's Eastside Diamond Hoppers after his 2023 college season. During his 2023 season at Edgewood, he was named to the Second Team D3baseball.com All-Region, Second Team All-NACC, and NACC Scholar-Athlete while starting all 44 games for the Eagles. Kalafut led the team with a .500 on-base percentage, 1.128 OPS, 49 walks, tied for first in home runs (8) and runs batted in (44). He owns career records for home runs (19), doubles (54), games started (162), games played (164), and walks (120) for Edgewood College. 

Played for Columbus High School. First Team All-Conference selection senior year after helping lead the team to a conference and regional title. Kalafut received Honorable Mention All-Area and hit .417 for the season and over .500 in conference play. The team captured a conference title his junior year, the first for Columbus in 23 years.

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Kiersten Birr - Softball Coach

 

Originally from Sauk City, Wisconsin, Kiersten Birr graduated from Sauk Prairie High School. Growing up and all the way through high school, Kiersten learned to play softball and loved catching.  After high school, she attended UW-LaCrosse for a year and then transferred to UW-Platteville to finish her degree. She graduated from UW-Platteville with a degree in Elementary Education. While at UW-Platteville, she played four years of softball in the outfield.

 

In 2015, Kiersten started coaching softball at the high school level as an assistant coach. She also started coaching summer rec for the high school the same year and has been doing so ever since.  In 2017, she became co-head softball coach at Fall River High School.

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Eric Schuchardt - Softball Coach

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Victor Christianson - 14u Baseball

Victor is a recent graduate from Cambridge High School and is attending Viterbo University in Lacrosse. Victor will be a part of their baseball program, where he hopes to learn even more about coaching and managing a roster of 20+ players. Once his 2024 spring college season is over, he will be returning to his hometown of Stoughton, WI to continue coaching with the Thundercats 14u Team.

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