US Elite Baseball Staff


Mark Helsel : US Elite National Director

Mark Helsel

US Elite National Director

mark@markhelsel.com

Mark is a 1985 graduate of Mercer University in Macon, GA where he earned his degree in Interpersonal Communications. While at Mercer Mark was a 4 year starter as an infielder for the Division 1 Bears. Following college Mark moved to Atlanta, GA where where he began his career as a sales rep. He quickly became the number one sales rep in the country for Goldwell International Hair Care products. He then was hired by Allstate Insurance company where he was one of the top producing agents in the southeast region, as well as one of the youngest. A self proclaimed serial entrepreneur, Mark started his first business at age 25 and has been self employed for 28 years. He has started and sold 5 successful businesses, all of which are still thriving companies today. One of Mark's companies was a network marketing distributorship in Germany that he grew from 1 person (himself) to over 10,000 distributors in a three year period from 1999-2002. During that time, Mark lived in Germany and learned to speak fluent German.

Today, Mark lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Dotty, who is an educator in the public school system. They have been married for 23 years. Together, they have three children, Christian (Penn State Grad), Lexi (attends Penn State) and Zack (RHP at Miami Dade CC).

Mark started the US Elite Baseball organization in 2006 with a simple goal of giving a small group of above average 13U players in Pennsylvania a chance to develop as athletes, baseball players and young men. He used his networking skills and experience to develop strong relationships with college coaches and pro scouts. By the time that group were seniors in high school 21 of them received D1 scholarships. See Commitments here.

Since those humble beginnings Helsel has attracted an incredibly talented staff of like minded leaders who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of the US Elite players. Collectively they have built one of the most respected player development programs in the country. Mark has worked as an Associate Major League Scout for the Florida Marlins and the Kansas City Royals.


Matt LaNeve : Head Coach PA 2018s

Matt LaNeve

Head Coach PA 2018s

drlaneve@comcast.net

Matt LaNeve lives in Gibsonia,PA, just north of Pittsburgh. He played High School and Collegiate baseball before attending Dental School at Case Western Reserve University. He has been coaching AAU / Travel baseball and College Showcase baseball for the last 25 years and has helped hundreds of players reach their dream of playing baseball in college. Matt's US Elite teams have gone 120-7 over the last two seasons. Matt and his wife Dayna have been married for 25 years and have 5 children, Zac, Allie, Cody, Troy, and Christian.His oldest son, Zac (2011), was drafted by the Florida Marlins and had over 50 scholarship offers while playing for our organizations first team. Cody (2015), a talented middle infielder, was following the same path before concussions cost him the last two seasons. Troy (2019) currently plays for US Elite/Team Majestic and is committed to Vanderbilt. Allie attends Ohio State and Christian is 11 yrs old and looking forward to playing for US Elite. As a result of past experiences Matt is a wealth of knowledge as it pertains to the college recruiting process.


Jason Ferber : Director of 2019 Grads

Jason Ferber

Director of 2019 Grads

jason_ferber@yahoo.com

Jason was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and after an impressive high school and American Legion career, he relocated to Redwood City, California in 1996 to play baseball for Canada College, a Division 3 school of the California Coastal Conference.  After College, he moved to San Francisco and continued to play independent baseball for 5 years for the KC Monarchs of the SFNABA, based out of Oakland, California.

Jason began his coaching career working for Cepeda Youth Development, a nonprofit organization based on the west coast in the Bay Area.  For 5 years, he assisted in running numerous baseball camps and clinics throughout the United States.  He has been a key hitting and infield instructor, teaching both beginner and advanced offensive and defensive techniques to children and teams of all ages.  Jason was the full time head coach of the  NYC Stars Travel Team since 2010.  He worked individually with many advanced players at their indoor facility located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  Through hard work and dedication, he restructured and transformed their program into a highly competitive team.  He also works with small groups of advanced varsity high school players at several private and charter schools in New York City.  He focuses on designing explosive strength and weight-training regiments for some of their most distinguished athletes.

Jason brings a different type of energy when communicating with young players.  His passion for imparting knowledge to younger generations is seldom seen in this industry.  As a result of his genuine enthusiasm and innovative teaching style, Jason has received glowing recommendations from players and parents alike.  His motivational energy is extremely contagious, making him an indispensable part of any baseball organization. He cofounded NYC Sharks Baseball (an elite tournament team) in 2013 and is now in his second year as the head coach of the US Elite 13u team. Jason married the woman of his dreams, Anna Thongthap Ferber, in July of 2014. They are looking forward to starting a beautiful life and young family together.  He is  also the NY State Director of the United States Baseball Network.


Jason Phillips : Head Coach PA 15U

Jason Phillips

Head Coach PA 15U

jasphillips33@gmail.com

Jason was the TOPPS Pennsylvania State Player of the Year in 1991 and played in the US Olympic Festival/USA Baseball in Los Angeles, CA. In 1992 he played in the USA Baseball National Championships in Boise, Idaho.

As a RHP, he was drafted in 1992 in the 14th round by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He signed a professional contract, after turning down a full scholarship to North Carolina State University.

Jason played professionally from 1992-2006 and made his Major League Debut in 1999 with the Pirates. Over the span of his stellar career, Jason played with the Pirates, Indians, Tampa, Baltimore and Orix (Japan). In 1995 he played in the Minor League All-star game (South Atlantic League - A), 2001 in the Baseball World Championships for Team USA in Taipei, Taiwan. In 2002-03 he was a Minor League All-star (International League - AAA) and in 2005 he played in the Baseball World Championships for Team USA in Holland, Netherlands

After such an amazing career, Jason has a world of experience and knowledge to give back to the next generation of players. He is a gifted instructor and coach and has a real passion to teach the game.

Jason is married and has 3 children. He graduated from Hughesville High School in Hughesville, PA. Jason is a financial planner for Merrill Lynch.


Larry McCabe : 16U Head Coach

Larry McCabe

16U Head Coach

larry.w.mccabe@gmail.com

Coach Larry McCabe lives in Portage, Pa. He played baseball at Portage Area High School and Mercer University, where he received a full baseball scholarship. Coach McCabe just finished his 38th year as head coach at Portage Area High School where he has never had a loosing season.

Coach McCabe has helped many players move on and play college baseball, including Mark Helsel, the U.S. Elite National Director. Larry has provided private instructions for baseball since 1986 when he started at the ATEC Grand Slam. He has also was an associate scout for the Atlanta Braves for 15 years. Additionally, he has worked many college baseball instructional camps. 

Larry and his wife Karen have been married 35 years and have tree children, Brianne, Ashlee and Zachary. He also has 2 grandchildren, Reese and Ellis.

Larry has been a very successful coach and provides a variety of instructional tips for coaching clinics where he stresses practice organization and fundamentals of baseball. Larry has a tremendous passion for the game.


Tom Ott : 13U Head Coach

Tom Ott

13U Head Coach

ott3boys@verizon.net

Coach Tom Ott graduated from Montoursville High School in 1989 and comes from a baseball family. His uncle, Ed Ott, was a catcher for the 1979 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Coach Ott has coached at all levels including youth baseball programs, junior baseball teams, successful elite travel teams and high school. He has also has served as a private instructor over the past 12 years.

 


Jeff Grande : Head Coach 2020 South

Jeff Grande

Head Coach 2020 South

Doubleplay2615@gmail.com

Jeff was raised in Massachusetts and graduated from Mt Greylock Regional HS, Williamstown, MA after a standout career in football and baseball. He was recruited by college hall of fame coach Jack Leggett who had head coaching positions at UVM, Western Carolina and Clemson. Coach Grande played baseball for Coach Leggett at Western Carolina and graduated in 1986 and then played professionally in Europe.

After obtaining a Master's degree in Sports Medicine and Medical Training as a Physician Assistant for which he still works full time as a PA in Cardiothoracic Surgery he returned to baseball 25 years ago and began his coaching career.

Coach Grande has coached all levels of baseball including youth, High School, and with USA baseball in the summer of 2012 coaching the future Stars 16u team.

Coach Grande's passion is helping players develop and maximizing their potential not only as ball players but as young men. He is particularly interested in developing the mental approach to the game as that part is not practiced or talked about enough at the younger age groups.

Coach Grande is also very excited about being part of an organization that has not only a clear vision but also a plan to help players achieve their goals of playing D1 baseball.

Coach Grande is married to Donna Grande and live in Clayton, NC. Together they have 3 children, the oldest Danielle now a sophomore at UNCW, and boy girl twins who are freshman in High School. Saige is competitive on the Horse Show circuit and Andrew plays for the  US Elite 2020 team.


Corey Twigg : 12U/PA Head Coach

Corey Twigg

12U/PA Head Coach

CTWIGG@montoursville.k12.pa.us

High School Playing Career:

Montoursville HS in Montoursville. PA - The Warriors

Twigg played his HS ball for the Montoursville Warriors from 1992-1997.  During his time there, he was as a member of 2 District Championship TEAMS, a State Runner-Up TEAM, and an Undefeated State Championship TEAM.  The State Championship TEAM ended the season ranked 3rd in the nation by the USA Today Newspaper.

This Warrior TEAM was also the only undefeated TEAM ranked in the top 10, with a record of 24-0.

College Playing Career:

Towson State University in Towson, MD

Twigg then went on to earn a scholarship and play Division 1 Baseball for the Towson State University Tigers (1992-1997) as a catcher/DH.  While at Towson, he was a 2-Year Starter and Letter-Winner.  He also was honored twice by being placed on the All-Academic Big South Conference TEAM.  The Tigers were not able to capture any championships while Twigg was there, and His playing career would end there, after his 3rd and final elbow surgery.

HS Coaching Career:

Twigg's HS coaching career would start just 1 year later (at age 24), as he became the Head Coach of the Montgomery Red Raiders (Montgomery, PA) in 1998.  He would coach there for 2 seasons, before taking over as the head coach of his alma mater, the Montoursville Warriors for 9 seasons (2000-2007, and 2009).  His coaching career at Montoursville was highlighted with a trip to the 2006 AAA State Championship Game in Altoona.  They finished as the State Runner-up.  He enjoyed 3 District Championships while coaching there, and also collected his 200th win as a PA HS coach during that time.  Twigg’s winning percentage was was 80% as a HS Coach.  He is most proud though, of sending numerous players off to every Division in college baseball, including D1.

After walking away from Montoursville in 2009, due to his wife's battle with breast cancer, Twigg returned to the HS diamond, and had the honor of coaching with a former Major Leaguer.  He became the Assistant Coach under the direction of Casey Waller (Virginia Tech/Philadelphia Phillies) of the Hughesville Spartans (Hughesville, PA).  That season ended with the school's 1st ever District Championship in baseball, and a deep run into the PIAA State Playoffs.

Twigg has been employed by the Baseball Factory as a coach, scout, and player advisor.  He also enjoys doing private instruction with all of the different parts of the game.  Baseball has allowed him to travel all over the country coaching, teaching, evaluating, rating, observing, recruiting, and video-taping.

Finally, Twigg is a Christian who has been happily married for 19 years to his wife, Lori.  He also has 2 very special daughters.  Lakenna, age 15, and Cienna age 9.


Jason Aspito : Hitting Instructor

Jason Aspito

Hitting Instructor

backyarduniversity2012@gmail.com

In high school Jason was rated the number 87th High School Prospect in the country by Baseball America in 1997.  He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 45th round of the 1997 draft, but opted to attend the University of Texas where he was named most valuable player of the 1998 NBC World Series.  After a transfer to Loyola Marymount University, he was named to the WCC All-Conference team.  Drafted once again by the White Sox in the 9th round in 2000, he was later traded to the Angels in 2003.  He was named to the Texas League All Star team in 2006 and then played for Anaheim at their Triple A level in Salt Lake City.  Aspito hit a combined 42 homers in his 21/2 seasons with the York revolution.He was named Revolution team MVP in 2008 and named an Atlantic League All Star. Jason is  the former head coach of the Penn State York baseball team and has recently been named an associate scout for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  He is also  Heads up the Backyard University Gamers baseball program..


Travis Blankenhorn : Hitting Instructor

Travis Blankenhorn

Hitting Instructor

ablanky@comcast.net

Travis began playing in the US Elite organization at the age of 13. He quickly established himself as a very “high ceiling” prospect. A three sport standout at Pottsville HS, Travis’s incredible work ethic earned him the distinction of being one of the top ranked players in the country. He earned a scholarship to play baseball in the SEC at the University of Kentucky. Following his senior year of high school Travis was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 3rd round. Travis will begin his first year of professional baseball this coming spring.


Chris Reyes : Catching Instructor

Chris Reyes

Catching Instructor

athelitepd@yahoo.com

Chris is an expert in catching and a writing contributor for nationally known STACK Magazine. Chris writes articles for their magazines and website to educate young athletes.. Chris is the former catching coach at D1 Long Island University - Brooklyn. While there, each year his catchers started or ended up as all North East Conference 1st team catchers. While at LIU he received his strength coach certification through The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). After studying and learning under his mentor Richard James (LIU Head Strength and Olympic runner) he created the Catching philosophy Catchermtrx to educate and prepare catchers at a level that has never been seen before.Chris' passion is in developing not only catchers, but athletes to prepare them for sport and life.


Mike Malone : Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Mike Malone

Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Mike has his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA, the world’s premier strength and conditioning certification. He has an extensive background working with athletes at every level including National Champions, World Champions and Gold Medalists. Mike has trained a 1st Round Pick in all the Major Sports. His baseball training started with the Los Angeles Angels with the likes of Mike Napoli, Joh Lackey, Howie Kendrick and Jared Weaver. He was the Strength and conditioning Coach For the 2007, 2009, and 2010 University of Minnesota Baseball team who made the NCAA Tournament.  He was also the Strength and conditioning Coach for the 2012 University of Kentucky Basketball National Champions.  Mike brings a wide range of knowledge to all of his training programs through his experience in collegiate and Professional strength and conditioning and 15 plus years of personal experience. Some of the athletes he has trained are Anthony Davis,Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Brandon Knight, Enes Kanter, Nerlens Noel.


Max McDowell : Catching Instructor

Max McDowell

Catching Instructor

maxmcdowell@rocketmail.com

Max played for US Elite (then Norcal and Canes) starting at the age of 13. Max was one of the top ranked catchers in PA and was nationally ranked. Highly recruited out of high school, Max accepted a scholarship to UConn where he became a 3 year starter. After his sophomore year Max played in the prestigious Cape Cod league. In the June, 2015 MLB draft, Max was selected in the 13th round by the Milwaukee Brewers. Max will begin his first full year of professional baseball this spring.


David Kloser : Mental Training

David Kloser

Mental Training

david@steppinguptotheplate.com

David Kloser, speaker, author and a Certified Mental Game Coach, believes as an athlete progresses, the mental side of the game becomes a major factor in determining his success. Coach Kloser works with athletes to help them improve focus, develop relaxation techniques to slow the game down, and build confidence so they can trust in their abilities. His book, “Stepping Up to the Plate”, where he personally interviewed over 300 prominent Major League players, coaches, managers and Hall of Famers confirms his coaching philosophy on what it takes to overcome adversity, prepare for success, and much more for life on and off the field.