J. Ronald Oswalt—CEO
Ronald Oswalt, a Jackson, Mississippi native, graduated in the fall of 1989 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Health and Human Sciences. In 2000, he received the outstanding alumni award from the University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association. Oswalt has over 20 years experience in medical sales and marketing but sports have always been his passion. Last year, Oswalt served as Vice-President/General Manager for the Austin Turfcats professional arena football team. The team made the championship game in just the team’s first year in the Southern Indoor Football League. His team was recognized for having the best website and best media coverage among SIFL teams in 2009. He was also recognized by the Indoor Football Network as General Manager of the Year.
He has also worked for the Katy Copperheads of the National Indoor Football League, Texas Copperheads of the arena football league 2, and the Beaumont Drillers of the American Professional Football League. During his tenure with the arena football league 2 his media guide garnered several awards at league meetings.
Oswalt has also worked as active media covering the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans and the University of Southern Mississippi. He also has covered the Humanitarian Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Texas Bowl and Alamo Bowl for college football just to name a few.
Oswalt’s opinions on sports marketing have been used by NBC, CBS, ESPN, The Drudge Report, American Coaching Academy and the Washington Post just to name a few.
Oswalt is currently very active in the community serving as an ambassador with the San Marcos Texas Chamber of Commerce and San Marcos Lions Club . He is supported by his wife Machel of twenty one years and his two boys Aubrey and Hayden.
Follow Ronald at LinkedIn
Luke Sanders, CEO – Rivercity Sportswear
Luke Sanders, an Austin, Texas native, is a 2003 Texas Tech University graduate in Lubbock, Texas. He was a standout nose tackle for the Chaparrals of Austin Westlake where he graduated and found his love for sports in 2000.
Sanders serves as CEO for Rivercity Sportswear, a company started by his father Bob Sanders in 1978. RiverCity Sportswear, based in Austin, is one of the largest producers of high-quality custom screen printing, embroidery, graphic design & promotional products in Central Texas. They also supply corporate apparel, custom t-shirts and hats and screen-printing services nationwide. RiverCity is committed to being a great resource for cost effective marketing solutions. They service business associations, college and Greek life organizations, little leagues, school districts, the entertainment business, and a variety of non-profit organizations.
Sanders is supported by his wife Claudia, which is also active in daily operations and his two children Sarah and Luke. In 2010, Rivercity Sportswear produced over 1 million pieces of merchandise from the NBA to local schools. In Texas, Rivercity Sportswear sales representatives in Austin, San Marcos, San Antonio and Lubbock to meet your sportswear needs.
D.J. Picca, Co-Founder SME PREPS
Executive Sports Editor/National Recruiting Director
D.J. Picca joins the SME team to head up the newest SME Property with SME PREPS. Picca received his BS in EK ED from The Pennsylvania State University and MS in ED Leadership and MS in ED Research from The University of New Orleans.
“Dan, I really appreciate all the fantastic press you gave John Michael during his high school career. He completed his first year at Brown University. He started JV and made the varsity travel squad. Coaches think that he should get a lot of playing time next year. You were very gracious with your article written about John Michael. You will always have a special place in our heart. All the best.” Jeff Heile
“I appreciate all the time and effort Dan Picca put in to getting my tape out there and in front of the D1 coaches that mattered most to me.” Kylie Fitts (SR DL/Redlands East Valley HS in CA/USC commit)
“Thank you for helping me reach my dream. Coach Brewster offered and after discussing with my family, I accepted a few hours later. I’m an SEC player because you believed in my abilities.” Conner “White Lightning” O’Donnell (FR WR/Southlake Christian Academy in Charlotte, NC/Mississippi State commit)
“Like to thank Dan Picca III, the top recruiter/writer in the nation, for his assistance in the recruiting process. Have 15 offers. He is helping me get even more. Dude is relentless. No one like him in the business. Value his friendship and help.” Marcus Cox (SR ATH/Dacula HS in GA)
“I’d like to wish Dan Picca III the best of luck in his new venture: SME Preps. He was Upper Hand Promotions. So appreciative of his feature articles on me. Promoting me to top coaches. I give him credit for convincing my parents to get my tape out to top college coaches. And now the sky is the limit. Thank you Dan!” Jacory Washington (JR TE/Westlake HS in LA/Offers from LSU, Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Vandy, UCLA, San Diego State, Houston, Hawaii, etc.)
“There were doubters I could overcome the obstacles I faced early in middle school. When that story needed to be told, my family and I turned to Dan Picca. I have followed him to every stop along the way. When it was time to get my player info out to the my dream school, there was no one I would rather have in my corner contacting coaches.” Robert Washington Jr. (FR RB/Southlake Christian Academy in Charlotte, NC/Mississippi State commit)
“Dan Picca was the first writer to get my name out there. He made me feel famous.” Jeremy Tabuy0 (SR WR/St. Louis High School in Honolulu, HI/Texas A&M commit)
“Dan Picca is the best writer out there. Period.” Shaon Berry, CEO of JuniorRank Sports
Freshman phenoms to rising seniors. Middle-school prodigies to superstar sophomores. The top high school prospects in the nation have turned to Dan Picca to get their story out. Picca is one of the most respected and widely read feature writers in the youth athletics industry. He first gained national attention for his journalistic exploits while running the Washington DC sports department at CultureMob. His tenure as football camp system JuniorRank‘s editor produced some of the most viewed and acclaimed articles on the internet. Picca moved on to highly successful stints as executive sports editor and national recruiting director for the Future College Athlete Association and Upper Hand Promotions, where he helped hundreds of top high school student/athletes achieve their dream of playing college sports.
Picca combines skilled storytelling with his immense network of online contacts to get player film and statistics to the most extensive cross-section of college coaches in the recruiting industry. His stories are regularly showcased on Bleacher Report, ESPN’s Woody Paige’s Sports Paige, All-Access Sports Network, Expanded Sports, Youth1 Sports, Amped Up Magazine, Finest Preps, All HS Football, American Chronicle, Baseball Digest, etc.
“Playing college sports is a dream fulfilled by a select few. Even the most-educated parent isn’t capable of navigating the murky waters of the modern recruiting front. High school coaches’ main priority is winning games and fulfilling their teaching duties. Even the most well-connected and well-intended coach is simply too busy to maximize every players’ recruitment. And too many hopeful kids think that slapping their highlight clip on every coach, scout and recruiter’s Facebook & Twitter feed will get them noticed eventually. While that self-promotion shows drive, it only takes you so far and rarely equates to formal offers.
My track record with premiere high school players in the nation is clear. I know what works and what doesn’t work. I gleamed the best attributes from every company I helped build. Ronald Oswalt, Michael DeLeon and I have blended state-of-the-art marketing technology with a direct, personalized connect with every coach from D1 to junior colleges. A revolutionary design model that will forever change the way scholastic stars in this country are recruited.
You’ve only got one legitimate opportunity to maximize your playing future beyond high school. Put your recruitment in the hands of experts who have consistently garnered scholarships for many of the nation’s best and brightest. If you honestly have the ability to play college sports, I hope you join SME Preps and me in fulfilling that goal.
SME Preps: Prepping for the Next Level and Beyond: Academics. Athletics. Life. Are you in yet?” Dan Picca
Michael brings extensive media and sports information to the team of Sports Marketing Experts. Michael founded Project Spurs in 2004. Since then he has helped develop the site into what it is today. Always on the cusp of importing the latest technology to the site to positively deliver San Antonio Spurs news to its fans, he started The Spurscast, the first Spurs podcast on the Internet, incorporated live chats when the concept was still in its infancy, and developed the first live Spurscast shows where the fans can interact directly with other fans of the Spurs.
Michael has been interviewed on ESPN Florida, has spoken at several new media conferences and has been a panelist on News 4 WOAI’s Sports Round Table. He was a credentialed member of the media for the 2010 FIBA U18 Basketball Tournament in San Antonio and is credentialed with the San Antonio Spurs and Austin Toros. He is also a contributor to Mysa.com a San Antonio Express News website. Michael can also be seen on the WOAI Sports Roundtable powered by Project Spurs.
Michael is an editor and writer for Bloguin’s central NBA site, Crossover Chronicles.
Alan Driggers—Director of Basketball Operations
Alan Driggers has spent his entire life involved in athletics as an athlete, official, administrator, coach and recruiter. He has coached basketball for the last 15 years and is currently the Head Girls Basketball Coach at Gainesville High School. He has worked at numerous college camps as well as PGC Basketball. Over the course of the last 5 years, Coach Driggers has assisted over 60 high school athletes pursue their dreams at the next level. He calls numerous college coaches friends, and has established relationships throughout the United States. His extensive knowledge in basketball recruiting and the requirements is a valuable asset to SMEPreps.
He is a member of the National Basketball Coaches Association, Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, Texas Girls Coaches Association, Texas High School Coaches Association, Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
Alan is married to Robyn and they have two daughters. They currently reside in Gainesville, Texas.
Ed Biles – Member SME Advisory Board
A native of Reading, Ohio, USA, Biles was an outstanding high school athlete, earning 12 letters and helping the 1946 Reading High team capture the state baseball championship. Biles then attended Miami University and was on the school’s football team until suffering a career-ending injury. In his remaining time as an undergraduate, Biles served as an assistant with the squad, then officially began his coaching tenure at the high school level.
After two seasons in which he compiled an 11-8-1 record, Biles was offered a defensive assistant’s role with the University of Notre Dame under head coach Ara Parseghian, Biles respectfully turned the offer down on January 4, 1964, citing his desire to remain as a head coach. He remained at the school for another five seasons, having his best success with the 1965 unit that finished 8-2, and compiled an overall record of 39-28-3.
On January 27, 1969, Biles resigned his position at Xavier to become an assistant coach with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints.
After one season in that capacity, Biles was selected as the Jets’ defensive backs coach on June 24, 1972. Biles would move on to the Houston Oilers in 1974 as a defensive assistant, and become the teams defensive coordinator the following season. In 1981, Biles served as Head Coach of the Houston Oilers a position he would hold for two seasons.
After his tenure in Houston, Biles would work with ESPN doing college football and various bowl games. In 2005, he was hired as head coach of the Cincinnati Marshalls of the National Indoor Football League and in late 2006, Coach Biles was hired as an assistant to the head coach of the Texas Copperheads of the af2, the minor league system of the Arena Football League.
In 2010, Biles was the headline coach for the San Marcos Academy All-Pro Football camp in San Marcos, Texas.
Biles serves as a active member of the National Football League Alumni Houston chapter. He heads up the annual Ed Biles Coaches Golf Tourney benefiting the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He also volunteers for the annual Greater Houston Football Coaches Association Scholarship Golf Tourney.
Bryan L. Blake – Former Arena Football League Coach
Bryan Blake started his gridiron adventures while playing for the Falcons of Clear Creek High School in League City, TX. His outstanding high school play earned him a scholarship on the first football team for the Tarleton State Texans in Stephenville, Texas.
Blake earned a starting position on defense for the Texans and after earning his degree became a starter in indoor football and played for the Texas Bullets, La Crosse Night Train and Lake Charles Landsharks in the National Indoor Football League.
Blake became the Owner/Head Coach for the Katy Copperheads football team in 2006 and the team was featured on Cold Pizza an ESPN2 show at the time. His team later moved up to Arena Football 2 and became the Texas Copperheads. The team sported an 11-3 record in 2005 and reached the quarterfinals under Blake’s leadership. Blake also directed the Beaumont Drillers of the American Professional Football League to a 8-2 record in 2008.
Blake is currently the Head Football Coach/Boy’s Athletic Director at McDonald Junior High School in the Katy ISD district.
Randy Bryan – Co-Founder and Managing Partner, tekRESCUE, LLC.
Randy Bryan, a native Texan, is passionate about people and technology. He and his business partner, Dominic Encinias, founded tekRESCUE early in 2011. The company’s main focus is to help make technology work for people. Randy and Dominic also have a TV show called tekmix.tv whose mission is to help make technology understandable so people can make their lives better. The idea for tekRESCUE was born out of the show.
Randy believes that your core values and passion should help determine your vocation in life. He loves to speak to groups about these topics and to challenge people to get their lives in line with their core values and passion. He also believe your vision for your life lies somewhere in the intersection of your core values, passion, and the needs of the people you serve and/or do business with.
Randy stays involved in his community, working to make it a better place to live, work, and raise a family. He serves on the Planning and Zoning commission, is an Ambassador for the Chamber of Commerce, and is also a part-time pastor at Bay Area Fellowship – San Marcos.
Randy’s favorite role is being the husband of Debbie Bryan and the father of their four children ages 4 to 15.
Eddie Canales – Founder/Director Gridiron Heroes
Eddie Canales is a San Marcos Academy alumnus and he also attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. He was a member of the Corps of Cadets for the Aggies while in college and completed Military Training in Fort Riley, Texas after college.
Canales currently serves as Director and Founder of Gridiron Heroes. The group was formed in 2003, after his son Chris was paralyzed at San Marcos Academy. The group was founded with a specific mission; to provide immediate, as well as, long term resources and support to individuals sustaining catastrophic spinal cord injury through activities associated with high school football.
Canales, and Gridiron Heroes, have been featured on Home Box Office and many other media sources.
Canales was recently named a CNN Hero, an annual television special created by CNN honoring individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help others. The show, hosted by Anderson Cooper, started in 2007 and continues now, with the awards show aired at the end of the year. Over the course of the year, viewers world wide can nominate and vote for the heroes they want to nominate for recognition and honoring.
San Antonio Magazine recently named Canales the San Antonio Man of The Year for 2011.
Jeannette Jones-Freitag –
Business Development Specialist, A+ Federal Credit Union
Jeannette Jones-Freitag currently serves as Business Development Specialist for A+ Federal Credit Union. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. When she’s away from the A+ office she coaches volleyball and basketball at St. Andrew’s Episcopal in Austin, Texas.
Last year as Assistant Coach to the Varsity Girls Basketball team, they won the Division II Championship. She also had an undefeated championship team with her 5th grade volleyball team.
Chuck Licata – Co-owner, K-MAC Sports Productions
Chuck Licata has been involved in sports media for over 30 years. He has won four journalism awards – three Texas Press Association awards and the 2007 Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Sportswriter of the Year award for the Gulf Coast/Central TX region. Licata is co-owner of K-MAC Sports Productions of Austin and owner of LibertyHillSports.com, Liberty Hill’s first online sports newspaper, which was founded in October 2009.
Licata, 50, worked with The Zone (KVET-AM 1300, Austin) in one capacity or another since the station in its all-sports format from 1999-2009. He has also hosted the Revved Up Sports radio show and was a Sideline Reporter/HS Sports broadcaster. Licata is currently a voting panelist for the Texas Motor Speedway Hall of Fame, and was an instructor at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting (Austin) before the school closed in 2009.
Licata started his professional writing career with the Round Rock Leader in 1999 and has written for the Liberty Hill Independent, Hill Country News (Leander/Cedar Park), Pflugerville Pflag and Austin American-Statesman as well as LibertyHillSports.com and the Liberty Hill Leader.
Christopher Lyke – Founder/Owner TexasHSFootball.com
Christopher Lyke is the founder and owner of TexasHSFootball.com. Lyke founded the site in 2001 as a spin off to a now defunct information site. Since its inception, TexasHSFootball.com has become one of the premier and most popular sites on the internet dedicated to high school football.
Lyke has also served as the Sports information Director for the Texarkana College baseball program, an official scorekeeper for the Central Hockey League and served as mentor to school children looking to better themselves in the classroom.