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MEET YOUR INSTRUCTORS

Get to know the experienced coaches who will be guiding you at The Champions Gate. Each of our instructors brings a wealth of knowledge, skill, and passion to help you succeed.

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Caitlin M. Colvin

Owner / Lead Instructor

With an impressive trajectory that spans from Division 1 collegiate softball to international professional play, Caitlin stands as the Owner and Lead Instructor at The Champions Gate, bringing a wealth of experience to the facility. Her journey in softball began with a notable six-year stint with the Washington Lady Hawks Miller, where she contributed to the team's reputation as a Top 10 nationally ranked powerhouse.

Caitlin's academic and athletic prowess shone during her four-year tenure at Ohio University, a prestigious Division 1 institution. Here, she distinguished herself, ranking in the Top 20 for home runs per game and for the season in 2013. Her academic diligence was equally commendable, earning her a spot on the All-Academic Team for the Mid-American Conference. Her transition to coaching began at Ohio University, where she served as a collegiate coach from 2013-2014.

Her professional career took an international turn as she played for the USA Affiliate Softball across various European cities including Prague, Berlin, and Curacao from 2013-2015. Caitlin then expanded her horizons further by joining the European Softball League in Amsterdam in 2016.

Since 2013, Caitlin has been imparting her extensive knowledge through softball lessons to players of all ages. Her coaching is marked by a unique ability to develop players to the collegiate level, showcasing her deep understanding of the game. Caitlin's approach is holistic; she commits to comprehending her athletes' needs on both personal and athletic levels, ensuring they realize their utmost potential. Her leadership at The Champions Gate is characterized by dedication, expertise, and a profound commitment to fostering athletic excellence.

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MICHAEL CLARKE

Owner / Lead Strength & Agility Instructor

Michael is a dynamic sports performance coach whose expertise is rooted in exercise science. He brings an impressive array of skills to The Champions Gate, including advanced knowledge in speed and agility training, strength and flexibility conditioning, comprehensive fitness program design, mental strength coaching, and nutritional guidance.

With a proven track record of success, Michael has trained and developed over 200 athletes, among them 5 All-American honorees, numerous state Players of the Year, and 9 professionals. His coaching acumen spans multiple sports, a testament to which is the impressive achievements of his athletes in both regional and state championships.

A two-time recipient of the Coach of the Year accolade, Michael is renowned for his deep understanding of athletes' needs, both on the field and beyond. His approach to coaching is holistic, focusing on evaluating, counseling, and developing athletes in various facets necessary for excelling in their sports.

At The Champions Gate, Michael spearheads our speed and agility programs, in addition to providing specialized instruction in both baseball and softball. His expertise is not just a valuable asset to our athletes; it embodies the essence of our commitment to nurturing well-rounded, accomplished sportspeople.

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Caitlin Rogers

Softball Instructor

With an impressive 18-year journey in softball, Caitlin is a treasure trove of knowledge and expertise in the sport. Her remarkable softball career, highlighted by her tenure at Georgia State University from 2016-2020, showcases her dedication and skill. During her collegiate career, Caitlin emerged as a dominant force, leading with 16 doubles in the Sunbelt for the majority of the 2019 season. Her outstanding performance was further underscored by a team-leading .305 batting average in the same season, though her final year was prematurely curtailed.

Before her collegiate success, Caitlin was a four-year starter at Eastside High School in Covington, GA. Her high school career was nothing short of stellar, concluding her senior year with a remarkable .603 batting average, alongside 5 home runs, 22 doubles, and 4 triples. Caitlin consistently demonstrated her prowess, earning first-team all-region honors throughout her high school journey.

Transitioning from player to coach, Caitlin has accumulated three years of experience in coaching and providing lessons. She served as a varsity softball coach at Eastside High School for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Her passion extends beyond the field, as she has dedicated three years to giving lessons, relishing the opportunity to meet new clients and impart her insights.

Joining The Champions Gate team, Caitlin is enthusiastic about welcoming new clients and sharing her refined hitting techniques. More than a coach, she is a mentor, eager to guide the younger generation of softball players and lead them in their personal and athletic growth, including nurturing their spiritual journey.

Caitlin's arrival at The Champions Gate marks an exciting new chapter, both for her and the aspiring athletes she will mentor. Her expertise, coupled with her passion for the game and player development, makes her an invaluable asset to our team and community.

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Lauren Hawkins

Softball Instructor

Lauren Hawkins brings a rich history of softball experience, having excelled in multiple positions throughout her academic and athletic career. As a two-year starter at Winder Barrow High School, Lauren showcased her versatility by playing both outfield and catcher, demonstrating adaptability and skill in different roles on the field.

Her passion for the sport led her to Gordon State College, where she honed her skills as a full-time catcher and established herself as a proficient contact hitter. Seeking to broaden her experience, Lauren transferred to Wesleyan College in her junior year. There, she spent two successful years playing outfield, further diversifying her skill set and understanding of the game.

Post-graduation, Lauren transitioned seamlessly into coaching, driven by her commitment to fostering emerging talent. She played an instrumental role in a Nike baseball camp, assisting in the development of young players. Additionally, her expertise was sought at a Nike softball camp, where she coached and mentored aspiring softball athletes.

Lauren's journey through various levels of competitive softball, coupled with her coaching experiences, has equipped her with a deep understanding of the sport and a genuine desire to contribute to player development. Her varied background, both as a player and a coach, makes her an invaluable asset to those looking to grow in the sport.

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Syndey Nieveen

Softball Instructor

Sydney's remarkable journey in collegiate softball is marked by consistent excellence and versatility. As a four-year starter at the NCAA Division II University of Sioux Falls, she established herself as a formidable player, both at the plate and on the field.

During her tenure at USF, Sydney achieved an impressive .330 career batting average, complemented by a robust .487 slugging percentage. Her prowess at the bat is further highlighted by her accumulation of 32 doubles and 16 home runs, placing her seventh all-time for home runs at USF. Additionally, her contribution of 92 RBIs ranks fifth in the university's all-time records, alongside a noteworthy 133 runs scored.

Not just limited to batting, Sydney also demonstrated remarkable skill as a dual-position player, dividing her time effectively between pitching and first base. In her pitching role, she maintained a commendable 2.90 ERA across 125.1 innings, showcasing her versatility and adaptability. Her defensive skills were equally impressive, with a career fielding percentage of .988, reflecting her reliability and finesse on the field.

Sydney's outstanding performances earned her 2nd team All-NSIC honors twice, underscoring her status as an elite player in her division. Her multifaceted skill set and significant achievements at the University of Sioux Falls make her an exemplary figure in collegiate softball.

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Becca Meade

Softball Instructor

Becca Meade's softball journey is distinguished by 15 years of exceptional pitching experience, culminating in notable achievements at both junior college and Division II levels. Her most recent tenure at Georgia College and State University in 2018 marked the peak of her collegiate career. However, it was her record-setting performances at Georgia Highlands College that truly set the stage for her athletic prowess.

In her freshman year at the junior college level, Becca made a significant impact in the NJCAA, leading the league in strikeouts, wins, and saves. This outstanding performance earned her 1st Team All-Region honors and a place on the Region XVII All-Tournament Team for both years at GHC. Her achievements at Georgia Highlands College are etched in the record books, where she holds the all-time records for wins, saves, and ERA.

Despite an injury in her senior year that led her to retire from playing, Becca's passion for the sport never waned. Post-recovery, she dedicated herself to coaching young players in the Eatonton and Milledgeville areas. Her coaching focuses on spin and pitch development, with a strong emphasis on injury prevention, drawing from her own experiences as an athlete.

Before her collegiate triumphs, Becca was a standout varsity athlete at Apalachee High School from 2011-2015. She earned all-region honors each year and was twice named the AAAAA Region Pitcher of the Year in 2014 and 2015. In addition to her high school career, Rebecca has a decade of experience in top-tier travel ball, playing for elite teams such as Team Georgia and Georgia Impact.

Becca Meade's journey from a high school standout to a junior college record holder and Division II player, and now a dedicated coach, reflects her deep commitment to softball and her ability to inspire and develop the next generation of players.

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Bex Praire

Softball Instructor

Rebecca "Bex" Prairie, a former Division 1 catcher for Georgia Tech, is renowned for her exceptional abilities on the softball field. Known for her commanding presence and strategic prowess behind the plate, she was a critical asset in controlling the game and halting runners in their tracks.

Before embarking on her collegiate journey, Bex showcased her batting skills with the East Cobb Bullets Schnute, where she held the vital role of cleanup hitter. Her time with the team highlighted her offensive capabilities and her overall impact on the field.

Today, Bex is re-entering the world of softball coaching, fueled by her enduring passion for the sport. Her goal is to guide and inspire young female athletes who share her zeal for softball. Drawing from her rich experience and knowledge, Bex is committed to shaping the careers of the next generation of players, helping them to harness their potential and achieve their aspirations in softball.

As a coach, Bex brings the same level of excellence and leadership that defined her playing career. Her return to coaching is not just a continuation of her involvement in softball; it's a testament to her dedication to cultivating talent and fostering the growth of young athletes in the sport she loves.

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Tristen Green

Baseball Instructor

As a former NCAA Division III baseball player, our coach boasts an impressive resume highlighted by five years of collegiate competition at Covenant College. This extensive experience at the collegiate level has honed his skills and understanding of the game, making him a valuable mentor and coach.

His baseball journey is further enriched by a decade of direct training under the tutelage of former MLB pitcher Vladimir Nuñez. This unique mentorship has provided him with deep insights into the nuances of professional-level play and training methodologies, which he adeptly translates into his coaching.

With over fifteen years of playing experience, he brings a wealth of knowledge to the field. His comprehensive understanding of the game, gained through years of dedicated play, equips him with the tools to guide and develop aspiring baseball athletes.

Recently, he has embarked on a coaching career, with his inaugural season at Bethlehem Christian Academy. This experience has allowed him to apply his accumulated knowledge and skills in a coaching capacity, where he focuses on nurturing and developing the potential of young players.

His transition from a seasoned player to an insightful coach reflects his ongoing commitment to baseball. His expertise, coupled with a passion for teaching and mentorship, makes him an invaluable asset to any aspiring athlete looking to excel in the sport.

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BJ Armstead

Baseball Instructor

Hailing from Atlanta, GA, BJ Armstead's journey in baseball began at the tender age of three, marking the start of a lifelong passion for the sport. Growing up, he quickly distinguished himself as one of Georgia’s top shortstops and was recognized as a potential high draft pick upon completing high school.

BJ's high school career was marked by exceptional achievements. He was not only a four-year varsity starter but also a three-time All-Conference member, demonstrating both consistency and excellence in his play. His talent and hard work paved the way for him to play Division 1 baseball, a testament to his skill and dedication.

BJ's academic and athletic pursuits eventually led him back to Atlanta, where he completed his undergraduate degree and playing career at Morehouse College. His time at Morehouse was notable, with BJ earning spots on both the All-Conference and All-Academic teams, showcasing his prowess on the field and his commitment to academic excellence.

Today, BJ remains deeply connected to baseball, channeling his extensive knowledge and experience into coaching. He adeptly teaches players of all ages the essential skills of hitting, fielding, throwing, and baserunning. However, BJ's coaching philosophy extends beyond physical skills. He specializes in the mental aspects of sports, educating athletes on mental toughness, mindfulness, and mental health, recognizing the importance of a holistic approach to athletic development.

BJ’s diverse coaching experience ranges from guiding young T-ball players to mentoring athletes at the collegiate level. His comprehensive understanding of both baseball and softball, combined with his dedication to the mental and physical development of athletes, makes him a versatile and invaluable coach.

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