Meet The Team

Meet The Team

Russell Murphy
President and Co-Founder

Growing up, I was blessed to have a support system that provided me with the opportunities necessary to achieve my athletic success. I want to be a part of something that provides the same guidance, resources, and opportunities that I received for athletes everywhere. No matter what their background or “status” in life is, it is wrong that kids are not granted the same opportunities as others based on their family’s financial standing. They're kids! Athletics, especially at a young age, is a stepping stone for lifelong skills, abilities, and success paths. My goal is to create many opportunities for all young athletes to reach their full potential in both athletics and in life.

Katie Leaver
Vice President and Co-Founder

After moving back to La Crosse two years ago, I noticed many high school students had the difficult decision between playing sports or making money.  They wanted to play sports, but had to work to pay for various academic and life needs, such as driver's ed, food, clothes, ACT/SAT tests, and college applications. Once Covid hit, I saw that gap expanding further as many athletes were not able to afford to play 7v7 or in a local fall baseball league. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to play sports, no matter their financial situation. One coach, one teammate, one sports experience can change your path in life forever.  I was connected with Rusty and we decided it was time to finally do something about the equity gap in the Coulee region!

Our Board

Board Member
Summer Elston

La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Teacher.

Played volleyball, basketball, softball, and ran track.

What is your favorite sports memory?

"When I was 38 I finished my first Tough Mudder. It was so amazing! Not only can I say I accomplished such a great feat, and I also did it with a bunch of the most amazing people. It was one of my best adult memories by far!"

Something you learned from sports?

"While both participating and watching my own children play sports I have learned about the importance of respect, trust, and camaraderie between the members of the team. I teach my own students that they are part of many "families" in their life; a sport's team "family" has been one of the most important families that I, and my children, have been a part of."

Do you have any pets? Our cat Lydia and a leopard gecko named Ayla.

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Board Member
Patty Murphy

Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Insurance

Participated in swim team. 

Something you learned from sports?

"I learned how to be a team player, and developed skills of discipline and hard work ethic."

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Board Member
Kyle Zellner

La Crosse, Wisconsin.

7th Grade Social Studies Teacher and Realtor.

Played basketball and tennis.

What is your favorite sports memory?

"Having an amazing coach who helped us be the best we could be. She taught us so much more than just the game of tennis. Being part of a team and making it to state our senior year."

Something you learned from sports?

"The importance of being part of a team. The commitment, integrity, and trust that comes with working with a group of people. The importance of being part of something you love doing."

Favorite movie? Anything comedy.

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Board Member
Julia Goldberg

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

High School Teacher.

Played tennis, softball, basketball, and soccer.

What is your favorite sports memory? 

"Finishing 6th in State with my tennis partner of 6 years. We had such good competition and enjoyed playing together."

Something you learned from sports?

"Sports taught me teamwork and being part of something bigger than myself. I learned to trust and rely on others to be successful."

Do you have any pets? PJ! My 4-year-old lab mix dog. 

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Board Member
Lisa Swanson

La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Sales Person.

Participated in volleyball, basketball, and downhill skiing.

What is your favorite sports memory? 

"The everyday bonding moments with teammates." 

Something you learned from sports?

"The importance of never giving up, even when the going gets tough."

Favorite Movie? Almost Famous.

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