USG Academy Graduates touring Hard Rock Stadium during our first Weekend Gathering event of 2021
“Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever!”
- 1st Chronicles 16:34
2021 marks the 8th year of our organizations’ existence and the first full year since our name change from Managers On A Mission to Uncommon Sports Group. We wanted to take a moment to share some of the most notable praises of 2021 below.
We continue to be thankful for the Lord leading new individuals to join our team. We were blessed to add Noah Weiss and Suzanne Horner as new Ministry Engagement Associates, Zac Colburn as our Director of Operations in addition to JD Mathis, Erin Couwenhoven, Mike Moore, Daniel Peterfeso, and Joel Davis as Operations Associates.
Two of our longest serving Board Members, Chris King (since 2014) & Chad Atherton (since 2013) officially finished their final terms with our organization in 2021. While they will certainly be missed, God has faithfully led us to be able to add new Board Members in Angela Marin, Jalen Stone, Johnny Shelton, and Jason Romano. The new board members will begin their board terms next month.
Chad and Chris were presented with USG “Game Balls” signed by the USG Staff and awarded to our longest serving Board Members. Chris King and Chad Atherton are stepping down from the board as their terms on the USG Board came to an end in December of 2021. We are grateful for their service over the last several years. Thank you!
We were once again able to award $40,000 in Scholarships this year! Our Fall 2021 Scholarship Winners are still being selected, but the top 3 winners for our Spring 2021 program were:
Daniel Chaderjian - University of Southern California
Mark Fairley - Liberty University
Zachary Hopp - Washburn University
In addition to celebrating 1 year since our rebrand, 2021 has been a year of immense organizational development for USG. The most notable item has been our implementation of EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. We have been fortunate to have our long-time partners at Four13 Group support us in its adoption. It has supported us in establishing further clarity and focus within our organization. Additionally, we have been able to work with our valuable partners at Helmet Tracker in further enhancing the efficiency of our e-commerce operation. Other major developments in 2021 were the launch of our exclusive members-only USG Connect App, and the USG podcast!
Uncommon Sports Group celebrated 1 year since our rebrand in October, 2021 with a cake!
Clean Out For A Cause:
Our Clean Out For A Cause program has continued to be the engine that helps drive our mission forward. We have been blessed to see our total pounds of donations grow to over 100,000 pounds annually. Donations of used and excess sports gear continue to come in from hundreds of college and pro sports teams throughout the country. The introduction of returnable poly bags in addition to the normal donation collection boxes has also led to hundreds of first-time donors throughout the year.
2021 was an important year in the launching of our new primary discipleship program, the USG Academy. This academy consists of an 8-week curriculum that future leaders of the sport industry complete remotely alongside 15-20 other members of their team. The USG Academy challenges participants to grow spiritually and professionally through weekly calls to action, discussions, and coaching sessions with our USG Staff. USG covers the costs for every individual who successfully completes the 8-week program to come together for an in-person weekend event.
USG’s Team 25 enjoying a Braves game during our Atlanta Weekend.
These “Weekend Gatherings” provide an opportunity for attendees to put what they have learned into action through facility tours, guest speakers, Bible Studies, and outreach projects. We are thrilled to have each of the following individuals officially join USG through their completion of the Academy in 2021:
2021 Academy Members
Aaron Crowell - James Madison
Ally Ginkens - Kansas
Ashley Weingartz - Hofstra
Austin Thompson - Pittsburgh
Bekah Wyatt - former USG intern
Bryan Peters - St. John’s
Chris Riewald - Idaho State graduate
Cody Crump - Houston
Garrett Sons - Oklahoma
Jalen Stone - Michigan
Justin Wrenn - Georgia Tech
Kelsey Witkay - Florida Atlantic graduate
Kevin McNamara - St. John’s graduate
Kyle Richardson - Central Florida
Luke Berge - Baylor graduate
Maggie Vlasaty - Minnesota graduate
Miranda Rivera - USA Volleyball
Payten Martin - South Carolina
Shaun Nestor - Immaculata University
Steven Rudd - St. John’s
Thomas Arteaga - ETSU
Zoe Lamb - Pittsburgh Pirates
Team 25 (Weekend Event Location: Miami, FL)
Adaeze Iheoma - Texas State
Addison Patrick - Oklahoma
Annalese Lamke - Loyola
Antonio Borjas - Fresno State
Ashton Pilz - Kansas
Dominique Ridley - West Virginia
Elyssa Melton - NAIA
Ian Silva - GCU graduate
Jenna Ladd - Washington Football Team
Kaitlin Taylor - Purdue
Katie Suits - Baylor
Kyle Yost - Taylor University
Michael McGinnis - Columbia International
Preston Manthei - Taylor University
Scott Daughtry - Tennessee
Sean Callahan - Taylor University
Zachary Moore - ASU graduate
Zachary Hopp - Washburn University
Team 26 (Weekend Event Location: Minneapolis, MN)
Erin Couwenhoven - Indiana Wesleyan
Josiah Filegar - Trevecca Nazarene
Elijah Gill - Minnesota Timberwolves
Nicholas Lachney - St. John’s
Gillian Manske - Bethel graduate
Justin Ratanataya - Longwood
Jacob Stonick - Taylor University
Sam Wilkinson - Taylor University
Samantha Williams - UMKC
Team 27 (Weekend Event Location: Tampa, FL)
Conrad Chow - Nevada-Reno
Chance Collingwood - Taylor University
Ansley Doster - 17 Tournaments
Nickolas Fairley - Liberty graduate
Joshua Fenwick - Taylor University
Hannah Conlisk - Daytona Motor Speedway
Lucas Marroquin - St. Louis City SC
Elijah Minso - Ashland University
Dave Nedbalek - Oral Roberts
Mikayla Padilla - GCU
Kevin Roussey - Pro Skills Basketball
Hunter Snyder - Daktronics
Macy Terry - 17 Tournaments
Therese VanderPutten - Kansas
Chris Barbre - UT-Martin
Mission Trip to Kenya
The summer ministry highlight for 2021 was our mission trip to Kenya. COVID-19 complications forced us to cancel our Uganda mission trip at the last minute, but the Lord provided us with an opportunity to serve in Kenya. The USG staff led a team of current and future leaders of the sport industry to Nairobi, Kenya for a 2-week missions trip. Highlights of the trip included hosting a 2-day clinic for over 40 local sports coaches and daily sports camps for over 300 kids.
You can read one of the participants’ reflections on their time in Kenya here.
USG 2021 Kenya Mission Trip Team Members
What a year it has been!
The Lord’s hand has been evident in every aspect of Uncommon Sports Group’s 2021. We are grateful to our supporters, network, and partners and are eager to see what the future has in store.
Above all, we are thankful for the Lord’s faithfulness, mercy, and grace.
“To you alone, O Lord, to you alone, and not to us, must glory be given because of your constant love and faithfulness.”
- Psalm 115:1