Badger Region Club Volleyball High Performance Program Lays out Plan for 2021 Tryouts; Coaches Named

After having to modify its format in 2020, the Badger Region High Performance program is ready to take flight for the 2021 season. Tryouts have been announced, coaches have been secured and plans are in the works for this summer’s High Performance Championships.

Many regions (including the Badger Region) send teams to USA Volleyball’s High Performance Championships, providing athletes across the country the opportunity to compete in the highest-level international junior tournament available in the United States.

Not familiar with High Performance? Here’s just a few of the great perks and goals of the Region’s HP program:

  • Expose athletes to high-level college (NCAA and NAIA) recruiters who attend the international tournament.
  • Offer a college-like sports experience where athletes learn what it is like to be treated like an elite-level athlete.
  • Be a part of independent travel experience led by highly certified Badger Region staff and HP Coaches
  • Gain exposure to elite level coaching provided by the Midwest’s highest level club and college coaches.
  • Compete and train alongside other all-star caliber athletes from around the Badger Region.
  • Play against other all-star teams from around the country and the world

The Badger Region will offer teams in the following divisions for the summer of 2021:

  • Boys National Youth (For athletes born in 2003 and 2004)
  • Boys National Select (For athletes born in 2005, 2006 and 2007)
  • Girls International Youth (For athletes born in 2004 and 2005)
  • Girls National Select (For athletes born in 2006, 2007)

Coaches for the 2021 season are as follows:

  • Girls International Youth Head Coach: Abbey Sutherland (UW-Green Bay)
  • Girls International Youth Assistant Coach: BJ Bryant (St. Norbert College)
  • Girls International Youth Assistant Coach: Emily Riese (Fond du Lac Fusion)
  • Girls National Select Head Coach: Leigh Barea (UW-Parkside)
  • Girls National Select Assistant Coach: Jon Ellmann (UW-Oshkosh)
  • Girls National Select Assistant Coach: Scott Spiess (Milwaukee Sting)
  • Girls Team Representative: Sara Voigt
  • Boys National Youth Head Coach: Brian Rushmer (Lakeland University/MVC/G’town H.S.)
  • Boys National Youth Asst. Coach: Curtis Madson (Concordia University Wisconsin)
  • Boys National Select Head Coach: Shane Reid (MSOE)
  • Boys National Select Asst. Coach: Mike Endsley (Wisconsin Lutheran College/MVC)
  • Boys Team Representative: Brian Sharkey


Tryouts for those teams listed above will take place at the New Berlin Sports Plex (2900 S. 163rd St., New Berlin) at the following times:

  • Boys National Youth: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24
  • Boys National Select: 12:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24
  • Girls International Youth: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, April 25
  • Girls National Select: 12:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 25

To register for tryouts, click here. 

All athletes must attend the dated listed above. If an athlete has a conflict and has other commitments on the date listed for his or her age, special considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis. These athletes must still register for tryouts and submit a video for tryout review. Registration for tryouts closes at 7:59 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21.

Spectators are not allowed to stay in the building due to capacity rules for the tryouts.

The dates were chosen to allow athletes who are participating in the WIAA’s “Alternate Fall” volleyball season to complete that before coming back to club volleyball events like this. It allows college coaches (both men and women) the opportunity to attend after their seasons. And it is hopeful that COVID-19 cases will continue to decrease as we get later into spring as compared to our usual mid-March tryout dates. The Region apologizes for overlapping with any events that your son or daughter might be attending that weekend as we did our best to accommodate the largest cross-section of athletes as possible.

Cost for tryouts are $40 for in-person tryouts or $30 for video-only submissions. There are no refunds for tryouts unless the event is canceled.


One of the positive things to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic was how accepting athletes and families were of video submission to try out for last year’s Badger Region High Performance camps. Because of that, the Badger Region will offer video feedback to any athlete who submits a “tryout video” for the High Performance program.

Two coaches from the staff listed above will review the film and offer feedback as it pertains to the content of the submission.

Video submission will not remove a person from consideration for the Badger Region High Performance program. Athletes are welcome to submit a video AND attend the in-person tryout. The video submission will guarantees an athlete receive written feedback from the High Performance coaching staff.

All of the coaches listed above have either played, coached or helped athletes prepare for collegiate level volleyball and have lots of experience reviewing film for scouting and recruiting purposes.

Cost of attending in-person tryouts and submitting a video is $65.


After tryouts, coaches will invite athletes to a camp or camps for training with the High Performance coaching staff.

  • Boys will do a series of one-day training camps in May with 24 athletes per age grouping in preparation for an overnight camp (site TBA) where the 10 athletes and a handful of alternates will gather in preparation for the High Performance Championships.
  • Girls will do an three-day camp July 6-8 with 30 athletes per age group. At the conclusion of the camp, 10 athletes per team will be chosen to represent the Badger Region program at the High Performance Championships.

The Badger Region is still working on COVID-19 precautions, but it is expected that everyone in attendance will need a negative COVID test prior to participation, as well as wear a mask at all times. Athletes will room together but will not be required to be masked while in their rooms.

Costs for the overnight camps and the trip to HP Championships are to be determined based on final costs that are yet to be determined. The due date for all payments will be June 1. No refunds will be given after that date unless an alternate player can be found to take an athlete’s place.

For those chosen to attend the HP Championships, the team will depart from Milwaukee July 20 and return on July 26. The team will compete in the five-day tournament July 21-25 in Phoenix, Arizona.

More information about policies and expectations for athletes and coaches will be available in the near future.

Have questions about the High Performance experience? Visit our HP website by clicking here. Or contact program director Brian Sharkey at [email protected] or call 414-313-9055.

 We welcome your stories! Contact us at [email protected]!

David Keech
Author: David Keech

David Keech is a math teacher in Wisconsin Rapids and public address announcer for Abbotsord High School. He officiates basketball, baseball, and softball in central Wisconsin. He has reported on amateur sports since 2011, known as 'KeechDaVoice.' David can be reached at [email protected]