Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell
10023 Bora Bora Drive
Fort Mill SC 29708

To Whom It May Concern:

I have known Steve Schattner since moving to the Charlotte area three years ago. Two of my sons play lacrosse and I first met Steve during the winter of our arrival year. Sadly, our relationship began as we were both volunteers for the McKemey Lax Jamboree, a fundraiser for the tragedy that happened to Connor McKemey. It was apparent from the first meeting that Steve was one of the key players and leaders in this effort. I remember during the first meeting as he took charge and helped facilitate and organize the small group committee format that saw the event through to complete success. During the few months that our committee worked on this event, I quickly came to respect him. It was clear to see that he had strong leadership skills, a passion for the support of lacrosse, a compassion for our fallen friend, the stamina to finish and, very importantly, the intelligence and organization skills to ensure the event a success.

One final note, I don’t believe that Connor ever played for Steve. This struck me. Fort Mill is located at least 30 miles from the area where Steve’s programs are based. I was immediately left with an impression of a person with strong conviction andcompassion.

Over the past 10 years I have had the opportunity to work with and observe many lacrosse organizations and those individuals that lead them. I personally did not have any lacrosse experience before my children began to play. Today I have experience as a parent, youth coach and also as a board member of youth athletic organizations. My experience has taught me that “experienced lacrosse player” or “success in a lacrosse playing career” does not equate to successful coach/director/leader.

I have also had experience with many types of lacrosse organizations from “flavor of the day/new pop ups” to “community based athletic organizations” to established “businesses”.

My experience shows me that Steve and his organizations like Top Tier/Charlotte Elite/Charlanta/Chill Laxin etc. have the best qualities of all of these wrapped into one. They are:

Passion/Energy/Enthusiasm – Flavor of the day and new pop ups often have a passion/enthusiasm/energy that is very exciting. The problem occurs when the newness and excitement begins to dwindle. Steve continues to demonstrate all of these positive traits even after more than a decade.

Economy/Giving Back/Love For The Game
- One of the qualities of community based athletic organizations are that they are usually economical, as they are often “true” non-profit organizations. My experience with Top Tier and Steve’s other programs is that they are consistently a fraction of the cost of other “like” programs. As a parent, I have never felt, nor do I believe, that Steve is “in it for the money”. On the contrary, I believe he is “in it” for the sport and the kids. The cost and value of his programs support this belief.

- One of the qualities of “business-based” organizations is that they often have a good organization infrastructure. Steve’s teams/programs/events that we have been involved with have always been extremely well run and had a strong infrastructure at the back bone. These included an effective website and email communication. Expectations, costs, details, etc. are communicated well in advance to parents, players, etc.

Knowledge/Experience - Obviously Steve’s biography speaks to his extensive lacrosse experience and knowledge. He definitely knows the game and is one of the best coaches my children have had the experience of playing forI have experienced all of these qualities and more from many different vantage points. My son(s) have participated in T2 camps and clinics and played on a number of different teams that Steve has run and coached. These teams have played locally and also travelled regionally and nationally. We have also participated in his leagues. We especially have enjoyed the box lacrosse league as have our friends.

We also have experience through the eyes of a “competitor”. When playing against Steve and his teams, I am always reminded of his positive influence on others and leadership by his actions. He along with his coaching staff and players, all display good sportsmanship and respect for their opponents. One of My favorite things is the way he leads his team in silence, two by two, from the team tent to the playing field before a game.

Steve Schattner is also an excellent field coach. He is very successful in the win/loss column. I believe his success is a direct result of his coaching of individuals during practice and games and adjustments he makes during games. What makes him stand out from some others is that fact that he has these traits coupled with his professionalism, dignity and integrity on and off the field.

Finally, Steve seems to genuinely care about the sport and his players. I know of a number of parents and players whom have sought out his guidance in the college recruiting process and Steve has personally helped guide them to the “right” college for the particular “student athlete”. Again, this is a unique quality. You may not always like what he has to tell you as a parent or a player, but my experience has been that he is always honest and thoughtful with his delivery.

In summary, I would recommend Steve Schattner and any of the lacrosse teams or programs that he is associated with. He has a proven track record of success, integrity and perseverance.

I can always be reached directly at 614.496.1677 if there are any further questions.


Lisa Russell
(Currently Parent of 2 players and Boys VP, Fort Mill Lacrosse Club)