SportsFaith Podcast

Episode #1 - w/Matt Kowalczyk

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

What is SportsFaith? Founder Matt Kowalczyk shares more about how Sportsfaith started and how he sees it today. 

Episode #2 - w/Jeff Middlestead

Monday, July 15th, 2019

I had the opportunity to interview Jeff Middlestead NE Wisconsin Director of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). He has been the Director since April of 2017. If you would like to get involved in FCA give Jeff a call at 920-209-3505 or email him at

Episode #3 - w/David Cooks

Friday, July 26th, 2019

David Cooks was our guest on the Sportsfaith Podcast. David is a speaker and an author of the book “Getting Undressed”- From Paralysis to Purpose. David became paralyzed at the age of 15 from a spinal aneurysm. David’s story is one of faith and perseverance!!

Episode #4 - w/Dave Mader

Thursday August 8th, 2019

Dave Mader the former Wisconsin Badger is our Sportsfaith Podcast guest Episode #4. Dave talked about his Badger career and playing for the legendary coach Dick Bennett. Also we spent some time talking about all the players Dave played with including Mike Kelley, Alando Tucker and Devin Harris. Hope your enjoy it everyone!!

Episode #5 - w/Jeff Tarras

Tuesday October 1st, 2019

Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast Guest is North Central FCA Director Jeff Tarras

Episode #6 - w/Chris Walls

Tuesday March 31st, 2020

Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast guest was Chris Walls a former Pro basketball player that was part of the original Rim Rockers for the MIlwaukee Bucks and who also had tryouts with the Harlem Globetrotters and the MIlwaukee Bucks. Chris talks about his faith and his younger years growing up in Cleveland, OH and how his mother inspired him to be the best basketball player and person possible.

Episode #7 - w/Brian Hendricks

Thursday April 9th, 2020

Our guest today on Episode #7 of the Sportsfaith Podcast is Brian Hendricks 2nd year Head Coach of the Divine Savior Holy Angels High School Girls Basketball team. Brian talked about the disappointment of not being able to play in the State Basketball Tournament in Green Bay after the Covid-19 Pandemic cancelled the rest of the season.


He talked about the beliefs and standards at the all girls school and how the school with an enrollment of 694 students is considered a Division I school. He talked about his early job experience in sales and how he disliked that and was looking for something more fulfilling in his work life before landing at DSHA as a College Advisor.


Episode #8 - w/Ryan Borowicz

Monday April 20th, 2020

Today’s guest on the Sportsfaith Podcast was Ryan Borowicz the owner of “The Driveway” a basketball training facility in Green Bay, WI. Ryan was a 3 sport athlete at Ashwaubenon High School and went on to play basketball at UW Green Bay.


He was one of the top 3 point shooters in UW Green Bay history making 49% of his 3 point attempts his senior year. He made a total of 174 career 3 point shots and finished 3rd all time at UW Green Bay.


He went on to play professionally in Australia for two years where he made the league’s All Star team! We talked about his playing career and quite a bit about his summer basketball camps, shooting clinics and his daily work at “The Driveway” since June of 2016. Also Ryan talked about Covid-19 and how that has affected his business and personal life at home.


Ryan along with is wife Melissa reside in West De Pere, WI along with their 3 sons Bryce (13), Cooper (11), Griffin (9)

Episode #9 - w/Chrissy Baird

Saturday June 20th, 2020

Today’s guest on Episode #9 of the Sportsfaith Podcast is former UCLA Women’s basketball player Chrissy Baird.

Chrissy is a 2014 graduate of Wheaton High School in Wheaton Illinois. She played at UCLA from 2014-2019 and now works for FCA in Santa Barbara California as a college representative.

Chrissy Earned four varsity letters at Wheaton North High School (Wheaton, Ill.) from 2011-14. She became the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,076 points) and rebounder (828 rebounds). She was a three-time unanimous all-DuPage Valley Conference performer (2012-14), she was a Miss Illinois Basketball finalist as a senior and was named to the second team All-USA Today Illinois Girl’s Basketball Team.

Episode #10 - w/Danielle Ripley Burgess

Friday June 26th, 2020

Today on Episode #10 we visited with Danielle Ripley-Burgess the editor of the FCA Magazine. Danielle is a 20 year cancer survivor and was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer when she was just 17 years old.

Danielle is coming out with a new book talking about her cancer story called Blush: How I barely survived 17.

Danielle talked about the 3 week adoption process of her daughter and how becoming a Mother changed her life.

We talked about how Covid-19 has affected her family and she drew some parallels between today’s quarantine and what she endured when she battled cancer not once, but twice.

You can go to to read more about this great story and also subscribe to her blog called the Monday Morning Survival Guide.

You can pre order her new book at and Barnes & Noble.

Episode #11 - w/Jon Szalonek

Sunday July 5th, 2020

Our guest today on the Sportsfaith Podcast is Jon Szalonek, an Army Ranger and Servant Leader. Jon is a graduate of Jacobs High School in the Chicagoland area and also Western Illinois University where he earned his undergrad degree before joining the Army in 2015 as an infantry officer. From 2015 to 2016 Jon completed the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger School, the Stryker Leader Course , and the Airborne Course. He became the Rifle Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer at Fort Lewis, WA which was his first assignment.


In 2018 Jon was hired by Joint Special Operations Command and deployed with the 75th Ranger Regiment to Afghanistan. Upon returning from overseas Jon moved to Fort Benning GA for the Maneuver Captains Career Course.


He is currently working on getting his Master’s degree in organizational leadership which will be completed in August of 2020. On this episode Jon talks about servant leadership along with what faith looks like in the military. Jon talked about how important physical fitness in the military is and how that holds quite a few potential candidates from ever making it through.


Jon said the biggest reason he has made it through to such high levels in the military is his faith and how he falls back on faith every time he encounters rough times in his military career.



Episode #12 - w/Dave Dravecky

Sunday July 15th, 2020

Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast guest is former MLB pitcher Dave Dravecky. Dave’s story is one of finding hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of dark and overwhelming uncertainty.


In 1988, Dave was at the top of his game and his life. Dave’s opening day victory over the Dodgers was overshadowed later that fall by the discovery of cancer and the removal of half of the deltoid muscle in his pitching arm.


After battling cancer in his pitching arm, Dave came back a year later to defy the odds and pitch once again in the Major Leagues. Despite being told by the doctors, “Short of a miracle, you’ll never pitch again,” Dave pitched a 4-3 win for the San Francisco Giants that day.

Sadly, the comeback was short-lived. Five days later, he threw “…the pitch that could be heard round the world vs the Montreal Expos.” Dave’s arm had split in two!!


After my comeback and fall from the mound, the cancer returned, yet again. The arm refused to get better so Dave decided to retire from his dream, the game of baseball, in November of 1989. Finally, the arm along with Dave’s shoulder blade and the left side of his collarbone had to be amputated for fear the cancer would spread and take his life. Little did Dave know that the loss of his childhood dream would become a platform to share hope with the suffering around the world.


Episode #13 - w/Les Steckel

Sunday Aug 1st, 2020

Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast guest is former NFL coach Les Steckel. From being an NFL head coach to becoming the President of the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes). Les was also is a former Marine where he was in the infantry and fought in Vietnam.


Les was released or fired from 8 differ ent coaching positions and he talks about how is faith help carry him through. Coach Steckel listened with ears of faith past the loud rumblings of defeat and loss. Through the power of belief and prayer Les was transformed by God’s grace.


Les became the head coach of the MInnesota Vikings in 1984 as he was handpicked by legendary coach Bud Grant. The season ended with a 3-13 record and Les was fired after that one season.


Les moved on and had great successes with the Patriots(lost to Chicago in 1986 SB) and the Tennessee Titans where he was the Offensive Coordinator.

In Super Bowl XXXIV vs the St Louis Rams the Titans literally fell one yard short of tying the game with just seconds remaining and this became the title of his 2005 book “One Yard Short” Turning your defeats into victory.

After retiring from coaching in 2003 God had a plan to have Les become the 7th President of the FCA in 2005 where he served until his retirement in 2017. Les currently resides in Nashville Tennessee with his wife Chris. They have 3 children Christian, Luke & Lesley.

Episode #14 - w/Chester Marcol

Monday Sep 21st, 2020

Our Episode #14 guest of the Sportsfaith Podcast is Chester Marcol former NFL kicker with the Green Bay Packers and Houston Oilers. Chester was inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in 1987.


Chester talked about his early childhood in Communist Poland and his father’s suicide when he was just 14.


His family immigrated the United States and settled in Inlay, Michigan where Chester discovered football and went on to play at Hillsdale College. He was drafted in the 2nd round(34th overall) by the Green Bay Packers. He won offensive rookie of the year in 1972 and led the NFL in scoring 2 of his first 3 years in the league.


In 1980 Chester was involved in one of the all time great plays in Packer history when he ran in his own blocked FG vs. the Chicago Bears on Sept 7th, 1980 in the home opener.


Later that year the Packers cut Chester during a time where he abused alcohol and prescription painkillers. He had a short stint with Houston before retiring. His abuse of drugs and alcohol continued and resulted in an attempted suicide in 1986.


Chester is currently living in Luxemburg, Wisconsin and is a drug and alcohol counselor in Appleton, Wisconsin. He has been sober for 13 years and enjoys the outdoors where he fishes and hunts.

Episode #15 - w/Pepper Burruss

Monday Nov 15th, 2020

Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast Guest #15 was Pepper Burruss longtime NFL Athletic Trainer. Pepper spent 42 total years in the NFL with 16 being with the NY Jets and 26 with the Green Bay Packers.

Pepper was part of two Super Bowl winning teams in Green Bay (1997 & 2011).


In 2011 Pepper was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame and n 2013 he was awarded the NFL Physicians Society’s “Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer at the annual NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.


Pepper and his wife Nancy live in De Pere, Wisconsin and have two grown children Shane, 31 of California and Christina, 26, of Seattle Washington.

Episode #16 - w/Trent Clark

Monday Jan 21st, 2021


Today’s Sportsfaith Podcast guest was Trent Clark CEO of Leadershipity and Founder of Courage Coach, LLC. 


Trent lettered in both tennis and baseball and played in the 1989 and 1990 NJCAA National Tennis Championships.


We talked about a wide array of things including his 3 World Series rings as he spent 12 years in Major League Baseball as a strength and conditioning coach with the Tigers, Indians and the LA Angels.
Since 2011 Trent has launched two separate startup firms that rose to revenues exceeding 1 Million within the 1st 15 months of existence.


Episode #17 - w/Jason Lauren

Wednesday February 3, 2021

Today’s guest on episode #17 of the Sportsfaith Podcast was Jason Lauren of ScoutU.


Jason has been scouting high school athletes since 2008 and has helped over 250 of those move on to play college athletics.


Jason is a native of Ishpeming, Michigan and a graduate of Northern Michigan University.


Jason talked about all the ins and outs of the college recruiting game and what athletes and families need to focus on to increase their chances of being recruited.


We hit on some of the myths of college recruiting including if you are good enough the colleges will find you.


Jason currently resides in Greendale, WI with his wife Laurie, 7 year old daughter Maisey and their yellow-Lab mix Dorsey.

Episode #18 - w/Sebastian Torres

Wednesday March 16, 2021

Today’s guest on Episode #18 of the Sportsfaith Podcast was Sebastian Torres our new intern at Sportsfaith.


Sebastian is in his Senior year at Judson University studying Sports Management with a minor in Business. He is planning on getting his masters degree in Sports Chaplaincy from Liberty University this summer.


Sebastian has worked 3 seasons for the Chicago Cubs. His end goal is to be a Sports Chaplain or something Community outreach related.

Episode #19 - w/Dakota Zinzer

Wednesday April 5, 2021

Today’s guest on Epidsode #19 of the Sportsfaith Podcast was Dakota Zinser. A 2014 graduate of Green Bay NEW Lutheran High School in Green Bay Wisconsin where he played basketball for WBCA Basketball Hall of Fame coach Mark Meerstein.


Dakota went on to play at DII Palm Beach Atlantic University in South Florida where he played for Coach Dave Balza.


Currently Dakota is playing for the BBC Les Sangliers Woolts Basetball Club in Luxembourg after playing 1 year in the Premier League in Australia.


We talked about his two High School State Championship losses in 2013 & 2014 and the disappointment that came with that.


If you want to follow Dakota you can on Facebook and also Instagram at kodakwhite25

Episode #20- w/Todd James

Wednesday May 19, 2021

Today’s guest on the Sportsfaith Podcast is Todd James former high school basketball coach and church missionary.

He left high school coaching in 1980 and headed overseas where he started two churches in Dublin, Ireland where he still resides today 41 years later.

We talked quite a bit about his mentor and coaching hero John Wooden the former UCLA coach. Todd wrote a piece called Meet My Head Coach which is available in 47 different languages and versions. Coach Wooden took this and made his own version that can be read today.

Enjoy the podcast!

Episode #21 w/Travis Daugherty

Friday, September 3, 2021

In this week’s podcast we welcome Travis Daugherty, a coach, teacher, speaker, and author of Hidden Talent: Uncovering What Really Makes a Champion a Champion.We discuss how sports should bring families together, the importance of knowing your “why” as a coach.

Travis’s first book,The LENS: Raising a Champion Athlete and Man in Today’s Myopic World (2017), focuses on developing champion athletes and people through sports.

Travis served as a high school basketball coach in the state of Indiana for 14 years, where his teams won nearly 200 games. He was honored as the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year in 2008.


Travis also serves as the Assistant Director and Leadership Development Speaker for Higher Level Father-Son Basketball Camps.


He and his wife Jessica have three kids: Aden, Owen, and Leah.



Episode #22 w/Dr. Patrick Flynn

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Our special guest on Episode #22 of the Sportsfaith Podcast is Dr Patrick Flynn of The Wellness Way.


Dr. Flynn is Chiropractor and the founder of The Wellness Way. As a young child, he was labeled ‘troubled’ because he had a difficult time learning, focusing, and existing within the school system. Years later, as a teenager, he went through a series of events that led him to discover he had immune issues which contributed to his neurological setbacks. This discovery inspired Dr. Flynn to begin his journey defining his purpose and initiating his pursuit of education.

He has attended numerous colleges and took countless courses from learning institutions including the University of Wisconsin Green Bay and Marinette, Scott College, Northwestern Health Sciences, National Health Sciences, Palmer College of Chiropractic, and Harvard Medical School— HMX Fundamentals Online Certificate Program- Immunology. His education contributes to his expertise in immunology and hormones.

Within his 21 years of practice, he trained thousands of doctors on a different approach to healthcare and continues to do so today. There are currently 80 practicing clinics across the world. Dr. Flynn is also the author of an international bestselling book— I Disagree: How These Two Words Are the Secret to Thinking Differently and Taking Control of Your Health. He makes an impact by hosting seminars for the public called The Hormone Connection.

Despite his numerous accomplishments, he states he is a small-town country boy that came up with an idea to help people.

Episode #23 w/Marie Sumnicht

Friday, November 12, 2021

Our special guest on the Sportsfaith Podcast #23 was Marie Sumnicht an educator and entrepreneur.


In this podcast Marie talks about the tragic death of her daughter Julia on March 15th, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. Julia died from a drug overdose which was not self induced. She talks about the fact that there wasn’t a thorough investigation into Julia’s death and the suspects still being at large to this day.

In 2018 Marie wrote a book called “Beyond Broken” to tell the story of Julia’s death. Currently there is a movie potentially in the making illustrating the story of Julia and her story.

Marie graduated from Appleton East High School in Appleton, WI and later attended Valparaiso University in Indiana. Marie became an accomplished marathon runner at the age of 41 and even ran in the Boston Marathon. She broke the 3 hour mark in her first 3 years of running marathons.

If you want to learn more about this story and purchase the book you can visit There are two Facebook pages you can visit as well. Justice for Julia and Beyond Broken Book pages.


Episode #24 w/Matt Klarner Xavier Hawks Coach

Friday, November 19,2021

A 2021-22 season preview of Xavier Hawks basketball with Head Coach Matt Klarner.




Episode #25 w/Cory Haese Wrightstown Tigers Coach

Friday, November 12, 2021

We talk with Head Coach Cory Haese of the Wrightstown Tigers Boy’s Basketball team to discuss the upcoming 2021-22 season 

Episode #26 w/Rick Curti

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Today’s guest on Episode #24 of the Sportsfaith Podcast is Rick Curti the CEO and Founder of the Charlotte Bats. Rick started a grassroots effort back in 2015 to bring Major League Baseball to Charlotte NC. He talked about the process and how MLB has Charlotte on the short list for league expansion.

Rick tells a great story of how the name Bats came into play and the reason the team will be known by that name. Rick has a great knowledge of the history of baseball and his dream is coming very close to reality.
Check out the Bats website at to find out more information and also to sign the petition to help Rick reach his goals.

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SportsFaith Sound Bites

Here we share sound bites from interviews, podcasts and other faith filled messages.

SportsFaith is a Christ centered ministry that is focused on introducing people to God through sports. Our prayer is that God uses us to build a better team for Him. He has already provided the playbook (Bible), SportsFaith simply uses articles, interviews, video, audio, and impact events to share His message and make an impact that is positive and God honoring. Visit often, share our mission and help us make sure God is always calling the plays!

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