by Chris O’Neal
chris@vcreporter.com

Connecting student athletes with coaches

Camarillo-based SchollyME has the potential to take off in big way by connecting athletes with their potential future coaches, cutting out the middlemen.

The app, brainchild of Founder and CEO Melvin Nunnery, a former Oxnard basketball coach, is kind of like a Facebook for athletes seeking recruitment. Players can upload college transcripts, their GPAs, game footage and highlights; and coaches from around the country can preview the stats without leaving their offices.

“If you’re looking for a 6-foot-10-inch left-handed point guard that lives in Chicago with a 1500 SAT score and a 3.5 GPA, every single point guard that fits that category will populate,” said Nunnery.

Nunnery developed the concept, he says, after assisting a Moorpark College basketball player in finding a scholarship. After being told by her college coaches that she wouldn’t be able to receive a top-level scholarship, Nunnery knew otherwise — and gave her the tools she needed, eventually leading to a full ride and a spot on a roster facing Division 1 universities.

“You can communicate with the colleges yourself, you can communicate with the coaches yourself and it shouldn’t cost you a dime,” said Nunnery, adding that the current college recruitment process is antiquated and in need of rejuvenation.

Aside from transcripts and other stats, which can only be seen by coaches verified by SchollyME, players can interact with fans and other players. Nunnery says that the recruiting process needs to be rethought, and that the app answers the need of the new generation.

“When you look at J.J. Watt, who wasn’t recruited out of high school; Clay Matthews, who wasn’t recruited out of high school,” says Nunnery, “our company doesn’t believe in the regular systems because of those statistics.”

SchollyME is available for the Android and iPhone. For more information, visit www.schollyme.com.

Robotics competition to be held with medieval theme

Forty-two high school teams, including four from the Republic of China, will visit Ventura to compete in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Regional Competition, featuring a race to complete obstacles in a medieval-themed battlefield dubbed First Stronghold.

The students, aged 13 to 18 in grades 9 through 12, must build, test and program their machines over a six-week period. Robots will form alliances and battle to take control of a tower by climbing, catapulting balls and overcoming obstacles to score points for their teams.

Family and friends in the audience will have an opportunity to shape the battlefield, and students will also present essays, business plans and strategies to take on other teams.

Now in its second year in Ventura, the worldwide competition features 5,000 teams with over 78,000 student participants. Between Thursday, March 24, and Saturday, March 26, visitors can view robot construction and watch the competition at the Ventura College Gym, 4667 Telegraph Road, Ventura, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the finals scheduled for Saturday.

For more information, visit www.frcventuraregional.com.

Web content management OmniUpdate expands

Camarillo-based OmniUpdate, a web content management system, has announced an expansion and seeks to hire for 20 new positions by the end of the year. The announcement was made on Friday, March 11, with Camarillo Mayor Mike Morgan and OmniUpdate President and CEO Lance Merker on hand. OmniUpdate focuses on digital marketing for higher education.