Central jersey rebels
Trenton Thunder baseball academy
Premier Youth Travel Baseball Organization
Matt Sweeney, Co-Founder
After being drafted in the 11th round (320th overall) of the 2001 MLB Amateur Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies, Matt played 8 seasons (2001-2008) of professional baseball. He spent 6 seasons with the Phillies and pitched as high as class AA (Reading Phillies). After becoming a free agent, Matt played for teams in the Atlantic League (Newark Bears-2007/2008, & Bridgeport Bluefish-2008), and in the Carolina League (Salem Avalanche-Houston Astros, 2007) until he sustained a career ending shoulder injury which led to his retirement in 2009.
Over the past 17 years Matt has coached youth travel baseball teams, run coach’s seminars, hosted camps, coordinated team training sessions, conducted pitching clinics, and developed a throwing program that teaches players how to approach the game with proper mechanics and mental strength. Additionally, Matt was the 10U manager for the USA – LABC national baseball team which participated in an international baseball tournament in the Dominican Republic.
Matt continues to perfect his craft and find ways to help the players of tomorrow set and reach their goals. Matt’s experiences as a player and player developer have provided him with the skills and mindset/motivation which he continues to pass along to players who are looking to take their skills to the next level. Creating a positive environment based on personal growth is at the forefront of his approach. He looks forward to working with players of all ages and skill levels.
Gary Leonardo, Co-Founder
A life-long resident of Hamilton and All-County infielder at Hamilton West HS, Gary has spent a lifetime solidifying his place as a prominent sports figure on and off the field. His background and passion for success, provides a unique approach to training.
Gary has had the privilege of playing under some of the best coaches in the area. His knowledge and experience as a player and a coach has provided him with the tools to bring the absolute best out of each young athlete. Leading by example, Gary instills in each player the mindset that passion and hard work equals results.
Gary has been involved in all levels of youth sports and continues to be an innovator in training. He believes in the sense of team and community. In order for his plans to come to fruition, Gary has surrounded himself with the best group of minds and fellow athletes to provide a platform for players to succeed and grow.
The Rebels is a program that was designed to go against the grain and change the overall idea of what travel baseball "should" be like. That approach sums up Gary in a nutshell. No matter what, Gary puts all players/families needs ahead of his own. He will not stop until every person involved in this program has exactly what they need. Gary's passion for sports and success, is something he hopes he can pass along to all players who come through the program.