Jordan (left) and Joe

One day about a year ago, 9-year-old Taylor Nogg was going through a roughpatch with his baseball skills. Taylor’s mom (Jaime) asked Taylor’s oldest brother (Jordan) if his friend (Joe Scioli) would come over and the two older boys could work with Taylor to get his game back.

   “I was glad to help,” said Scioli. “We focused on all aspects of the game and Taylor had a great time. After the lesson, Jordan and I had a ‘catch’ and talked about how much we liked working with Taylor and how good the two of us were working together.

   “We can make this our summer business,’ Scioli exclaimed — ‘choose our own hours, make money and love it!’”

   Nogg had his doubts.

   “There’s no risk!” Scioli insisted. ”We don’t have to buy anything — we already have all the equipment we need!”

   Two days after Taylor’s lesson, their friend Evan Kugler was helping them create a website. The plan was to make flyers and go door-to-door talking to people. Nogg was still skeptical. “Mom and I thought it was sort of weird,” he said, “but Joe insisted it was worth a try.

   “Joe’s very first knock was at the new neighbors across the street. He knocked on the door and the dad answered. Joe gave him the whole pitch.”

   “I was nervous,” Scioli confessed. “He was probably going to shut me down. But then he goes, ‘Oh, I have kids. My son loves sports and he could use a good coach. I’ll shoot you a text tomorrow!’”

   And that’s how Sportscape started. “Our first customer ended up to be our biggest customer,” Nogg noted. “That kid came three or four times a week and he got better at everything. We took a video of his first swing and then his most recent. The difference was huge.”

   By the end of last summer, Sportscape had 10 clients. Friends talked to friends, parents helped spread the word and the guys hung flyers at nearby ballparks. “We didn’t expect an instant reaction but we found that parents needed and wanted it for their kids,” said Scioli. “They trusted us.”

    And with good reason.  Just ask first customer Matt Dwyer.

   “We moved next to Noggs a couple years ago,” said Dwyer. “My son Miles was seven, a sports fanatic and a natural athlete. Sportscape was a perfect fit. They worked on whatever sport Miles was working on at the time — batting, fielding, throwing and pitching; played basketball together, and ran pass routes in football.

   “The minute I watched them interact, I could see Joe and Jordan had a lot of athletic ability themselves, knew the fundamentals and how to play the game. They’re a great match for Miles and not just as athletes. They’re good, honest kids who are kind, patient and positive role models. Sportscape gives Miles a chance to play with experienced teenage athletes (close to his age) who he respects.

   “I was impressed with how much Joe and Jordan really wanted to help younger athletes improve their game,” Dwyer recalled. “They’re kind, not abrasive or cocky. They communicate well with parents and run a responsible business. Miles gets super excited when he knows it's Joe and Jordan time and as parents we, too, look forward to another summer with Sportscape!”

  Scioli and Nogg both excel in their sport of choice. For Joe, it’s baseball. He’s played with major select teams like the Omaha Pacesetters and Elkhorn Prime Red, the highest level of play in Omaha. Scioli has also played basketball at Westside Middle School, the Jewish Community Center and for the Westside Warriors.

  Jordan excelled in baseball, as well — three years for the Suburban Stampede, three years for the Omaha Warriors and one year for Westside. But his first love is basketball. He currently plays on the summer basketball team at the Jewish Community Center and was a member of the 25-0 Westside freshman basketball team, champions of the Metro Freshman Tournament in 2021.

   But what do they know about running a business? Plenty. Nogg took an Honors Business Class at Westside and Scioli took a business class on Zoom taught by a professor from the Heider Business School at Creighton.

   And if you ask them — Why Sportscape? — the two young entrepreneurs fire back. “We have first-hand experience, we’re mobile, and we really care about these kids!”

   “We have a personal connection to our kids,” added Scioli. “We’re closer in age. They like interacting with high school kids especially athletes. We want them to get better and they know it. If I see they’re doing something wrong, I just have to fix it.”

   “We know what mistakes to correct because we’re currently playing the game,” Nogg continued. “Things change in the game, the mechanics change. We know what today’s players need to know more than a parent coach who hasn’t played since he or she was 8.”

   “And we’re mobile,”Scioli repeated, “we can go anywhere. Sometimes we’ll both go to a lesson for one kid. Even in a professional training facility, the ratio is never like that!”

   “I’m still playing basketball and Joe’s still playing baseball,” Nogg noted. “We’re a great resource for each other. We’re good talking to adults and good talking to kids. We both do well in school. Joe knows when to be strict when a kid needs to refocus. I’m a little more laid back. We’re a great team with a lot to offer and look forward to another successful season with Sportscape.”

   In case you’re interested, Sportscape also offers a Party Package.

   Kari Tauber hired Sportscape to run her 11-year-old son Taylor’s (not to be confused with Taylor Nogg’s) birthday party. “It was the ‘instant cool factor,” said Tauber, “young kids playing basketball with high school athletes — fun for the kids and super easy for me. Sportscape comes to your house so you don’t have to deal with driving to a commercial venue with all the party goods, parking, reserving courts or sharing the space with a lot of other people.”

   The Sportscape duo put together a 3 vs. 3 tournament for the party, “It was very organized and well thought out,” Tauber said. “They even created a bracket for the tournament. Jordan and Joe were referees with not one contested call. The game was competitive but fun. Even when it was down to the last two teams, everyone else was cheering them on.

   “Jordan and Joe brought a good energy to the party. They were personable and professional. They kept everyone entertained, the kids had a great time, and the hour with Sportscape was definitely the highlight of the party!”

   “We had as much fun as the kids,”said Nogg.

   “And we’re offering it again this year as a birthday party or just for fun,” added Scioli, “— like a neighborhood party or around a holiday. It’s something really special for kids.”

   And that, sports fans, defines Sportscape … “something really special for kids.”

   Sportscape is open to all kids ages 4-12. One lesson/one athlete/one hour is $25 an hour and $10 for each additional athlete in the same hour. Sportscape has a company Instagram and can be found on Yelp. To sign up or for more information, contact Joe (402-999-6997) or Jordan (531-301-0628).