State Champs! Team Contacts

State Champs! Team Contacts

Marketing, Business and Media Relations

Lou Bitonti

Lou Bitonti, President

State Champs! Network

Lou, a 30 year veteran of corporate marketing, advertising, promotions and sports enterprise management, is President of the State Champs! Network. Lou served in many executive marketing management positions in his 28+ year career at Chrysler Corporation, including Senior Manager, Global Brand Events for DaimlerChrysler Corporation, where he directed programs across the Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth and Eagle brands.

Lou has driven promotions and well recognized advertising programs on both the corporate and agency sides, across the Automotive and Sports and Entertainment industries. He has been featured in periodicals such as Promo magazine and Event Marketer magazine where he was named one of its “Event Marketing Superstars”. His book entitled, “The Cosmic Spiderweb: How to Capture Any Customer Through Event Marketing” provided a blueprint for success in promotions, and his renowned Camp Jeep loyalty program was awarded “Best Event in the World” in 2005 by Promo Magazine. His Go Anywhere Do Anything Tour helped present thousands of cars to tens of thousands of people across events that included concerts with Tim McGraw and the B-52.

Lou has been an owner/investor in State Champs! for several years, and as President is now leading efforts to help expand the State Champs! Network into a regional sports network, focused on the development of student athletes and scholars and their ultimate connection to college and professional athletes, sports leadership and success in life. A long-time fan and sponsor of Southeast Michigan sports, Lou is on the board of directors of Brother Rice Catholic in Birmingham, Michigan where he has also served as assistant football coach.

Lou served as COO of award winning event and production agency MVP for several years, before becoming President of the State Champs! Network and still serves as President and CEO for LD3, a regional marketing, brand management, and event consulting corporation in Southeast Michigan. He is on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Opera & Lyrics Society, and enjoys collecting fine wines, classic cars, and guitars.
Jim Weissenborn

Jim Weissenborn, Partner/Advisor

State Champs! Network

Jim, a partner and advisor to the State Champs! Network, is a longtime sports enthusiast and sports community supporter. As co-owner of the Varsity Shop Training Center, Jim helped establish Oakland County, Michigan’s premier 11.000 indoor training facility for youth baseball, softball and athletic development. Jim’s has been very active in area sports; through his company, Mackinac Partners, he has sponsored many little league teams across Oakland County as well as being a booster for the Oakland County Summer Baseball Travel league. Jim also helped organize and support Brother Rice’s first home football game last year in Birmingham.

As a professional, Jim helped coordinate financing for the development of Commerica Park among other sports and entertainment related ventures. Jim played baseball as an undergrad at the University of South Florida in Tampa, and remains a longtime University of Texas Longhorn fan and booster, his graduate school alma mater.
Mark Rottenberk

Mark Rottenberk, Production and Sales

State Champs! Network

Mark is a Production and Sales Director for State Champs! Network who has been in the production and marketing industry for over 22 years. His expertise centers around concept, creation and the production of materials that open markets and generate sales. His sports marketing experience includes working with NASCAR's Dale Jarrett and Robert Yates Racing, Grand Prix Hydroplane Racing, North American Lacrosse Invitational, Warrior Sports and the Motor City Open International Squash Tournament. He bring his video production and advertising expertise to State Champs! by developing unique marketing programs that deliver results to all our sponsors. Mark also runs his own Marketing and promotions firm: http://chooseignite.com/

State Champs Media and Production

Lorne Plant

Lorne Plant, Host, Co-Producer

State Champs! Network

Lorne is a Host and Co-Producer for the State Champs! Network. Having been with State Champs! since 2002, Lorne's presence and on-air professionalism have been a cornerstone of State Champs! program quality and success, and our Emmy award winning Sports Highlights! show.

An all CIF soccer and baseball player in high school in California, Lorne attended the Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Michigan where he was awarded the 2002 MCA-I Gold Award for Student of the Year for his work on the PBS children's show "Daedal Doors". His broadcasting career began as an intern with the weekend sports department on WDIV Local 4 in Detroit, followed by a reporter/producer role on Fred McLeod's Saturday Night Local 4 High School Sports Show. Simultaneously, Lorne served as an intern and radio news reporter for public radio's WDET 101.9 FM.

In the Fall of 2002, Lorne and Fred joined the new State Champs! Sports Highlights Show. From 2002-2006, The Game Of The Week, Flashback, and The Student Reporter were all part of Lorne's signature segments on the show. From 2001-2006, Lorne also worked as the Matrix operator in the scoreboard room for both the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, a position he held during the 2005 MLB All Star Game, and Super Bowl XL.

Lorne also served as producer for the Emmy Award winning women's fitness reality show "X-treme Warrior" in 2006 and as on the call broadcaster for over 150 play-by-play programs as "Voice of the Golden Grizzlies" for men's and women's basketball at Oakland University. In January of 2007, Lorne took over as full time host and co-producer, a role that he continues to love to this day. Winners of three Michigan Emmy Awards over the past four years, State Champs! continues to be the longest running, and most successful network high school sports franchise in Michigan history!

Lorne can also be heard as host of State Champs! Radio - High School Football Report in the Fall and High School Basketball and Recruiting Show during the Winter. Both programs can be heard Friday nights on WDFN 1130 AM The Fan.
Jonathon Kidd

Jonathon Kidd, Co-Producer and Videographer

State Champs! Network

Jonathon Kidd is a Co-producer and Videographer for the State Champs! Network. Having attended Specs Howard School of Media Arts, Jonathon joined the State Champs! team in August of 2002. He is instrumental in State Champs! Network show planning, filming and production/scheduling, a career path that emanated from his early passion for sports when watching the 1984 Olympics as a young child.

Jonathan’s career achievements have been well recognized with three Emmy awards for State Champs! where he has served as our primary producer and videographer. Jonathan prior career experience includes work for other media outlets including Fox Sports Detroit as a production assistant during the Red Wings and Tigers seasons in 2006. You can follow Jon’s thoughts on sports, videography and productions on twitter@jonkidd.
Kiara Lancaster

Kiara Lancaster, Co-host and Associate Producer

State Champs! Network

Kiara is currently the co-host for State Champs! She began working for Yellow Flag Productions in 2015 primarily on the no-sports side, but was happy to join State Champs team in 2016. Kiara Lancaster graduated from Central Michigan University with a degree in Broadcasting and Cinematic Arts. If you have a story idea that you would like to be featured on State Champs! send her an email at Klancaster@statechampsnetwork.com
Amanda Bitonti

Amanda Bitonti, Producer / Editor

Yellow Flag Productions

Amanda grew up in Rochester Hills and went to Notre Dame Prep high school. She graduated from Colorado University with a Bachelors Degree in Communications and worked at a Marketing and Publication company for 3 years following graduation, where she learned how to create magazines and other print creative productions. She also worked at the advertising agency Universal McCann for 4 years as a digital and media planner on the Chrysler account. Amanda currently works as a Producer, Editor, and Videographer at Yellow Flag Productions. She loves spending time with her friends and her awesome dog named Lola!
Denver Rochon

Denver Rochon, Creative Services Director

Yellow Flag Productions

Contrary to his geographically derived given name, Denver was born and raised in Michigan. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan he spent over 20 years traveling the world directing, writing, producing, and editing numerous award winning short and feature films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos. Denver started his career with Yellow Flag Productions as a freelance editor for television specials and series, including RoboZone. After directing, editing and helping to produce several seasons of the Emmy award winning series Pure Brews America, he joined the Yellow Flag team full time. When not creating content for Yellow Flag, Denver can be found with his wife Lydia, children Lidiana and Bruno, and a very evil (wonderful) cat named Beast.
Derek Blalock

Derek Blalock, Creative Services Specialist

Yellow Flag Productions

Derek is a 2015 graduate of Michigan State University, where he was the Fall Commencement Speaker. He earned his Bachelors degree in advertising, and is currently working on a Master's degree in Sport and Fitness Administration from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. Derek has moved more than 25 times in six different states, and has worked for the Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Michigan State University Athletics, and MSU Advancement. Derek also bicycled 7,000 miles solo across the country for teen heart health, and his debut book — The Heart To Ride — detailed the journey and was released in March 2018. Derek is currently a Creative Services Specialist for Yellow Flag Productions.
Jonathan Hevron

Jonathan Hevron, Director of Graphic Design

Yellow Flag Productions

Jon Hevron serves as the Director of Graphic Design for Yellow Flag Productions, as well as the Football Sports Information Director and Director of LTU Multimedia for Lawrence Technological University. Hevron came to Lawrence Tech and Yellow Flag Productions after spending several years in intercollegiate athletics. He has worked at nearly every level of sport, including the NAIA, Big Ten, Big 12 and NFL. From 2015-2017, Hevron was the graphic designer for Michigan State Athletics’ communications office, leaving with the title of Digital Media Specialist. While with the Spartans, Hevron spent time as the secondary contact for Men’s Basketball, which claimed the 2016 Big Ten Tournament title, and he co-managed Denzel Valentine’s Player of the Year campaign. The Rochester Hills-native has claimed nine CoSIDA Digital Design and Publications awards since 2017, highlighted by four best cover plaudits – back-to-back first for NCAA Division I Football. Hevron graduated from Central Michigan University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts in Sports Management and a minor in Journalism. After one year of graduate school at West Virginia University, Jon enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Hevron completed his Master of Arts in Sports Administration with a focus in Intercollegiate Athletics from Wayne State University in 2015.
Kevin Troczynski

Kevin Troczynski, Associate Producer

State Champs! Network / Yellow Flag Productions

Kevin Troczynski is an Associate Producer for State Champs! Network. He has been with the company since 2007 as a freelance videographer and joined the staff full time in August 2017. Kevin is a graduate of Detroit Catholic Central '07 and has a passion for sports from hockey to NASCAR. Be sure to follow Kevin on twitter @StateChampsKev
Gabe O'Neil

Gabe O'Neil, Production Assistant

State Champs! Network / Yellow Flag Productions

Gabe, a class of '17 graduate from Lawrence Technological University and current social media/ production assistant. Originally started at State Champs as an intern in fall '16 for the Extra Point football highlight show and from there became the social media sports intern under Jeff Dullack. in August of '17 was hired in full time. Along with working for the State Champs! Sports Show, Gabe assists the newly implemented Lawrence Tech football team. He manages all of the social media accounts for the team as well as helping with the marketing department. in the summer of 2016, Gabe also worked for Channel 4 WDIV News on the assignment desk. Gabe is from Madison Heights Michigan where he attended and graduated in 2013 from Bishop Foley Catholic High School. He was a two sport athlete for football and lacrosse. After his senior year he was offered a scholarship to play lacrosse at LTU and accepted. At LTU he majored in media communications with a focus in sports broadcasting. Gabe helped create and co-hosted the student run broadcasting network in his time at LTU.
Steve Weissenborn

Steve Weissenborn, Partner / Media and Technology Advisor

State Champs! Network / Yellow Flag Productions

Steve is a Partner as well as Media and Technology consultant and webmaster for State Champs! Network and Yellow Flag Productions. Steve manages web media, video integration and streaming, hosting services, web design and architecture, content management, and journalism and social media integration. Steve is a longtime sports fan who played intramural football, baseball and soccer while growing up in Miami, his hometown. Steve has also served as an Associate Partner with Accenture, a global business, strategy and technology integration firm. He also served as VP of Technology for Enthusian, a Spherion/Accenture virtual HR/Staffing company, and as CIO for World Fuel Services, a Fortune 200 global energy supplier. Steve is the CIO of Mackinac Partners, a financial services and restructuring firm based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Steve received a BA in Communications/English from the University of Florida and an MBA from Barry University in Miami. He resides in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Media Partners and Writers

Matthew B. Mowery

Matthew B. Mowery, Editor / Writer / Journalism Coordinator

State Champs! Network

Matthew B. Mowery coordinates the writing staff at State Champs Network. He has spent the majority of the last 25 years covering sports for newspapers all around the state of Michigan, from preps to the pros, from Little League to the World Series. Before coming to State Champs, he spent seven seasons covering the Detroit Tigers for The Oakland Press and its affiliated newspapers. Winner of more than 20 awards for writing, headline writing and newspaper design, his most conspicuous accomplishment may be giving then-Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander his “Must-See JV” nickname during his Cy Young and MVP season in 2011. Mowery lives in Howell with his wife, Angela, and two youngest children. You can follow him on Twitter at: @matthewbmowery.
Scott Burnstein

Scott Burnstein, Media Analyst and Journalist

State Champs! Network

Scott Burnstein is a freelance sports writer and true crime author based out of Metro Detroit who covers recruiting, analysis and sports news for the State Champs! Network and also assists in event coverage for State Champs! Gametime Live! . Mr. Burnstein has worked for newspapers such as The Detroit Free Press and the Oakland Press and has had two books published on the American mafia. Born and raised in West Bloomfield and attending high school in Birmingham at The Roeper School, Mr. Burnstein received his undergraduate degree in political science from Indiana University and earned a law degree from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. You can follow all of Scott's sports commentary on Twitter at @burneystweets.
Tom Markowski

Tom Markowski, Media Analyst and Journalist

State Champs! Network

Tom is long time Media analyst and journalist for State Champs! Network. A long time journalist with Gannett and the Detroit News, Tom has covered all sports across the State and has served as an on-camera media analyst for various State Champs! programs including the Highs School Sports Show, our annual Recruiting and Signing shows, The Extra Point and State Champs! podcasts. An accomplished sports journalist, Tom grew up on Detroit's east side and has been following sports throughout his career, including career stops in Ann Arbor and Southern California along the way. He has also provided college coverage as a beat writer for Detroit Mercy and Oakland University men's basketball teams, as well as covering professional sports. He's been a part of radio broadcasts, including State Champs! HS Football Report and our Basketball and Recruiting Radio Show.