Executive Director & Co-Founder
Zach Rocha has been the executive director and co-founder of Sidekick Soccer Academy since its inception in 2012. He has helped develop Sidekick into a leader in the soccer industry and a reputable, professional organization centered in Massachusetts.
Zach has overseen tremendous growth within the company, helping to expand Sidekick Soccer Academy into Sidekick Sports Academy in 2016. Sidekick has an impressive social media and digital presence, which Zach has continuously strengthened so that interactive learning is more easily accessible. Sidekick has positively affected nearly 50 communities - both domestic and abroad - and Sidekick has directly worked with tens of thousands of players and coaches in its short history.
In addition to his lengthy soccer resume, Zach is a USA Football Flag certified coach.
While a student at Lesley Univeristy, Zach co-founded and directed the school's Co-Ed Flag Football League in Cambridge, Mass., where the organization immediately became the largest student-run club on campus. Through student and faculty engagement, the spring league attracted more than 100 players per year and held charity fundraisers and an All-Star Game that directed funds to the family of John Micelin after his sudden, untimely death.
It was through basketball at Lesley where Zach met John Micelin, the inspiration for the 'Micelin Minutemen', 'Micelin Seminoles' (Flag Football), and the 'John Micelin '55 Alive' Foundation'.
Zach continues to play through his involvement in the Micelin Seminoles' Adult Co-Ed team which won the 2015 Regular Season championship in Social Boston Sports.
He is a native of New Bedford, Mass.
"I have worked with Mr. Rocha over the past three years in a number of soccer-based initiatives and I have always found him to be a highly professional, very organized and, ultimately, very effective coach and leader." - Andrew LaFrenz, Head Coach, Men's Soccer, Newbury College
Jesse Vann is the co-founder of Sidekick Soccer Academy, which expanded into Sidekick Sports Academy in 2016. He is the driving philosophical force behind the organization.
Jesse authored the book, One Love. One Game., detailing his thoughts on why soccer can improve the world.
He has coached at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, Mass. and with Global Premier Soccer. He played collegiately at Chester University in England and in the Maryland Olympic Development Program as a youth.
In addition to soccer, Jesse is the owner of Vann Development, a real estate development firm in the United States Virgin Islands. He is also the CEO and founder of Traveling Minds, a philosophical organization dedicated to utilizing the experience of travel as a way to improve the quality of life.
He is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and a dual English-American citizen. His childhood love of the Wolverhampton Wanderers has had a direct effect on Sidekick’s crest and colors and the naming of Sidekick’s division, Wolves Futsal Club. He currently resides in St. John's (USVI).
Associate Director - Development
Joanel Micelin has been a member of the Sidekick staff since 2014. In addition to being the Vice Present of John Micelin '55 Alive' Foundation, Joanel is also the Associate Director of 'Micelin Minutemen' (Basketball).
Joanel has been instrumental in networking and providing resources to help Sidekick reach continual growth in programming, volunteers and coaches.
He is a USA Football Flag certified coach.
An outstanding athlete, Joanel lettered in basketball, track and field, and football at Division I Everett High School in Everett, Mass. He went on to play wide receiver for the NCAA Division I-FBS UMass Amherst and helped lead the Minutemen to the National Championship game.
He remains active in football, competing in the semi-pro Eastern Mass Football League, where he is a perennial all-star wideout.
Aside from basketball and football, Joanel has been a long-time financial advisor and representative, working for Itrust Advisor, U-Promise Investments, and the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network.
Joanel's late brother, John, is the inspiration for the Micelin Minutemen, Micelin Seminoles and John Micelin '55 Alive' Foundation. John played basketball at NCAA Division III Lesley University with Sidekick Executive Director, Zach Rocha.
Joanel is a native of Everett, Mass.
Associate Director - 'Spirals with Care'
John Teves has been the director of Sidekick’s ‘Kick with Care’ department since its inception in 2013. He now leads all of Sidekick's 'Care' (Special Needs) programs.
John has helped the department reach continual growth in programming, volunteers and coaches. Working with players with special needs of all ages, John’s energy, passion, and ability to connect with those less fortunate is unparalleled. ‘Kick with Care’ has been held in close to a dozen Massachusetts communities (and counting) and has positively affected hundreds of players and families.
John is a USA Football Flag certified coach.
In addition to ‘Kick with Care’, John has also worked in Sidekick’s Footy Fun Fitness and Top Quality departments. His daughter, Jaden, led the Wolves Futsal Club U14 Girls Heroes in scoring during the 2014 season.
John is currently the Head Coach of the Massachusetts Special Olympics State Champion Belmont team. He is also an assistant coach for the Girls' Varsity team at Prospect Hill Academy.
He holds the US Soccer Federation ‘E’ License, the ICA Fitness and Conditioning for Soccer License, and the NSCAA Goalkeeper II Diploma. He holds certificates from the NFHS for Coaching Unified Sports (Special Olympics), Concussion in Sports, Sports Nutrition, Sportsmanship, Heat Acclimization and Heat Illness Prevention, and Creating a Safe and Respectful Environment. He also is Bare Bones Children’s Yoga certified.
Away from soccer, John works with the Child Life Care department at the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Boston, is a ‘Read to a Child’ reading mentor at the Kennedy School in Somerville, and is a Behavioral Health Disaster Responder with the state department of health. He is a native of Somerville, Mass.