MEET THE TEAM
Tri-Lakes Shootout was created in 1998 by Todd Mercer, but since then we have developed a top-tier leadership team.
Owner/Director of Operations Southwest Missouri
Todd Mercer is the founder of Tri-Lakes Shootout. With 21 years of operation, Todd has built Tri-Lakes into the premier avenue for High School and Junior High teams to build their programs in the summer. Todd has been a basketball coach at both the high school and college level. His high school coaching experiences include stops at Greenwood, Pleasant Hope, Reeds Spring, and Harrisonville. During his tenure, Coach Mercer led many teams to districts and conference championships. Todd was also an Assistant Coach at Baptist Bible College in Springfield, MO. Todd has retired from teaching, but still loves coaching in his current role as an Assistant Coach at Nixa High School. Todd currently resides in Springfield, MO.
Todd has built the foundation of Tri-Lakes Shootout on establishing great rapport with all coaches, players, parents, patrons, and workers that have participated at the shootouts for the past twenty plus years. The success of the organization is based on the loyalty and trust that our teams and coaches have shown to our organization over the years.
Abe Lewis is an owner and Business Manager of Tri-Lakes Shootouts. Coach Lewis has been working with Tri-Lakes Shootouts for 16 years. Abe has been a coach, teacher, athletic director, and HS/MS Principal. Abe worked as an assistant basketball coach for Coach Mercer at Harrisonville for six years prior to going to Adrian HS/MS to be an administrator. Abe has been a part of athletic teams and organizations that have exhibited success at many levels including conference, district, and state level accomplishments. Abe is currently working on his Doctorate of Educational Leadership at the University of Missouri - Kansas City.
Currently, Abe is employed at Ray-Pec High School as a teacher and assistant basketball coach. He and his family reside in Peculiar, MO. Abe is married to Heather, and they have three children Violet, Devin, and Mavora.
Owner/Director of Operations Mid-Missouri
Kent Thomas is an owner and Director of Operations for Mid-Missouri of Tri-Lakes Shootout. Kent is in his 4th year of working for Tri-Lakes Shootouts. Kent brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization. Kent began his coaching and teaching career in his hometown of Hannibal, MO as an assistant boys varsity coach. In 1993, Kent was named the Head Basketball Coach at Hannibal LaGrange College, where he played college basketball. From 1993-2000, he led Hannibal LaGrange College to 6 of 7 winning seasons. The highlight of his tenure was a bid to the NAIA national tournament in 1998. There were 2 other stops on the college ranks at Missouri Baptist University in St Louis, MO and Lambuth University in Jackson, TN. Kent has also coached at the high school level including stops at Jackson Central-Merry in Jackson, TN, Rolla, MO, Cuba, MO and Versailles, MO. Along the way numerous awards have been earned: AMC College Coach of the Year, District 12 - Tennessee Coach of the Year, conference championship teams while at Cuba and Versailles.
Kent has also been instrumental in establishing CarrolGoL1ve a competitive AAU program based out of Columbia, MO. CarrolGoL1ve has teams from 12U-17U and has provided numerous opportunities for young men to showcase their talent and obtain college scholarships.
Currently, Kent is a teacher at Versailles High School. He has retired from coaching basketball to spend time with his family. He is enjoying watching his sons coach high school basketball, and spending time with grandson. Faith and family drive Coach Thomas life. He has been married to Dr. Sherri Thomas for 36 years. Education is the family business. Sherri is a retired principal and is still in the field of education working for the University of Missouri in the role of professional development for educators. Both of Kent’s sons Seth and Caleb are educators and coaches. Seth is married to Lindsey and they have a son Jackson. Being a grandpa has indeed been a blessing. Recently, his son Caleb married Hanna.