By Nathan Wright
The Dana Point Times
It was a season for firsts for JSerra Catholic High School’s baseball team.
The team won its first Trinity league title, and first CIF playoff game.
And now JSerra can add first “Coach of the Year” to its list of accomplishments.
Dana Point resident Brett Kay is the Orange County Register’s coach of the year.
And he’s not the only Lion honored last week by the newspaper.
San Juan Capistrano sophomore Austin Hedges, who batted .383 with 10 stolen bases, was a first-team all-county selection. And senior pitcher Joe Kurrasch – who is headed to University of California Berkeley on a scholarship next year – was named to the second team. Kurrasch also lives in San Juan Capistrano.
“Earning coach of the year is a great honor,” Kay said. “It’s a tribute to the entire staff and our scholar athletes. Our staff’s job is to set and example and to develop our kids the right way – and we’re doing that.”
The Lions finished 20-5. They entered the playoffs ranked No. 2 in Orange County, and beat Camarillo 3-2 in the first round before losing, 5-3, at Riverside Poly.
Kay, a former catcher in the New York Mets organization, now turns his attention to next season. He’s returning several outstanding ballplayers, including Hedges.
He also plans to follow next week’s College World Series. Kay played in two world series himself for Cal State Fullerton. Still friends with Titan head coach Dave Serrano, Kay plans to root for his alma mater. Fullerton offers one the best programs around – “just like JSerra,” he said.
2009 was a big year for JSerra athletics. The six-year-old school won its first league titles in soccer, lacrosse and baseball.
“We are proud of Coach Kay’s accomplishments with our scholar-athletes both on and off the field,” said Frank Talarico, JSerra’s president and CEO. “Four of our seniors will play Division I baseball next year – and, even more important, each member of the baseball team is an outstanding young man.”