JSerra Hosts Swim Clinic to Benefit the NEGU Foundation

Join JSerra Aquatics and the NEGU Foundation to help raise awareness and funds to empower children fighting cancer.

NEGU is a pediatric cancer foundation inspired by 12-year-old Jessie Rees. Jessie was a beautiful, athletic, smart and compassionate girl who fought two brain tumors. On January 5, 2012 Jessie passed away, but her legacy lives on in the NEGU Foundation, which adopted her motto of “Never Ever Give Up” (NEGU).

Beginning Monday, June 18 the JSerra Aquatics program will host a week long swim clinic for ages five and up. The program will feature training to improve skills, stroke and strength and all the proceeds will go to benefit the NEGU Foundation.

The camp will run Monday, June 18 to Friday, June 22 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the JSerra pool deck. A $50 donation is asked of each participant to benefit the NEGU Foundation.

For more information please contact Coach Mary McLaughlin at mmclaughlin@jserra.org.

For more on the NEGU Foundation click here.

A Message from Interim President Rob Dolan

If you read the press release then you already know that I attended a Catholic elementary school, a Catholic high school, a Catholic university and a Catholic graduate school.  It seems obvious that Catholic education and my Catholic identity are important to me.

That identity was forged in the pews of St. Peter and St. Paul parish where Fr. Pat O’Keefe delivered soaring sermons seemingly always directed at me.  In middle school Sister Mary Olga spent as much time trying to perfect my soul as she did my grammar and in high school it was Fr. Patrick Travers who made sure that Damien High School left its mark on my heart.

Having JSerra Catholic High School offer the experience of having priests and nuns on campus was integral to our decision to send our children here. We wanted them to have the same opportunity I did to develop their Catholic identity and with weekly mass, retreats and an active Campus Ministry department we knew they would.

Catholic identity is the 
integration of the ideals of Catholicism into all that we do; spiritually, academically, administratively and athletically.

The Catholic tradition of reconciling faith and reason reaches back to St. Thomas Aquinas and informs our academic strategy today. A strong Catholic identity is not a burden on our non-Catholic parent and student population.

In fact, I think most find it inspiring and assuring that we will be reinforcing the values they teach in their Christian homes.  When I encounter a knowledgeable and devout Jewish person, I feel challenged to learn as much about my religion.  When a Christian friend quotes chapter and verse to illustrate a point, I am motivated to further my study of scripture.

Pope John Paul II wrote “The Catholic Church embraces with hope the commitment to ecumenism as a duty of the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love, Jesus himself, at the hour of his passion, prayed ‘that they may all be one,’ (John 17:21).

Therefore, join me in embracing and celebrating JSerra’s commitment to a strong Catholic identity.

JSerra Alumni Drafted into MLB

Catcher, Colton Plaia

Two JSerra Alumni from the class of 2009 have been drafted into major league baseball (MLB).

Colton Plaia, a catcher, has been drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 33rd round. While attending JSerra Plaia earned three varsity letters for coach Brett Kay, served as team captain in his senior year, and garnered All-League recognition as a junior and senior. Plaia was named a Scholar-Athlete, and earned the Coaches Award as a senior at JSerra.

“Colton Plaia was one of the best student athletes here at JSerra, a quality young man, and one of the brightest athletes I have seen here,” said Brett Kay, JSerra head baseball coach. “He is a continuous hard worker, and has the baseball acumen to excel at any level he wishes.”

Plaia batted .382 with 18 runs scored and 19 RBI as a senior, collected six doubles and two home runs in 2009, and was 18-for-31 throwing out potential base runners in his final year. Recruited by Oregon and Long Beach State, Plaia chose LMU because it was close to home, has a great sports program, and is a very nice campus.

Joe Kurrasch, a left-handed pitcher, was selected in the eighth round of the draft by the San Francisco Giants.

Joe Kurrasch, left-handed pitcher

“Joe was an outstanding pitcher for JSerra for the two years he was here. He was at the top of the list in LHP in Southern California, and his development throughout his two years were great,” said Kay. “Joe has earned everything that has happened to him and the fact he was drafted in the eighth round is a testament to him and his hard work.”

Kurrasch was a standout competitor at JSerra earning a 2007 USA National Team Invite for his efforts, and recorded a 7-1 record with a stellar 0.67 ERA and 58 strikeouts as a senior.  He garnered first-team all-league and second-team All-CIF Southern Section honors for his performance. Kurrasch previously posted a 3-3 record with a 1.67 ERA and 74 strikeouts during his junior campaign.

For more on Colton Plaia click here.

For more on Joe Kurrasch click here.

To see the complete list of the 2012 MLB Draft click here.