James Brady Advances to District Semi-finals in Speech Competition

James Brady
James Brady

After winning the local San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club speech contest, sophomore James Brady continued on to the District semi-finals at Orange Coast Community College.  Brady was one of two semi-finalists chosen to go on to the District finals to be held April 20 in Long Beach.

This year’s theme is “Peace Through Service,” Brady’s speech discussed his mission trip to Piura, Peru as a freshman with the JSerra Peru Club.

Congratulations to Michael Elsinadi who placed second at the Rotary Club speech contest.

JSerra Juniors Selected for Prestigious Leadership Program

Ryan Pugh
Ryan Pugh

Two JSerra juniors, Ryan Pugh and Zach Johnson were selected by the San Juan Capistrano American Legion Post 721 to attend California Boys State Program. The week long leadership and civics lab will be held at California State University, Sacramento.

“I am very excited to go to the leadership program,” said Pugh. “It’s inspiring and will be a new found tool for future leadership.”

Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson

The Boys State Program is a nationwide program and seeks to educate young men to be the leaders of tomorrow. American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students.

“It’s exciting to start my venture in politics. This will give me a taste of how politics works,” said Johnson, who hopes to work in foreign affairs.

Ryan and Zach will travel to Sacramento in June and represent JSerra where they will become part of the operation of local, county and state government.

Bishop Vann Visits with JSerra Students On-campus

IMG_7027After a class project turned to a real-life experience, the students in Carmen Ribera’s religion class had a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Bishop Kevin Vann.

As part of the coursework in Ribera’s religion class the students were required to research Bishop Vann, who was appointed in 2012, and write him a letter inquiring about various facets of his journey to become a Bishop.

“I told the students we would send Bishop Vann their letters, thinking I would perhaps get a kind note back,” said Ribera. “To my surprise I received a phone call saying that he would like to come visit, I was blown away.”

A few weeks later Bishop Vann arrived on-campus and shared his life’s journey to eventually being appointed a Bishop. Reading from the letters the students sent him, he answered some questions they had submitted from their project.

Student (SQ): What has changed in your everyday life since becoming a Bishop?

Bishop Vann (BV): I think the biggest change has actually been learning to live in different areas. You have to be able to adapt to your surroundings, which can be challenging at times.

SQ: How did you design your coat of arms?

BV: Well each coat of arms is to be specific to each Bishop to express who you are. For mine I choose a blue crest to symbolize Mary, a French cross to symbolize reform, and two keys to symbolize the kingdom of heaven.

SQ: As a Bishop you are at the third level of the holy order, what’s the responsibility like?

BV: There are 1.3 million Catholics in California, a much bigger number then I have had in the past, however I try to not think about it and take it all one day at a time.

SQ: How did you get into your vocation?

BV: I came from a big family that had to sacrifice many things in order for us to attend Catholic schools growing up, which taught me how important it is to have a faith-filled educational background. This to me, translated into the importance of having a real relationship with Christ in my everyday life. I earned a degree in science and worked for a period of time before seeing more and more that Christ is in everything and that is when I joined the church.

SQ: What is one piece of advice you could give to help strengthen your relationship with God?

BV: You have to talk to God, and spend time together investing in your relationship. It is the same as if it were with a friend or spouse.

Schleppy Brothers Carry JSerra Over Santa Margarita

Cole Schleppy '13
Cole Schleppy ’13

*Article by MAXLAXOC.com

The JSerra Catholic High School Lions, led by Cole and Jake Schleppy, made a loud statement about this year’s Trinity League race with a convincing 13-4 win over the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Eagles. Tied 3-3 at half time, the Lions scored three quick goals to open the third quarter and then ran away from the Eagles.

The game opened with Santa Margarita controlling possession of the ball for most of the first quarter but struggling to points on the board. Meanwhile, the Lions capitalized on their first real opportunity of the game when Yuta Murata scored at the 3:00 minute mark of the first period to put the Lions up 1-0.

The Eagles responded with goals from Wes Schuler (unassisted) and Cullen Bock (assist Hayden Ruiz). Ruiz opened the second quarter with an unassisted goal to make it 3-1 at 8:15 of the second. Then the Schleppy brothers took over the game.

Jake Schleppy
Jake Schleppy

Cole ripped one into the far top corner as ran to his right at 8:15. About a minute later, younger brother Jake showed that the apple does not fall far from the tree as he scored on a near carbon copy to close out the half at 3-3.

The Lions opened the second half with a vengeance with four goals in the first three minutes. Freshman Anthony De Maio got it started with an assist from Jake Schleppy. Then it was Jake, Cole, and Jake again, all unassisted to make it 7-3.

To read the complete article click here.

Watch all the highlights here.

Miller Named to All-County Basketball Team

Sophomore, Coco Miller
Sophomore, Coco Miller

Coco Miller | Guard/Forward | 5-10, Sophomore

Season highlights: Miller was the OCVarsity.com freshman of the year last season and this season she moves up to first-team All-County after a sophomore year that saw her lead the Lions to a second-place finish in the Trinity League, the CIF-SS Division 4AA semifinals and the CIF Southern California Division 4 regional semifinals. She terrified opposing teams when she got hot from 3-point range. She had five games with four 3-pointers or more. JSerra played one of the toughest schedules in the county and Miller performed against all of the top teams. She scored a county-high 632 points.

Notable: Miller was the MVP of the Vernie Ford Classic and she made first-team All-Trinity League.

Quotable: Said JSerra coach Mary Rossignol: “Coco can score in so many different ways, (including) free throws, rebounds and put backs, steals, fast breaks and 3s. She sees the court so well and is an unselfish player. She will do whatever it takes for her team to be successful. Coco is a pleasure to coach and is a fine scholar-athlete.”

Season stats: 33 games, 19.0 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg

JSerra Broadcast Teacher Travels to Shanghai to Host KIA World Extreme Games

Paul_Higgins*A press release from JSerra Catholic High School

Paul Higgins, Founder and President of Athletes In Motion, travels to Shanghai, China, to host the KIA World Extreme Games for Fox Sports.

This is Higgins’ seventh consecutive year hosting the Games in Shanghai, in previous years Higgins worked with ESPN on the same event.

“It’s an honor to host the Games, and is an event I always look forward to,” said Higgins.

The Games have developed over the past few years with a growing acceptance of action sports in China.

“In the first few years, the people in China didn’t seem to know what to think about having athletes on skateboards, bikes, and motorcycles flying through the air,” said Higgins. “But now they have embraced it and now they host the largest skateboard park in the world.”

The opportunity brings more to Higgins than consecutively hosting the games. “What this really provides me is an opportunity to share my real-world working experience with my broadcast students at JSerra,” said Higgins. “This is exactly what the Artist In Residence Program is all about.” As part of the Artist In Residence Program at JSerra, Higgins teaches broadcast journalism to the students of the college preparatory school. In its inaugural year, the program has boasted numerous editions of The Lion Report and generated interest within the local community.

The annual KIA World Extreme Games will take place June 10-12 in Shanghai, China, and will be broadcast on Channel 11.

JSerra Swim Team Serves the Community During the Lenten Season

The swim team at
The swim team at

The JSerra swim team hosts a sock drive every year in March for the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen in Santa Ana. Over 800 local families are served each weekend at Loaves and Fishes. The families who come are often in need of basic items.

Four years ago, Coach McLaughlin asked Director Maria Dzida, if she could use her swim team to help in any way.  She responded with ‘socks’. As Mrs. Dzida spoke of the lenten season and the washing of the feet, this become our project.

Every Spring, the JSerra swim team collects socks and food items to donate to the kitchen. The swimmers spend the day serving and giving back to those in need.

“This is an amazing group of kids. It shows the size of the their hearts every time we walk into the building,” said McLaughlin. “I am so very blessed and proud to be their coach both in and out of the water. They understand that receiving and giving go hand in hand.”