Big Plays Provide Power for JSerra in Win Over Dolphins

IMG_9931By Steve Breazeale, Dana Point Times

The JSerra football team may not have had possession for very long against Dana Hills but when they did, they made it count.

In a nonleague game filled with fumbles and penalties, the Lions were able to produce enough big plays to come away with a 28-12 victory on September 27 at Saddleback College.

On JSerra’s (4-0) first play from scrimmage, senior quarterback Nick Robinson connected with senior receiver Dante Pettis for an 80-yard touchdown pass, igniting the large homecoming crowd in attendance. It took 14 seconds for the Lions to get on the board.

The Dolphins (1-4) would answer with a drive that ate up five minutes of the clock, but not without a little help. After being forced to punt, JSerra fumbled the return and the Dolphins recovered, giving them prime field position. Facing a fourth-and-one during the ensuing drive at the Lions five-yard line, Dana Hills quarterback Mac Vail dove ahead and got the yardage the team needed. Senior running back Justin Scott would finish it off with a four-yard touchdown run. A blocked point after kept the Lions up 7-6.

The Lions would fumble again four minutes later, but the Dolphins could not capitalize.

After both teams were hindered by multiple penalties to close out the half, bringing the game speed down to a crawl, JSerra junior senior back Casey Eugenio broke for a 52-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that saw him bob, weave and avoid his way to the end zone. The Lions lead never came into doubt from then on.

Junior defensive end Mitchell Deamon returned a Dolphins fumble 42 yards for a score and Robinson would toss a 25-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Zak to close out the scoring for JSerra.

The Lions will travel to play Trabuco Hills on October 4. Dana Hills will host Irvine the same day.

“We did enough to win the game as far as points are concerned. We hung in there defensively enough to keep them from winning the game but we have to improve between now and next week if we’re going to beat Trabuco Hills,” JSerra head coach Jim Hartigan said. “A week ago we had a decent amount of penalties too so we have to clean that up.”

For more on the Lions, visit Facebook.

Baseball: All Eyes Will be on Sophomore Chase Strumpf

Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia
Strumpf after winning MVP in Colombia

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

It has been a little over a month since sophomore Chase Strumpf of JSerra returned from Colombia with a gold medal after helping the USA 15U baseball team win the Pan American championships.

It was another achievement for a young player who keeps raising expectations. Before he even played in his first high school game last season, he accepted a scholarship to UCLA. Then he became a starter for the Lions. And things keep getting better.

Strumpf is ranked No. 3 in the nation among the class of ’16 prospects by Perfect Game. He’s appeared in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd after hitting five home runs in eight games in Colombia to earn tournament MVP honors.

“It was amazing being able to wear USA on your chest,” he said of his USA 15U experience last weekend at halftime of the JSerra-Buena Park football game. “It was the best feeling in my life. I’ll never forget it.”

Strumpf has already made a big jump from freshman to sophomore year based on his summer. He’s stronger and has more power. He got to see Trinity League pitching as a freshman. It’s a little scary to think what he’ll look like by his senior year.

Capistrano Dispatch Cross Country Preview

JSerra-400x500Boys and Girls Cross Country
Marty Dugard has resided over one of the most dominant girls cross country teams in CIF history. The Lions have won the Trinity League, CIF-SS and CIF State Cross Country Division 4 Championship a record three consecutive years. It’s a stretch that has been unparalleled and Dugard believes that the Lions still have fight left in them.

When asked about his outlook on the 2013 season, Dugard responded with something that might seem like hyperbole. But when looking at the team’s track record in recent years, it’s a statement that looms large.

“I honestly think this is going to be our best season ever,” Dugard said. “I want to win two state trophies (boys and girls) and I think we could do it.”

A key piece to the girls team’s hopes at another string of titles will be junior Ashley Geisler, who recently suffered a stress reaction but is on the mend and rehabbing. Geisler finished 14th overall at the state meet in 2012 and played an integral role in the Lions tight, top of the rotation placement in races, which became their trademark.

Dugard pegged sophomore transfer Charlotte Owen as a runner who will help add depth to the roster and could possibly have a breakout year.

The boys cross country team may not have a runner who will finish on the podium week in and week out, but they have developed a tight pack running mentality over the offseason, which Dugard believes will give them an edge in the major meets. Dugard said his current top five runners are all finishing their races within 45 seconds of each other. Dugard stressed that on any given day, it can be senior Nic Fracassi leading the way or it could be junior Anthony Mariconda.

The Lions’ first real test on their way to their lofty goals will be at the Trinity League Prelims on October 2.

JSerra Captures Sage Hill’s Prep Classic

TennisJSerra won the round-robin Prep Classic Invitational, hosted by Sage Hill, over the weekend, taking all three matches it played.

The Lionsranked No. 9 in the county, defeated St. Ignatius of San Francisco, 5-4, Sage Hill, 7-2 and Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, 5-4 to win the tournament for the first time. Jadie AcideraZoe KaffenNatalie Wekand Lauren Burke were named to the all-tournament team for the Lions.

All matches were played at The Tennis Club in Newport Beach. The matches were played in college-scoring format, with five singles matches and four doubles matches.

Here were the tournament’s final standings:

Champion: JSerra (3-0)

Second place: St. Ignatius of San Francisco (2-1)

Third place: Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas (1-2)

Fourth place: Sage Hill (0-3)

 For more on the Lady Lions Tennis team visit them on Facebook.

Unbeaten JSerra Dominates Buena Park

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Dante Pettis

JSerra’s football team believes this is the year its program will have a breakthrough and become a playoff contender in the Trinity League.

The Lions looked like that kind of team at times against Buena Park in a nonleague game on Friday night at Saddleback College, but at other times their sloppy play and penalties allowed the Coyotes to fight their way back into the game.

JSerra running back Casey Eugenio exploded for TD runs of 4, 14 and 40 yards in a 2-minute, 12-second span in the third quarter to bury Buena Park, 52-13. The entire fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

“We’re fighting to be one of the best in the (Trinity) League and all of Orange County,” said Eugenio, who finished with 178 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries.

JSerra, which cracked the county top 10 at No. 9 this week for the first time in school history, looked like a playoff contender when Eugenio scored on a 29-yard run on the Lions first drive of the game.

Dante Pettis blocked a punt and scored on a 3-yard return and then caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Nick Robinson to make it 21-0 with 4:01 left in the opening quarter.

The Lions slowed down in the second, and the Coyotes seized the opportunity to get back into the game with touchdown runs of 2 and 1 yards by county rushing leader Deven Boston to close the gap to 21-13 at the half.

But JSerra’s defense put the clamps on Boston for most of the game, holding him to 57 yards on 13 carries, and Eugenio’s third-quarter eruption finished the Coyotes.

“I think we’re going to be one of the top (teams in the Trinity League),” Eugenio said. “Everyone doubts us and stuff, but I think we’ll be one of the top.”

Lions coach Jim Hartigan said his team has some things to shore up before league play like the 10 penalties for 105 yards against Buena Park.

“We can’t get used to that in the Trinity League,” Hartigan said. “We won’t be able to turn it back on in the Trinity League. We have to make sure that we can maintain these leads and make sure that we play solid on defense, stay consistent and there’s some things we need to talk about.

“We have to clean up our penalties and keep drives alive. You’re not going to be able to play catch-up in the Trinity, so we have some things to clean up in the next couple of weeks.”

For more on the Lions visit JSerra Football on Facebook.

JSerra Catholic High School Announces New Director of Institutional Advancement

Peggy Larson*A press release from JSerra Catholic High School

JSerra Catholic High School announces Peggy Larson, of Laguna Beach, as the director of institutional advancement. Larson formerly served as vice president of business development for a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Bringing over 22 years of fundraising and leadership experience, Larson will play an integral role within JSerra’s Office of Advancement.

“We are delighted to have Ms. Larson join JSerra to take the helm as our director of institutional advancement,” said Rich Meyer, JSerra Headmaster.  “The experience and knowledge she brings to our team will serve to continue to build on JSerra’s tradition of excellence.”

Graduating Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee with a Bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Larson also holds certifications in leadership from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Cardinal Stritch University. Having served as the chief development officer and vice president of communications at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Larson secured over $85M in endowments and gifts towards the Perfect Match and Decade of Hope Campaigns.

Larson will lead the development of JSerra’s advancement and marketing initiatives including annual giving, alumni relations, marketing and strategic leadership.

“I’m honored to be a part of the JSerra community and am inspired by all that has been accomplished in the last 10 years,” said Larson.  “JSerra’s reputation for educational excellence is a testament to the commitment of its teachers, staff, parents and supporters.  I look forward to bringing a creative and bold approach to raising awareness and funds so, ultimately, our students are given every opportunity to achieve their potential.”

Hibbard Sisters Take JSerra to a Green Level

Katie & AndyTwo sisters on a mission for more than six years have finally found success that helps the school and the environment.

Kirsty ’11 and Katie Hibbard have contributed years of service to the school by starting the Environmentality Club. Kirsty started the club at JSerra in 2007.  Ever since then, the Hibbard sisters have worked to rid the campus of Styrofoam products.  This year, the Bistro has gotten rid of most of the Styrofoam products and replaced them with biodegradable ones.  This is a huge step in the right direction of being an environmentally conscious campus.

“On behalf of the Environmentality Club, all the students and faculty, we would like to thank Andy Lord and all his bistro staff for the continued excellent food and for getting Styrofoam off our campus,” said Katie.  “As some of us are not aware, at least ¾ of the oceans garbage is Styrofoam, and now we know at least our JSerra community won’t be adding to it.”

Bring your own water bottle or purchase the JSerra Lion Mug through the Lions Corner, and receive free water in the Bistro.  If you bought water everyday from the bistro, you would spend about $30 per month.  That is the equivalent of 10 slurpees you can purchase from the 7/11. So save yourself some money by bringing your own water bottle or purchasing the JSerra mug for only $10.  Plus, you’re saving the environment from all that plastic.