Leader of the Pride

Jim-Hartigan-12By Brian Park, The Capistrano Dispatch

JSerra Catholic head football coach Jim Hartigan is a man of perpetual motion.

On a warm, muggy Wednesday morning, he arrives at the school’s athletic campus at 6 a.m. to unlock doors, review schedules and go over the day’s itinerary with his coaching staff.

That’s about as easy as the day gets for him.

In no time, his varsity team begins to trickle into the weight room, some still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes. Meanwhile, Hartigan stands at the ready, his eyes trained to spot any player in need of some extra motivation.

As soon as the morning weight training sessions concludes around 9:45 a.m., Hartigan hustles out to a practice field to watch the future crop of Lions football players, the junior varsity and freshmen squads, go through 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 passing drills.

At this time last year, Hartigan’s day would have ended with a post-practice meeting with his staff and an afternoon session with the varsity. But in March, athletic director Dave Lawn retired to pursue full-time coaching opportunities and JSerra placed the interim tag on Hartigan. On June 20, rather than hire an outsider, the school announced Hartigan as its full-time athletic director, in addition to continuing his duties as head football coach.

To read the complete article click Lion Nation.

DeMaio brings the ‘Norwood Edge’ to West Coast

DeMaioBy Bruce Lerch, Boston LAX

Growing up in NorwoodAnthony DeMaio was indoctrinated into something people around town refer as “The Norwood Edge.” He’s since taken that edge to the west coast and shown the good people of California what being “Norwood Tough” is all about.

DeMaio simply exploded in his first year as a varsity lacrosse player at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA, setting the freshman points record for both the school and Orange County by piling up 61 goals and 19 assists.

In the process, he helped lead the Lions to the CIF South Section semifinals and a 15-5 overall record.

“The coolest thing about Anthony is, he is the quintessential team player,” praised JSerra coach Kyle Harrison. “We call a play, he runs it to a T and makes sure he makes the high level lacrosse IQ play. He scores his goals in transition opportunities or he’ll get a garbage goal because no one else will go in there and take the beating or he’ll get a garbage goal but he is the most unselfish player you’ll find.”

To read the complete article click LAX.

Major League Futures Ahead for Four JSerra Alumni

2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland
2013 Alumnus Dane McFarland

JSerra Catholic High School has four alumni drafted into Major League Baseball, in the 2013 draft.

“Obviously a very exciting day for JSerra Catholic Athletics and the baseball program to see four Lions drafted in the MLB 2013 Player draft,” said JSerra Head Baseball Coach Brett Kay.

Recent graduate and 6-foot-4 outfielder, Dane McFarland was selected 360 overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up his spot to play at Oregon in the fall.

McFarland has one of the most enticing power/speed combos among the prep outfielders in the Draft. With his huge frame he combines this with great bat speed to give him plus power.

Colton Plaia
Colton Plaia ’09

Colton Plaia ’09, was drafted for the second year in a row, this time by the New York Mets as the 446 pick overall from Loyola Marymount University. The catcher who leaves in less than 24 hours, since being drafted for training camp was said to have solid legs and is a durable receiver, with a tough presence and a plus-arm are his best tool.

Plaia was also selected to play for the U.S. National team in 2012.

Another draftee is right-handed pitcher Reed Reily ’10 of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo was selected 549 overall to the Orioles.

Reily can touch the mid 90’s with his fastball and he has a good amount of deception to go along with it. He complements the heater with an 80-84 mph slider and a changeup he’ll throw in the low 80s as well.

JSerra’s final draftee is left handed pitcher, Cory Miller ’10 from Pepperdine University was selected as the 482 overall pick to the Brewers.

Miller, a three-year varsity letter winner and pitcher for head coach Brett Kay helped lead the Lions to the 2009 Trinity League championship. Miller also received two coaches awards and two of his team’s Cy Young Awards, set the school’s record for most saves in a season with four.

“All of them were outstanding young men while in our program and have the desire and work ethic to be able to have that great opportunity to get drafted. It will be great to see those guys don the uniform at the next level and know that they were Lions,” said Kay.

To see more on JSerra’s draft picks click here.

McLaughlin Named Swim Coach of the Year

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By Dan Albano, OC Register 

JSerra’s girls swim team faced a daunting, new challenge during its quest for a second consecutive CIF Division 1 title.

Instead of playing the role of surprising upstart that marked their championship season in 2012, the Lions were a hunted team this season.

“I think people are coming after them,” JSerra coach Mary McLaughlin said.

But despite the tag of favorite — which usually brings added pressure — JSerra still found its desired destination.

Thanks to an atmosphere of fun and team unity nurtured by McLaughlin, the Lions captured a second straight Division 1 crown, setting a then-national record in the 400-yard freestyle relay and four Orange County records in the process.

For her efforts, McLaughlin has been selected the Register’s girls coach of the year for 2013.

“I want to make (swimming) as fun as possible for them,” the fourth-year coach said. “I try not to make it a big deal, and let them have a good time, and this has been our result.”

JSerra took Division 1 by storm two seasons ago, leaping from a 22nd-place finish in 2011 to its first CIF title.

To read the complete article click Coach of the Year.

VOTE: McLauglin for OC Varsity Swimmer of the Year

mclaughlin_mug2_580-150x150Help support a fellow lion and vote for Kaite McLaughlin for OC Varsity Swimmer of the Year.

McLaughlin set the CIF Division l records in both the 200 freestyle and 100 butterfly, ranking her first in both events in Orange County.   She was also part of the national record breaking 1x400m relay team, that included teammates Rebecca Millard, Kaitlyn Albertoli, Britteny Kahn, and Karli Thuen.

To vote click here.

Dustin Goetz Commits to Concordia University

Dustin Goetz
Dustin Goetz

Congratulations to Dustin Goetz for committing to play volleyball as an eagle at Concordia University. 

“I am excited to have the opportunity to play volleyball in college. I didn’t think that I would have the opportunity,” said Goetz. “I have been very fortunate to have had a great community at JSerra and I hope to find that same family-like community at Concordia.”

Goetz has played for the Lions as a center for four years, and would like to major in Communications, while at Concordia.

For more on the JSerra Volleyball team visit them on Facebook.

Lindholm Named Female Trinity League Athlete of the Year

Colby*A press release from JSerra Catholic High School

JSerra  senior runner and scholar athlete, Colby Lindholm, was named female Trinity League Athlete of the Year.

Coming off of a record setting season Lindholm has become the 1600m champion in 2012 and the 3200m champion for 2013 in track and field for the Trinity League.

Lindholm was also a part of the three-time League, CIF, and State Championship cross-country team at JSerra. What Lindholm has accomplished has never before been seen in any CIF sport in Orange County, making her a triple crown three times, in only four short years.

Based on Lindholm’s impressive athletic resume she was voted the Trinity League Athlete of the Year by the League and its constituents.

“Colby’s long career list of accomplishments at the league, CIF and State levels are a testimony to her grit and outstanding work ethic. Without a doubt, she is the greatest runner — male or female — that JSerra has ever known,” said Head Coach Marty Dugard.

Lindholm will continue her legacy running as a Mustang at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this fall.

“I am honored to have been chosen, I was shocked when I found out, I had no idea I was even nominated, it’s very flattering,” said Lindholm. “I am excited to have the opportunity to run with such a competitive team at Cal Poly.”

Lindholm was invited to attend the Orange County Athletic Directors Association’s “Margaret Davis & Ken Fagans Orange County Athlete of the Year” awards banquet, to be held on Tuesday, May 28 at the Anaheim Convention Center.