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.

Two Lions Ballplayers Earn Scholarships and a Third Commits

Two more seniors from JSerra Catholic High School’s baseball team have earned collegiate scholarships – catcher Colton Plaia and shortstop Quinn Renner.

Quinn Renner
Quinn Renner

A third, junior Austin Hedges, verbally committed to UCLA.

Plaia, who hit .382 with two home runs and 20 RBI’s, will play next year at Loyola Marymount.

Renner is headed to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He hit .375 with one home run and 18 RBI’s.

And Hedges, who hit .383 with two home runs and 16 RBI’s, will play at UCLA at the conclusion of his high school career, Coach Brett Kay said.

Colton Plaia
Colton Plaia

“They are outstanding ballplayers and outstanding young men. I anticipate them having success at the next level,” said Kay, Orange County Register’s Coach of the Year.

The scholar-athletes join four other members of the Lions first Trinity League championship team who will play Division One baseball next year.

They are: pitcher Joe Kurrasch, UC Berkeley; Grahamm Wiest, Cal State Fullerton; Matt Paradise, Santa Clara and Todd del Toro, Air Force Academy.

JSerra Continues to Make News

JSerra Catholic High School President and CEO Frank Talarico shared the following letter last week with parents and others.

I have some more exciting news to share: JSerra Catholic High School continues to make news.

Frank Talarico
Frank Talarico

We handed 177 hard-earned diplomas to our graduates, and the Orange County Register took note.

The Class of 2009 dedicated more than 30,000 hours of community service – and earned more than $2 million in college scholarships. Co-valedictorian Lexi Crommett was JSerra’s first National Merit Scholar. She shared the honor with Nicole Madro, who finished a remarkable high school career with a 4.7 grade-point average.

Salutatorian Sam Inman was quarterback of our football team. He was also a midfielder on the lacrosse squad that won JSerra’s first divisional championship in any sport.

It’s not just our graduates making headlines.

JSerra’s baseball team won its first CIF playoff game in school history – beating Camarillo, 3-2. Coach Brett Kay was named Orange County’s baseball Coach of the Year. Slugger Austin Hedges earned first-team all-county honors, and senior Joe Kurrasch – headed to the University of California Berkeley next year on a scholarship – earned second-team honors.

You can read about all our accomplishments – and more – by joining the more than 2,000 visitors of our month-old JSerra Blog.

Also, I continue to write a monthly column for San Juan Capistrano’s local newspaper, The Capistrano Dispatch. Look for the newest column June 24.

This is an exciting time in our evolution, and we plan to continue to share our news with you – and the community. You can follow us on our Web site, JSerra Blog and Twitter.

As always, thank you for your support. I look forward to seeing you soon.

JSerra’s Brett Kay is All-County Coach of the Year

By Nathan Wright
The Dana Point Times

Coach Kay
Coach Kay

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.”

OC Register: Brett Kay is All-County Coach of the Year

The Orange County Register named its all-county baseball team today and two JSerra Catholic High School Lions topped the list – and Brett Kay was named Coach of the Year.

OC Register Photo of Coach Kay
OC Register Photo of Coach Kay

Slugger Austin Hedges was a first-team selection, and pitcher Joe Kurrasch was named to the second team.

“For a season (that) culminated a rapid rise with a young program in such a challenging league, Kay is the Register’s Orange County coach of the year in baseball,” wrote Register sports columnist Steve Fryer.

JSerra’s first Orange County Coach of the Year led The Lions to a 20-5 record and a No. 2 ranking heading into the playoffs. The Lions won the school’s first Trinity league baseball title and CIF playoff game before a second-round, 5-3 loss at Riverside Poly.

Austin Hedges
Austin Hedges

To read more about Kay, click here.

To read about Hedges, who hit .383 with 10 stolen bases, click here.

Congratulations to Coach Kay, Hedges, Kurrasch and the entire Lions baseball program on the most successful baseball season in JSerra history.

OC Register: JSerra Baseball Star Ready for Berkeley

JSerra Catholic High School pitcher Joe Kurrasch spent a few minutes Thursday afternoon between racing home from baseball practice and getting ready for prom answering questions about the season – and his future.

Joe Kurrasch
Joe Kurrasch

In an interview with the Orange County Register’s Peter Schelden, Kurrasch talks about the injury that ended his season.

During the playoffs, he said he plans to cheer on his teammates, and “has confidence in them to get the job done.”

They got it done yesterday, dispatching Adolfo Camarillo 3-2 behind the strong pitching of Grahamm Wiest and clutch hitting of Bret Dahlson. They face Riverside Poly Tuesday in the second-round of CIF playoffs.

Click here to read Kurrasch’s interview.