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.

Baseball: Beware of JSerra Sophomore Duo

Jake Pries at Batting Practice
Jake Pries at Batting Practice

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

The JSerra sophomore duo of pitcher Quentin Longrie and outfielder Jake Pries is ready to do lots of damage this spring.

Longrie has been one of the fall stars, striking out 14 batters in six innings while allowing one hit.

Pries, who played on varsity as a freshman, is maturing and preparing to be a major contributor this spring as a hitter.

For games schedules, results, photos, and more visit JSerra Baseball on Facebook. 

*Click the photo for videos on the athletes.

Friday Night Lights Finishes with a Bang

JV Football after their victory against the Lancers, to become JSerra’s first undefeated football team.

The LA Times shows their support for the Lions, looking to the future in the 2013 season as the Lions finish the 2012 season with a 41-6 victory over Orange Lutheran.

Also, finishing off a great season with individual accomplishments in the Trinity League is Nick Robinson, named leading passer by the OC Varsity, with 1,337 yards and nine touchdowns for the Lions.

The Lions conclude a record breaking season ranked eighth in the county, a first in school history. The junior varsity team also made a mark on JSerra’s evolving history becoming the first team to come out undefeated in football in a decade.

To see all the highlights of the season closing game against Orange Lutheran click here.

Football: Jonavaughn Williams is headed for big things

By Eric Sondheimer, LA Times

I had never seen receiver Jonavaughn Williams of JSerra play football until Saturday. Now I’m a big fan. He can catch, he can run, he can execute patterns.

When he was going against Westlake in the Edison passing tournament, the Warriors smartly put all-star junior cornerback Dashon Hunt to cover him all over the field, and what a matchup it was. Hunt got his share of deflections, but Williams was tough to stop.

Both should end up with scholarships from Pacific 12 Conference schools.

On another note, Long Beach Poly coaches were praising JSerra junior cornerback Logan Bartlett, who more than held his own against Poly’s terrific group of receivers.

Here’s video of the Williams-Hunt battle.

Austin Hedges a Prime Catch Behind the Plate

By Eric Sondheimer of the LA Times

Austin Hedges warming up

Hedges, of San Juan Capistrano JSerra High, has signed with UCLA, but pro teams may try to talk him out of it. His coach

says his skills are already at the big-league level.

Catchers wear lots of equipment to protect their face, chest, head, knees and ankles. They play the most demanding position in baseball. They’re stuck in an uncomfortable crouch for pitch after pitch, getting dirty, nicked up and abused.

Yet, Austin Hedges of San Juan Capistrano JSerra acts as if catching is as therapeutic as spending a day at the beach.

“It’s more challenging, but that’s why I like it,” he said.

To read the full LA Times feature click Prime Catch.