JSerra Hires Legendary Lacrosse Star Kyle Harrison

JSerra Catholic High School announced today that Kyle Harrison, one of the nation’s most celebrated lacrosse champions, will coach its lacrosse team for the 2012 season.

Kyle with National Championship Trophy

A three-time All-American in college, Harrison, 27, led Johns Hopkins University to an NCAA Division I National Championship in 2005 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy (the Heisman Trophy of lacrosse) as the National Player of the Year. As a professional, he’s a four-time Major League Lacrosse all-star and a founding partner of the new LXM Pro Tour. He’s also the first lacrosse player ever sponsored by Nike – and remains a Nike athlete today. Harrison  is also sponsored by STX, a company that carries Harrison’s own equipment and apparel line called K18. He says STX always will play a major role in his career.

Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport nationwide, with the highest growth west of the Mississippi, he said.

“JSerra is a dynamic school that welcomes and encourages vision, and provides just the environment needed to take on this new challenge,” he said.

Current coach Mike Hutnik resigned to pursue a master’s degree and the school will have an interim to replace him for the 2011 season.

Harrison said he is excited about the group of assistant coaches he is working on bringing from the East Coast.  “They are a passionate about the sport, and about working with young men both on and off the field,” he said.

Kyle signing autographs for kids

Harrison added that he plans to work with football coach Jim Hartigan to develop as many two-sport athletes as possible.

Frank Talarico, JSerra’s President and CEO, said he is pleased to add another world-class talent to the school’s coaching staff.

“Kyle is the Michael Jordan of lacrosse,” Talarico said. “In addition to winning the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy in lacrosse, he’s also a great guy and will be an incredible mentor and role model for our scholar athletes.”

Harrison isn’t the only world-class athlete coaching the Lions. Aquatics director Julie Swail-Ertel is a two-sport Olympian and Ice Lion coaches Dave Karpa and Guy Hebert are former National Hockey League stars.

JSerra’s Fearless Lady Lions Remain Undefeated

The JSerra Girls Varsity Lacrosse team played a gut wrenching away game against St. Margaret’s on Tuesday. Coming up from behind and finally tying the game with a goal from Haleigh Cummings.

With only two minutes left in the game, the winning goal came in the last sixteen seconds with a assist from Courtney Avila to Shelby Williams. 

Goals: Courtney Avila 3, Shannon Brady 2, Haleigh Cummings 4, Shelby Williams 1.

The Lady Lions are 3 & 0 in Trinity League and remain undefeated at 13 & 0.
Come support them on April 30 as they take on Santa Margarita on JSerra’s varsity field at 4:00pm. 

Also join our Lady Lions for pizza at Mr.B’s Thursday, April 22 to help support the varsity lacrosse team. The restaurant is located at 31111 Rancho Viejo Road, San Juan Capistrano. Pre-order by phone for pick-up at 949-240-8100.
Varsity Girls Lacrosse

‘We All Grew Together,’ says Coach of Championship Lacrosse Team

JSerra Catholic High School’s lacrosse team clinched the school’s first-ever divisional championship in any sport last week in a down-to-the-wire match against San Clemente High School.

Coach Mike Hutnick
Coach Mike Hutnick

The response on campus has been incredible, says coach Mike Hutnick. Soon, he adds, the celebrations will wind down and preparation will begin to defend the title.

JSerra Blog asked Hutnick to reflect on the team’s successful season.

JSerra Blog: Why do you think your team was so successful?
Coach Hutnick: We definitely had a great season. I believe that a large contributor was how the season started – and continued. The right players stepped up when we needed them. Sometimes, some years, teams have a difficult time since it is an end-of-year sport. It is difficult at times to keep motivated with summer and college on the horizon. We all grew together, which is important.

Kyle Snyder
Kyle Snyder

JSerra Blog: Looking forward, what are your prospects for next year?
Coach Hutnick: This summer is going to be packed for our players. The fall and winter off-seasons will be as well. Keeping the team busy will further the players’ lacrosse education. Will McMinn is an extraordinary coach, and he played a huge part in this year’s success by laying the groundwork with many of these players over the past years… Next year will be tough, but we are looking forward to another excellent year.

JSerra Blog: Do any of your seniors plan to play in college next year?
Coach Hutnick: Yes. Two are Kyle Snyder, graduating captain, attack, and Brendan Yount, graduating captain, defense. Kyle will be playing at the University of Colorado, a very competitive club that is quickly up-and-coming. Brendan will be playing at Bellarmine in Kentucky – a Division I program that plays some of the best DI has to offer. He is on a big-time scholarship. We look forward to hearing, reading, and seeing big things out of both players.

Brendan Yount
Brendan Yount

JSerra Blog: What was the reaction on campus to your first-ever JSerra divisional championship?
Coach Hutnick: Our family was ecstatic! To see the team rise to success in the fashion it did was truly remarkable. Our team will be recognized in the upcoming weeks at JSerra. It is a huge tip of the hat to see our school becoming a strong competitor in the athletic realm.

JSerra Blog: How much adversity did you overcome this season?
Coach Hutnick: Our lacrosse season started with the weight of a culture change. Having taken the reigns from an excellent coach, our whole coaching staff had big shoes to fill. Luckily, we were all involved with the prior two seasons. It is a difficult task to keep 60 young men in line and moving forward… All-in-all, our season went exactly as it should have. We had great experiences, overcame many obstacles, made a few headlines and brought a few plaques back to JSerra.

JSerra Blog: What do you think was the biggest lesson your young men learned this season?
Coach Hutnick: What it means to be a team, to be part of a team, to work as a team, to lose as a team, and to win as a team. 

Photos by Thea Campbell