Founder’s Son Named Top Scholar Athlete in OC

Darras signing his letter of intent to play baseball at Division l school, Cal State Fullerton

Congratulations to Nico Darras, son of JSerra founder Frank Darras, was named in the Orange County Registers Top Scholar Athletes for all sports in Orange County. Darras  who is headed to CS Fullerton, is a three-year starter for the Lions. The first baseman has a 3.71 GPA for the Lions, who are in third place in the Trinity League. 

Nico was also nominated for West Coast Powerade player of the Year, and selected for the South Orange County All-Star Team.

For more on the Lions Baseball team click here.  

Lions Baseball Ranked Top Ten by OC Varsity

Pitcher/shortstop, Trevor Charpie

Baseball season is in full swing, and OC Varsity has ranked this seasons contenders. JSerra rounds out the top ten ranked eighth for the start of the Spring season.

To see the complete list click OC Varsity.

For more on Lions Baseball click here.

Lions Baseball Play Hard Against Mater Dei

by Steve Fryer, The OC Register

A game this good deserved a dramatic finish. And it got one.

In the bottom of the seventh inning with the score tied, JSerra’s Joey Ponder laid down a two-strike squeeze bunt and pinch-runner Parker Johnson beat the throw to the plate, giving the Lions a 10-9 victory over Mater Dei on Tuesday in a Trinity League baseball game at JSerra High. 

The teams are tied for first place in the Trinity League.

JSerra led by three runs, then trailed by five, in the wild game with the wild conclusion.

The three-game league series between JSerra and Mater Dei is tied at one victory apiece. They play their final league matchup of the season on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Mater Dei.

JSerra, ranked No. 3 in Orange County and No. 5 in CIF-SS Division 1, is 19-3 overall and 8-2 in league. Mater Dei, No. 2 in the county and No. 3 in CIF-SS Division 1, is 17-5, 8-2.

“This one was a must-win, if we want to win league,” JSerra senior Austin Hedges said.

JSerra’s Clay Williamson had two hits and two RBIs, Grant Davis had two hits and three RBIs, Trent Boras had two hits and scored twice, and Joey Ponder drove in two, including the game-winner on the final-play squeeze.

Mater Dei’s Ryan Teel homered twice, one a grand slam and the other a three-run homer, in back-to-back innings. The Monarchs’Ty Moore had three hits and drove in two.

The Lions took a 3-0 lead in the second inning, in which Williamson contributed a two-run single. Teel hit his grand slam in the Monarchs’ five-run fourth inning.

After JSerra scored a run in the bottom of the third to trim the Mater Dei lead to 5-4, Teel’s three-run homer led a four-run fourth inning that pushed the Monarchs’ lead to 9-4.

JSerra got two runs, including a solo homer by Tyler Krause, in the bottom of the fourth to make it 9-6. The Lions, led by Davis’ two-run double, scored three in the eighth to slice the Mater Dei lead to one run.

JSerra’s Nico Darras doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh. Parker Johnson, running for Darras, advanced to third base on Tanner Bily’s sacrifice bunt before scoring on the Ponder squeeze, with Johnson sliding across the plate just before Mater Dei relief pitcher Ryan Barr’s glove-it-and-shovel-it toss reached catcher Jeremy Martinez.

Nico Darras > The Average Student Athlete

*Contributed by Kevin C. Rice

At only seventeen, Nico Darras shows he is greater than the average student athlete accomplishing feats that others could only dream of.  Nico was one of 30 juniors and 70 seniors invited to the International High School Power Showcase at Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nico was the first Trinity League player to be invited to this exciting event, as he represented JSerra hitting six Major League home runs in the preliminary round and two more in the finals. He  tied for second overall in total home runs, and tied for third in the finals with a 460-foot bomb.

Darras up to bat

The home run derby-style showcase is not only a great way to display the amazing talents of these impressive teenage athletes, but to benefit the chronically ill. Nico, with help from the Make-A-wish Foundation and Home Runs That Help, sponsored his cousin/godchild, Vanessa Marie, who was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis at just seven years old. Now, at nine years old, Vanessa enjoys watching Nico play baseball, and loves when he hits home runs.

Nico is not only a stellar athlete, he maintains an outstanding 3.5 GPA in the classroom. He strives every day to better himself through his core life values: God, family, and baseball. Nico’s school pride and selfless attitude has helped create the “Lion Nation” student section that is present at every game. “Nico Darras is one of the finest young men I have been associated with,” said head coach Brett Kay.

Individual Athletic Honors

  • OC Varsity Top Sophomore to Watch – Orange County Register
  • Ryan Lemmon Orange County Sophomore Showcase
  • CIF All-American Honorable Mention
  • Scholar Athlete Award
  • Only Sophomore on Varsity with 11 D1 committed recruits
Ruth Finalists

To learn more about the partnership of Home Runs that Help and the Make-A-Wish foundation, click here.