By Julianna Crisalli, OC Register
As seniors at JSerra count down to graduation Saturday, let’s take a look at their journey in the past year.
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JSerra Catholic High School’s first graduating international student Seung Hyun (Andrew) Lee, from Seoul, South Korea, has been teaching his fellow chamber singers his own arrangement of a Korean folk song for choir’s Spring Farewell Concert. Four years ago, Lee and his family searched for the right school in Southern California that would give him a unique high school experience.
“When I saw that JSerra was accepting international students I took the opportunity,” Lee said. He started his freshman year of high school at JSerra with a love for music and a prodigal talent that would impress his fellow chamber singers.
“It’s really interesting to know that someone so young can be so musically inclined,” said JSerra sophomore and first-year chamber singer, Ian von Gremp. “It’s nice to know that my friend Andrew arranged it,”
Lee became president of the chamber choir, and with his leadership taught his fellow chamber singers the ancient Korean folk song, “Arirang,” which he arranged to fit his own interpretation of its meaning.
“Andrew has always been our leader,” junior and third year chamber singer, Annie Pfost said. “Choir is like a family and Andrew is like the cool big brother.”
“Arirang,” a song handed down through many generations, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, in December.
At last year’s Spring Concert, Renée Bondi, Christian inspiration singer and mother to JSerra chamber singer, Daniel Bondi, told Lee about her concert in Korea. She said when she sang “Arirang” for the finale, everyone there began to sing along with her. With that motivation, Lee decided to arrange “Arirang” for his high school choir.
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By Brantley Watson, OC Register
Before Aaron Matthews and Travis Heer board their flight to London, they’ll think back to their beginnings together.
At age 12, the two picked up the sport on a whim, joining the same team due in large part to advice from their older siblings. Luckily for them, the Back Bay Youth Rugby Club, under director Jeff Bonnett and coach Warren Julian, got the ball rolling in Costa Mesa in 2004.
For the untrained eye, an accurate description of rugby is “football without the pads.”
Not completely true, but not completely false.
Matthews and Heer are both football players – Heer at Huntington Beach High and Matthews at JSerra. But a recent phenomenon of footballers crossing over into rugby has taken Orange County and the Back Bay Rugby Club by storm.
During football’s offseason, Bonnett says an influx of local high school football players, even those with scholarships, make their way to the rugby pitch in order to keep in shape, sometimes to the chagrin of their coaches. But, after seeing the results, the coaches often change their mind.
“Football players will come play rugby, and then when they go back, they’re way better football players, for whatever reason,” Bonnett said. “These high school coaches, they’re buying into it now.
“Football is first, but it gives us more ground to stand on with all these great athletes.”
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By Gabriel Rizk, OC Register
Of the more than 100 career wins Mary Rossignol has piled up as head of the JSerra Catholic girls’ basketball team, not many have come easy.
When you inhabit a league that includes teams like perennially nationally-ranked titan Santa Ana Mater Dei, as well as powerhouse Orange Lutheran, the tone is set for an uphill battle each and every year and Rossignol hasn’t deviated from that theme of challenging competition in her nonleague scheduling either.
Nonetheless it took Rossignol less than six seasons to reach the century mark, a milestone that happened Dec. 28 in a 65-24 tournament win over Newberry Park, and she’s successfully built the Lions into a program wholly capable of standing its ground amid the giants of Orange County basketball.
“We train really hard, we work really hard, we practice really hard,” Rossignol says. “The girls are really committed to one another. I’ve had a great coaching staff over the six years I’ve been here and we just try and outwork everybody, coaching staff-wise and players.
“Every year the program has gotten stronger and we’re continuing to try and build a power.”
Currently sitting at 107-65 overall with a 17-5 record in progress in her sixth season, Rossignol led the program to back-to-back 20 win seasons after taking control in 2007 and led the Lions to a CIF state second-round appearance in 2011.
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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.
JSerra’s integration into the Trinity League has never been easy. Casey Eugenio, the lone sophomore on our list, has begun to to make it a bit easier. He rushed for 819 yards and eight touchdowns last year, averaging 6.3 yards a carry. Six of those scores came against Trinity opponents.
In JSerra’s upset of Orange Lutheran, arguably the program’s biggest victory to date, he had 103 rushing yards, 70 receiving yards, and two touchdowns.
To see the complete list click here.
For more on JSerra’s Football Program click here.
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.