Congratulations to sophomore Karli Thuen for being named to the OC Varsity’s Athlete of the Week.
Thuen captured the 200-yard individual medley (lifetime-best 2:01.81) and raced on the national record-setting 400 freestyle relay (3:21.20) to help the Lions capture their second consecutive CIF Division 1title. Thuen also was part of JSerra’s county-record 200 free relay (1:32.35) and placed eighth in the 500 free (4:55.22).
Congratulations to three-sport athlete Dante Pettis for being named as OC Varsity’s Athlete of the Week.
The versatile junior was the only county athlete to win two individual titles at the Orange County Championships. Pettis won the long jump (22-8¼) and returned later in the meet to win the 200 in a time of 21.84. Pettis is the current county leader in the 200 and has the county’s best long jump mark of the season under all conditions.
Congratulations to Jonny Unterman for being named OC Varsity’s Athlete of the Week.
Unterman posted a 2-under-par 34 at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course to help the Lions post a school record 181 in the victory against St. Margaret’s. He also posted a 2-under 34 at Santa Ana Country Club in a match against Mater Dei this season, giving him a 37.5 nine-hole scoring average.
For more on the JSerra golf team visit them on Facebook.
Season highlights: Miller was the OCVarsity.com freshman of the year last season and this season she moves up to first-team All-County after a sophomore year that saw her lead the Lions to a second-place finish in the Trinity League, the CIF-SS Division 4AA semifinals and the CIF Southern California Division 4 regional semifinals. She terrified opposing teams when she got hot from 3-point range. She had five games with four 3-pointers or more. JSerra played one of the toughest schedules in the county and Miller performed against all of the top teams. She scored a county-high 632 points.
Notable: Miller was the MVP of the Vernie Ford Classic and she made first-team All-Trinity League.
Quotable: Said JSerra coach Mary Rossignol: “Coco can score in so many different ways, (including) free throws, rebounds and put backs, steals, fast breaks and 3s. She sees the court so well and is an unselfish player. She will do whatever it takes for her team to be successful. Coco is a pleasure to coach and is a fine scholar-athlete.”
Coaches can often remember the moment they realized a player was special. Ask JSerra baseball coach Brett Kay when he identified Chase Strumpf as a can’t-miss talent and the answer comes easy.
“As soon as I saw him,” Kay said. “As soon as I saw him.”
It was the summer of 2010 when a 12-year-old Strumpf strolled into Kay’s youth baseball camp at JSerra Catholic High School. It was the first year Kay held the camp and only about 15 kids showed up. Kay says now that Strumpf really had no business being there. He was too advanced.
Two-and-a-half years later, Strumpf, of Ladera Ranch, plays for Kay here on JSerra’s St. Pierre varsity baseball field, smacking singles and doubles off pitchers several years older than him and fielding hard-hit groundballs at shortstop with the composure of an upperclassman.
Just a handful of games into his freshman season, Strumpf, who turned only 15 on Friday, is opening eyes at JSerra.
The 6-foot-1, 175-pound shortstop entered the weekend a team-best 6 for 14 and has already showed his uncanny ability in the field.
“He doesn’t act like a freshman,” said Kay, who also coached him in travel ball. “He doesn’t perform like a freshman. You look at him and you think junior, senior, and he’s a freshman? It’s pretty cool to watch. … He’s special.”
Casey Worden hits out of the three-hole for JSerra, one spot behind Strumpf. Worden, a senior captain, lauded Strumpf’s fundamentals, which he described as “sound in every aspect.”
“I had heard about him before when he was coming in,” Worden said. “He lived up to every bit.”
Mater Dei of Chula Vista coach David Monroe kept screaming from the sideline, “Somebody get on that shooter.”
That shooter he was referring to was JSerra sophomore Coco Miller, and nobody from the Crusaders was able to stop her.
Miller finished with 26 points, including four 3-pointers, five rebounds and four assists, to help the Lions defeat Mater Dei, 60-52, in the opening round of the CIF Southern California Division 4 Regionals on Wednesday night at JSerra.
JSerra (24-7) avenged a 69-66 overtime loss to the Crusaders (20-7) earlier this season.
“We played them earlier in the season over Christmas and we lost to them in a tough overtime game,” Miller said, “so coming into tonight we had to give it all we had and play with our hearts.”
The first half went back and forth, but the Crusaders had a 28-27 lead at halftime after Kandiss Barber’s breakaway layup at the buzzer.
JSerra was able to build a six-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, and Miller sealed the victory with seven points in the final quarter.
JSerra point guard August Touchard turned in a gutsy effort. She injured her head and her ankle but never came out of the game, and she .
“I knew I had to step up especially when August got hurt,” Miller said.