Growing up in Norwood, Anthony DeMaio was indoctrinated into something people around town refer as “The Norwood Edge.” He’s since taken that edge to the west coast and shown the good people of California what being “Norwood Tough” is all about.
DeMaio simply exploded in his first year as a varsity lacrosse player at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, CA, setting the freshman points record for both the school and Orange County by piling up 61 goals and 19 assists.
In the process, he helped lead the Lions to the CIF South Section semifinals and a 15-5 overall record.
“The coolest thing about Anthony is, he is the quintessential team player,” praised JSerra coach Kyle Harrison. “We call a play, he runs it to a T and makes sure he makes the high level lacrosse IQ play. He scores his goals in transition opportunities or he’ll get a garbage goal because no one else will go in there and take the beating or he’ll get a garbage goal but he is the most unselfish player you’ll find.”
Two JSerra juniors, Ryan Pugh and Zach Johnson were selected by the San Juan Capistrano American Legion Post 721 to attend California Boys State Program. The week long leadership and civics lab will be held at California State University, Sacramento.
“I am very excited to go to the leadership program,” said Pugh. “It’s inspiring and will be a new found tool for future leadership.”
The Boys State Program is a nationwide program and seeks to educate young men to be the leaders of tomorrow. American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for U.S. high school students.
“It’s exciting to start my venture in politics. This will give me a taste of how politics works,” said Johnson, who hopes to work in foreign affairs.
Ryan and Zach will travel to Sacramento in June and represent JSerra where they will become part of the operation of local, county and state government.
Historic Town Center Park attracted more than 10,000 San Juan Capistrano residents to watch the annual Christmas tree lighting, as well as orchestral music from JSerra Catholic high School, colorful dances and seasonal skits. Saturday evening saw a break from the wet weather, and despite the soggy grounds, the traditional celebration went on.
“If there had been rain, we made contingency plans,” said Special Events Coordinator Heidi Ivanoff. “We made plans to have canopies for rain or shine, but lucky for us, it didn’t rain and we were able to have our San Juan Christmas.”
Santa and city officials began the lighting countdown at about 6 p.m. after the evening’s entertainment concluded to light the 40-foot tall Deodor Cedar tree.
“Our tree lighting ceremony has taken place at different venues around the city,” said Ivanoff. “Over the past five years, our audience has grown from a few thousand to around 10,000.”
Following the tree lighting, crowds immediately migrated toward free cookies, pictures with Santa and free train rides off Verdugo Street. Children scampered to wait in line and cheered for a picture with Santa Claus.
Orchestral quartets as well as carolers set up alongside street corners to play and sing seasonal tunes while shops remained open for business for the evening. The mildly temperate evening saw no rain but a lot of residents enjoying the holiday spirit.
Eight outgoing members of the Youth Advisory Board were recognized for their time and service to the San Juan Capistrano at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4. San Juan Hills High School senior Alberto Barrera, Dana Hills High School sophomore Bradley Reyes and JSerra Catholic High School senior Katie Jenner were present to accept their certificates. The other outgoing members are Anam Sadruddin, Alexis D’Epangnier, Hope Frisch, Katie Ryan and Janelle Janke, whose parents attended the meeting to accept the certificate on her behalf.
“You taught me a lot too, and I want to wish you the very best in your life and your endeavors,” said Gerald Muir, who, along with Joseph Lopez, serves as one of the board’s two adult advisors. “You will succeed if you give your time like you’ve done for the city and the community.”
The board’s newest members were sworn in during their meeting on Monday, August 27. The new members are Daniel Bondi, Gladys Garcia, Edward Mackay, Adriana Martinez, Tatiana Rivera, Sara Schmitt and Isabella Vasquez. The board meets twice a month and serves as a liaison between the city’s youth and the City Council.
Kevin Baldridge a graduate of UCLA, attended the London School of Economics earning a masters in finance and accounting, now serves as the Executive VP of the Apartment division at the Irvine Company. Baldridge, with wife Lora now have three children; Kara, a JSerra alumni, Ryer, a junior, and Elle, a freshman at JSerra.
Baldridge sits as the chair of community relations for the JSerra Board, where he works to keep JSerra in a positive light by offering the school’s resources for the betterment of the community.
As chair of the Community Relations Committee, Baldridge meets with the city council of San Juan Capistrano, to discuss the many ways JSerra can support its surrounding community through relationship building.
Baldridge ensures that JSerra is looked upon positively and, moreover, that the JSerra community is of helpful service.
“The future of JSerra holds such a high caliber student body. I am most excited about hearing the many prestigious colleges students get accepted to, as the Community Relations Committee works to build a strong reputation among the top universities,” said Baldridge.
Congratulations to Kirsty Hibbard for winning the Cox Cares Conservation Champions. Hibbard was nominated by JSerra
Counselor Olivia Huie, thus becoming a finalist after a long evaluation process by Cox Executives, to then be voted on by the community. After weeks of voting and many coming close Hibbard was able to grant The Ecology Center $1,000 in her name on behalf of Cox to go towards their green efforts in the San Juan Capistrano Community.
“I loved volunteering here my family is involved and we have all gotten really close to this cause, I’m just glad I cold help them out doing what I love and care about,” Hibbard said.