However you want to describe it, JSerra’s 2009-2010 year in athletics was its best ever, solidifying the high school’s reputation as a haven for scholar athletes and an emerging sports powerhouse.
Among the many highlights was the school’s first CIF championship in any sport — boys soccer, led by Orange County MVP Juan “Crabby” Gutierrez. Girls lacrosse also was Trinity League champs. And nationally-ranked high-jumper Harrison Steed earned his third CIF title.
Another major triumph was the football team’s victory over cross-town rival Santa Margarita Catholic High School – JSerra’s first Trinity League football win.
“In the highly competitive Trinity League, many predicted JSerra would never compete,” JSerra Athletic Director Jim Hartigan said.“Hard work and determination paid off this year with our first CIF title and many other team and individual accomplishments.”
JSerra’s commitment to continue to build on its athletic success was symbolized by the hiring of former two-sport Olympian Julie Swail-Ertel to run the aquatics program. Swail-Ertel was captain of the silver-medalist women’s water polo team in 2000 in Sydney, and was on the U.S. triathlon squad at the Beijing Games in 2008.
“We had a thrilling year across all sports, but we believe that the accomplishments of the past school year were just steps on our path toward achieving even greater goals moving forward,” Hartigan said.
JSerra teams in 2009-10 made 21 CIF appearances, including boys water polo, boys cross country, boys basketball, boys soccer, baseball, boys lacrosse, girls cross-country, girls basketball and girls lacrosse. There also were 12 individual appearances in CIF competition in swimming, track and field, and golf.
All this brawn, however, comes with brains – a tradition “that continues to make the JSerra family proud,” Hartigan said. This past year, the school had 207 scholar athletes, which are those with GPAs above 4.0.
Thirteen JSerra students committed to college athletic scholarships in 2010, and two are committed for 2011.
In addition, the overall average GPA of the school’s approximate 800 student athletes was 3.209, unweighted.
“As this past year proves,” Hartigan said, “we are well-positioned for the future with the combination of top-notch facilities, a well-trained staff, and our hard-working students, who show as much effort in the classroom as they do on the fields and courts.”
In what the Orange County Register called a “watershed moment,” JSerra Catholic High School finally won a Trinity League football game, beating rival Santa Margarita Catholic 14-12 Friday night at Saddleback College.