Jacob Palisch ’17 Announced as Finalist for Prestigious Davey O’Brien Scholarship

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, Jesuit Dallas senior Jacob Palisch was named one of five finalists for the 31st annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship, sponsored by Higginbotham and Southwest Bank. An award which recognizes the most outstanding high school senior student-athlete across the metroplex, Palisch and the remaining four nominees will attend the 10th annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Luncheon at The Fort Worth Club on Jan. 24, where the award will be presented.

The Stanford University baseball commit and three-sport athlete was a University Interscholastic League (UIL) District 9-6A First Team selection for the reigning UIL 6A state champion Rangers, picking up the decision in the team’s 6-2 win over San Antonio Johnson in the title game.

Named a MaxPreps.com Junior All-American last June, Palisch threw two no-hitters during the season, including a 15-strikeout masterpiece against Highland Park in the first game of the UIL 6A Region II Quarterfinal. He closed the year with an 11-1 record, 0.64 earned run average and 117 strikeouts, while guiding the team to a top 10 national ranking for the second consecutive season.

On the gridiron, Palisch served as the team’s starting quarterback and punter in 2015 and 2016, and was named the UIL District 9-6A Player of the Year after both seasons. He ended his high school football career with 3,746 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, and 20 touchdowns on the ground while averaging 40.6 yards per punt.

Palisch helped lead Jesuit to back-to-back district titles for the first time in program history, as well as the highest state ranking in School history (No. 20). He scored the go-ahead touchdown in Jesuit’s 24-21 win over perennial state power Skyline on Oct. 2, 2015, snapping the Raiders’ 49-game district winning streak.

Earning UIL District 9-6A Second Team honors in basketball after the 2015-16 season, Palisch has appeared in 14 games for the Rangers this year, totaling 53 rebounds, 51 points and four blocks, while helping Jesuit build a 15-7 record heading into Friday’s bout against state-ranked No. 6 Skyline.

Off the playing surface, Palisch has excelled in the classroom, earning a 4.0 grade-point average. A National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Honors, Palisch works with the Commit to Dallas early education literacy program as a teacher’s reading aide.

The other four finalists for the award are: Anna Connolly, a softball student-athlete from fellow UIL 9-6A member J.J. Pearce, Highland Park volleyball student-athlete Madeline Ngo, Vivian Weinman from Southwest Christian School, and soccer student-athlete Christopher Wines from Trinity Christian Academy.

Palisch will head to Fort Worth on Tuesday hoping to become the third student-athlete in Jesuit Dallas history to earn the Davey O’Brien award, following in the footsteps of Jesuit Hall of Famer Joel Sharp ’87 and Jeff Miller ’02.

Connor O’Neill Caps Record-Breaking Season at National Championships

Senior Connor O’Neill closed out one of the best cross country seasons in Jesuit Dallas lore after finishing 24th overall at the 2016 Nike Cross Nationals (NXN) on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Portland, Oregon. O’Neill logged the fifth best time from the South Region (16:05), and bested Jordan Brannan from Colts Neck High School (N.J.) by 1.6 seconds in securing the best finish at the national championships in program history.

O’Neill compiled an impressive resume during his senior campaign, totaling seven consecutive top-five finishes prior to nationals, including four individual wins. His postseason run included a dominating one-minute victory at the UIL 9-6A District Championships, a runner-up finish at the UIL Regional Championships, a sixth-place finish in the fastest state championship race in UIL history, and a top-six finish at the Nike South Regional Cross Country Championships.

A two-time all-state selection, O’Neill’s time of 15:04 at the UIL 6A State Championships marked the fastest performance by a Jesuit runner in the history of the state meet.

Baseball Caps Historic Week with UIL 6A State Championship

Jesuit Dallas baseball capped a truly historic week for the program in fitting fashion by capturing the University Intercollegiate League (UIL) 6A State Championship in program history, 6-2, over San Antonio Johnson on Saturday, June 11 at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. The victory comes less than one week after senior Kyle Muller was named Gatorade National Player of the Year and two days after Muller became the highest draft pick in School history.

Entering the state semifinals ranked No. 23 in the national polls, Jesuit advanced to its first UIL title appearance behind a dominating performance from Muller, who improved his season ledger as a pitcher to 9-0 after scattering three base hits and striking out nine in a complete-game effort against Langham Creek.

In the title tilt, junior and fellow lefty Jacob Palisch was nearly as dominant en route to earning tournament MVP honors. Muller and Palisch, along with Bryce Bonner, Jared Kengott, Mark Ready were all named to the UIL baseball all-tournament teams, as selected by the Texas High School Coaches Association.

On Monday, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, announced Muller as its 2015-16 Gatorade National Baseball Player of the Year. Muller was surprised with the news at Jesuit by Texas Ranger and former World Series MVP Cole Hamels.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Muller as the nation’s best high school baseball player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Muller from nearly 470,000 high school baseball players nationwide.

Muller, who in addition to leading the state with 15 homeruns, threw two no-hitters during the season and set a new national record with 24 consecutive strikeouts over a two-game span. On Thursday, June 9, he was taken by the Atlanta Braves with the 44th overall selection of the Major League Baseball Draft. Muller’s selection made him the 10th player drafted in Jesuit Dallas baseball program history and the first since Josh Bell was picked in the second round of the 2011 Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Baseball’s state championship is the first since moving to the UIL in 2004 and the program’s sixth overall. Jesuit, which secured its first UIL state championship in soccer in 2010, has won 112 team state titles in its history, including the first state championship for lacrosse earlier this spring.

Second-Fastest in the U.S.; Crew Qualifies for Henley Royal Regatta

The Jesuit Dallas crew varsity 8 logged one of the most historically significant races in program history on Saturday, May 21, finishing second at the prestigious Stotesbury Cup on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to earn a trip to England for the world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England.

The Rangers will next compete at the USRowing Youth National Championships in Princeton, New Jersey in early June, followed by the Henley Royal Regatta, which will run from June 29 to July 3. Jesuit will compete in the Princess Elizabeth Challenge Cup.

Consisting of seniors Joseph Merkel, Campbell Lang, Jay Hofmeister, Liam McCormack, and Jack Fontaine, juniors Evan Doran and Christian LeDoux, and sophomores Sean Tehan and James French, the varsity 8 finished the senior 8 grand final with a time of 4:18.50 in Philadelphia, besting The Lawrenceville School from New Jersey by 0.2 seconds to earn its coveted spot to the most prestigious regatta on the planet.

The Rangers earned the grand final berth with a one-second victory in the semifinals, preceded by a second-place finish in the preliminaries. Gonzaga College High School (D.C.) won the varsity 8, and will serve as the other U.S. representative.

“Our boys executed their plan perfectly and left nothing on the table,” commented Jesuit Dallas head coach Jon Fife. “There is absolutely no shame in losing to a crew as exceptional as Gonzaga. Saturday’s race was a huge moment for our program as it was the first time we were on the medal podium for the Boy’s Senior 8. We can truly say we are the second fastest high school crew in the United States.”

Click HERE to support the team’s trip to England and participation in the most prestigious rowing regatta in the world.

Jesuit Dallas Lacrosse Wins 2016 State Championship

Jesuit Dallas earned its first Texas High School Lacrosse League (THSLL) State Championship title in program history, toppling state top-ranked Highland Park, 9-4, on Sunday, May 15 in the Division I title game at Eagle Stadium in Allen, Texas.

The Rangers (17-2) scored four unanswered goals in the second half, posting an incredible team effort en route to the championship. Junior Luke Millican earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors, making 14 saves on Sunday after a 12-save performance in the semifinal on Saturday.

Sophomore David Sprock was named the Offensive MVP, closing out the title game with a hat trick and a team-high four points. Senior Garrett Munck added a hat trick of his own, while junior Jack Freeman tallied his second consecutive game-winning goal. Sophomore Grayson Hassell started the Jesuit scoring, while senior Zachary Kissick tacked on a goal and assist.

Senior John Michael Priddy garnered Defensive MVP honors, securing a pair of ground balls in the final. Sophomore Jack Tabor led the squad with six ground balls, followed by junior Reece Ellison with four and senior Colton Hart with three. Jesuit finished the contest with a 25-19 advantage in ground balls, converting all 21 clear chances and splitting the faceoff battle, 8-8.

Millican began the championship game with a pair of early saves before Hassell opened the scoring with a 10-yard shot four minutes into the contest. With 20 seconds remaining in the first, Sprock scored his first goal of the game to spot the squad a two-goal lead. Munck found twine 63 seconds into the second quarter before Highland Park snapped the Jesuit scoring run, sending the Blue and Gold into halftime with a 3-1 lead.

The Scots scored 11 seconds into the second half to close the gap to one, but Jesuit responded with four unanswered goals while holding Highland Park scoreless for over 15 minutes. Munck’s goal with 5:52 remaining in the third started the rally, followed by a goal from Freeman with three seconds remaining in the quarter. Munck completed his hat trick with 9:27 left in the fourth before Sprock scored unassisted with 7:42 remaining on the clock.

Kissick scored with 3:06 left, ending a small burst of Highland Park momentum, before Sprock’s third goal of the evening with 2:48 remaining capped off a dominant afternoon for the Rangers.

Making their third trip to the title game in the last five years, the Jesuit Dallas lacrosse program secured its first championship while winning 17 games for the first time since the 2011 season.

Jesuit Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Class

The newest members of Jesuit’s most exclusive athletic club will be formally inducted on Saturday, May 7 at the 2016 Blue & Gold Banquet celebrating the Jesuit Dallas Sports Hall of Fame. This year’s class includes the School’s first alumnus to pitch in Major League Baseball, a star defender for UNC soccer, a three-sport standout and multi-sport state champion, and a dominating defensive player on Jesuit’s star-studded football teams of the mid-1970s. The foursome earned numerous distinctions at the state, regional, and national level, while helping to pace the Rangers to eight team state championships during their years donning the Blue and Gold.

A two-sport headliner, Rich Rager ’75 was named TCIL Defensive Player of the Year and cited as an Honorable Mention All-America after his senior football season. Leading Jesuit Dallas to the 1974 TCIL State Football Championship, he was also a three-year starter at third base where he was part of a celebrated group that handed the School its first TCIL State Baseball Championship in 1973.

A two-time team captain and three-year letterman, Rich Wachsman ’88 was the star defender on an outstanding Jesuit Dallas soccer unit that ripped through the competition for three years in the late 80s. Helping guide the Rangers to a TCIL State Championship as a sophomore, Jesuit turned in back-to-back undefeated regular seasons his last two years, while ranking No. 1 in the Dallas Morning News area rankings for the entirety of both seasons. Wachsman accepted a scholarship at the University of North Carolina, where he started for four years as a stopper, sweeper, and defensive midfielder en route to First Team All-ACC honors.

Kevin Hart ’01 ascended through the baseball ranks en route to becoming Jesuit’s first alumnus to reach the Major Leagues. After notable stints in high school and college, Hart enjoyed an eight-year career in the pros, including seasons with the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates. Hart was twice named first team all-state and helped lead Jesuit to the 1999 TCIL State Championship. He later paced Navarro College to a second-place finish at the 2003 NJCAA Regional Championships, before transferring to the University of Maryland, where he served as the Terrapins’ top pitcher and was named First Team All-ACC. After fantastic stops through the minors, Hart made his major league debut with the Cubs on Sept. 4, 2007 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Matt Upton ’02 was one of the most versatile student-athletes in Jesuit Dallas lore. A distinguished three-sport athlete and nine-time letterwinner, he played a key role in leading the Rangers to the 2001 Texas Rugby State Championship and the 2002 Texas Prep State Wrestling Championship. Ending his wrestling career with an overall record of 117-11 (.914), he was a four-time state medalist, as well as the 2001 and 2002 Texas Prep state heavyweight champion. And while he was also an accomplished star in football, Upton’s future was in rugby, where after a decorated high school career, he excelled at both the collegiate and professional levels.

In addition to the Hall’s four new inductees, the evening also celebrates the on-going career of Bob Wunderlick ’84, who for four decades has impacted Jesuit Dallas as a teacher, coach, mentor, volunteer, and friend. Most fondly remembered for leading Ranger football to four consecutive TCIL State Championships in the program’s final years before its historic transition to the UIL, Wunderlick is set to receive the Gold Ranger Award, which is presented to a Jesuit letterman who has brought honor to Jesuit; made contributions that have had lasting, positive effects on his fellow citizens; made a significant contribution to the Jesuit community; and lived and performed as a Man for Others.

The Blue & Gold Sports Hall of Fame Banquet begins at 6 p.m. in the Terry Center on the Jesuit campus. CLICK HERE to purchase your ticket and help celebrate Jesuit’s rich athletic history.

52nd Annual Jesuit-Sheaner Relays to Showcase Best in Texas

Over 150 boys and girls teams from the most prominent high school track & field programs in the state of Texas are set to compete in the 52nd Annual Jesuit-Sheaner Relays on the campus of Jesuit Dallas. The two-day meet, which begins on Friday, March 18 with the running of the 3,200-meter run, brings together over 32 reigning UIL state champions, numerous All-Americans, and a number of nationally-ranked athletes for one of the most competitive mid-season meets in the country.

Saturday’s field events are scheduled to start at 8 a.m., with the running prelims beginning at 9:15 a.m. Saturday’s finals begin at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast live on MileSplit.

Nearly every event is a showcase, with the state and nation’s top-ranked athletes blanketing the field. On the boys’ side, the marquee race could end up being the 4x400m relay, which currently boasts three of the top seven teams in the country. U.S. #1 Bryce Hoppel of Midland will need to fend off a strong pack of contenders that includes U.S. #3 Cade Bethmann of Arlington Martin in the 800m, while the distance races represent the deepest events on the schedule. Frisco Independence’s Carter Blunt, who set a Sheaner-Relays record last year in the 3,200m with a time of 8:57.01, will be pressed to repeat as seven of the top 10 performers in the state are entered in the race, including the 2015 UIL 6A cross country state champion, Daniel Golden (The Woodlands); in the 1,600m, Blunt is among seven of the state’s top nine to bid for a coveted Sheaner-Relays title, including Texas #1 Reed Brown of Southlake Carroll.

The discus includes four of the top seven marks in the country, including national #1 William Petersson of Frisco Centennial, and the pole vault boasts the nation’s top two marks, as authored by Peyon Weissman (Grapevine) and Brandon Spokes (The Woodlands), respectively. Led by Texas #1 Devin Duvernay (Sache), the 100m is set to feature eight of the top 10-ranked sprinters in the state.

The boys’ field also includes the state’s top-ranked performers in the 400m (Keshun Reed, Arlington Martin); 110m hurdles (Bryce Douglas, Allen); triple jump (Jalen Seal, Fort Worth Boswell); high jump (Ianou Adeyeye, Mansfield Lake Ridge); and shot put (Adrian Piperi, The Woodlands). In the case of Seals and Piperi, their qualifying marks are tops in the U.S. among high school athletes.

The girls’ contingency boasts nearly as much firepower, including the nation’s top four teams in the 4x100m relay. The 100m hurdles will include 2015 6A state champ and U.S. #1, Alexis Duncan (DeSoto) as well as 5A state champ, Tonea Marshall (Arlington Seguin) and current U.S. #4 Ivy Walker (Mansfield Summit), while a star-studded 100m prelim will contain 11 of the state’s 20-fastest competitors, including U.S. #1 Kaylor Harris of Mesquite Horn. Jannia Price of Killeen Ellison, who has authored the country’s top-ranked performance in the discus, headlines a field that features eight of the top 13 marks in the state.

In addition to the outstanding cast of student-athletes, the meet will highlight honorary referee, Roy “Robot” Martin, who set the national high school record in the 200m (20.13) in 1985. Martin, who graduated from Roosevelt High School, led SMU to the 1986 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship, and earned a spot on the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympic teams.

Visit the Jesuit-Sheaner Relays website for more information, including a complete meet schedule and up-to-date entry information.

UIL Announces New District Alignments

The University Interscholastic League (UIL) unveiled its new district alignments for the 2016-2018 seasons on Monday, combining Jesuit Dallas and Coppell with members of the Dallas and Richardson Independent School Districts to form the newest iteration of UIL District 9-6A, which will begin competition in August 2016.

District 9-6A will comprise of Jesuit Dallas, Coppell, Skyline, W.T. White, Richardson, Richardson Berkner, J.J. Pearce and Lake Highlands. According to the UIL website, this current alignment will be effective for football and basketball, with the remainder of sport alignments to be released at a later date.

The Rangers join a district full of familiar foes, re-joining the Richardson schools after a two-year stint with the Irving Independent School District. Jesuit Dallas will remain with Skyline and W.T. White for the fourth consecutive realignment, but will share a district with Coppell in all sports for the first time in program history.

District 10-6A, the Bi-District partner of District 9-6A, comprises of seven schools from the Garland Independent School District: Garland, North Garland, South Garland, Lakeview Centennial, Naaman Forest, Rowlett, and Sachse.

The end of the 2015-16 academic year will also close the current chapter of UIL District 9-6A, a two-year span that has already resulted in 10 UIL District Championships for Jesuit Dallas. After winning district crowns in baseball, cross country, golf, soccer, and swimming and diving during the 2014-15 season, the Rangers are currently in the midst of an equally productive year securing titles in the year’s first three district championships.

In early October, Jesuit Dallas cross country powered to the program’s first UIL District Championship of the year before the Ranger football team won its first outright district championship in program history in early November. Most recently, the Jesuit Dallas swimming and diving program won the 2015-16 UIL District 9-6A Championship on Jan. 29.

With the announcement of the new districts, the Jesuit Dallas football schedule also nears completion. The Rangers have agreed to two-year, non-district series’ with perennial state power DeSoto, Plano East and 2015 UIL 6A Football State Finalist Austin Lake Travis.

Locations for the week one contest against DeSoto and the week three clash with Lake Travis are yet to be determined, while the two-year series with Plano East will be played inside the iconic Cotton Bowl.

Nutrition & Exercise Broadcast Presentation

New Year’s resolutions can be short lived, because they are driven by external motivation, rather than internal focus. Jesuit Dallas Director of Sports Science, Micheal Cahill, who is currently a PhD candidate at Auckland University in New Zealand, will outline key features on this topic on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. in the Terry Center.

The presentation, which is free and open to all members of the Jesuit community, will focus on Sleep, Nutrition and Exercise, and the interchangeable role they play throughout our lifestyles. The presentation will also be available online both live and on-demand at Jesuit’s campus central video portal.

Cahill’s talk will include the current paradigm in nutritional habits within the United States, how sleep and lifestyle impacts our nutritional habits, understanding the food choices we make and the influence they have on our body, and steps toward implementing a four-week progressive sleep, nutrition and exercise regime to maintain sustainable changes.

Cahill is a member of the sports performance staff at Jesuit Dallas. The program supports the entire academic community, primarily to the School’s 700+ student athletes. For three straight years, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports named Jesuit Dallas as a recipient of the Strength of America Award. The only high school in Texas to ever receive the honor, Jesuit’s program places a strong emphasis on the traditional approach to strength and conditioning by using scientifically proven methods to increase strength, power, speed and agility, while also focusing on the psychological and dietary aspects of athletic performance.

Jesuit Announces Live Broadcast Partnership

Jesuit Dallas is bringing our fans closer to the action than ever before. The School launched www.jesuitrangers.org last year to widespread acclaim. Mirroring the look and feel of a collegiate web presence (our hosting provider, Sidearm Sports, counts University of Texas, University of Kansas, and Syracuse University among its clients), fans of Jesuit Rangers athletics can find detailed information on all of the School’s varsity teams, in addition to highlight videos, weekly award winners, fan polls, and a treasure trove of historical information.

In the fall, Jesuit proudly announced a three-year partnership with Stretch Internet to serve as the provider for the Rangers’ live audio and video streaming efforts, while the School also began incorporating live, in-game statistical software for select sports. Free of charge and assisted by the broadcasting and stat-tracking talents of the student body, Jesuit fans can now follow the Rangers from the comfort of their own home all over the world.

In addition, Stretch Internet developed a separate custom video portal for non-athletic events, including the Distinguished Alumnus Prayer Service, class awards convocations, and commencement. Visit www.jesuitcp.org/videos to access both live and on-demand content.