Lacrosse Repeats as Texas State Champs!

Tournament Most Valuable Player Luke Millican made 11 saves and senior Daniel Burnum scored the game-winning goal with 5:19 left in regulation to lift Jesuit Dallas to its second consecutive Texas High School Lacrosse League (THSLL) Division I State Championship with a stunning, 9-8, comeback win over the Episcopal School of Dallas Eagles at Rhodes Stadium in Katy.

The Rangers surrendered the first five goals of Sunday’s championship tilt and trailed 6-1 at halftime. Facing certain defeat, Jesuit responded with an outstanding second half, outscoring ESD, 8-2, over the final two frames to clinch its second state crown in as many years.

Sophomore Peter Buell snapped the Jesuit Dallas scoreless stream with a tally midway through the second quarter, and was soon joined in the scoring column by junior Jack Tabor and senior Trey Weiderecht, who scored in the third. Junior Grayson Hassell scored a game-tying goal at the 9:39 mark of the fourth to complete the team’s comeback run and set the stage for Burnum’s heroics.

Burnum finished the tournament by earning Offensive Most Valuable Player honors. Junior Aidan Johnston secured four groundballs in the contest, earning Defensive Most Valuable Player plaudits.

Over the final five minutes, Episcopal would pressure the Jesuit defense, but Millican and the Ranger contingent stood firm. Jesuit survived a scare in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, when a clear attempt was intercepted by an Episcopal attacker, who missed an empty net and the chance at the equalizer. Jesuit clinched the championship when a stick check by junior Greyson Mokarow resulted in a groundball secured by the Rangers, who were able to run the clock out for the victory.

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Robotics Wins Regional; Finishes Third at World Championships

Following up on a dominating performance at the Brazos Regional in Waco, Jesuit Dallas robotics, aka The All Sparks, capped another successful competitive season with a third-place finish at the 2017 FIRST World Championship presented by Qualcomm Incorporated. Held at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Minute Maid Park and Discovery Green in Houston, more than 15,000 students from 700 teams and 33 countries put their innovation skills to the test in the world’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math for students.

Attended by nearly 30,000 people, the four-day event came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of thousands of cheering fans at Minute Maid Park in the match finals of this year’s game, FIRST STEAMWORKS.

As Hopper Division champions, The All Sparks, also known as Team 2848, were one of six teams to advance to the finals. Jesuit’s squad was ranked eighth overall at the end of the qualification rounds, and was chosen to an alliance with Team 604, Quixilver (Calif.), Team 1868, Space Cookies (Calif.), and Team 2903, The NeoBots (Wash.). The Alliance was eliminated in the semifinals.

“This was our second appearance in the Einstein field, and the guys did a phenomenal job,” offered the program’s co-founder and faculty moderator, Michael Couvillon. “Our students had an amazing season, and I’m proud of their efforts from the beginning of the build season through a strong run in our sixth appearance at the FIRST championship.”

Jesuit Dallas won the FIRST World Championship in 2014, and looked the part for an unprecedented second title after placing first out of nearly 50 teams in the qualification rounds of the Brazos Valley Regional. Featuring teams from two states and three countries, The All Sparks’ winning alliance included Team 3310, Team Blackhawk (Rockwall-Heath) and Team 6357, The Spring Konstant (Dripping Springs).

This year’s team was paced by a drive team consisting of Spencer Gautreaux ’17, Jack Barone ’18, Aidan Koch ’19 and Will Madden ’20; pit crew boss Noah Santoni ’19; and control system coordinator Will Curran ’17.

In addition to the team accolades this season, Anirudh Kantareddy ’18 won the Dean’s List Finalist Award at the Brazos Valley Regional.

Jesuit Dallas Soccer Wins UIL 6A State Championship

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A go-ahead goal by junior Christian Lerma in the 89th minute, first half tally by senior Tommy Flaim, and another incredible performance by senior goalkeeper and tournament Most Valuable Player Luke Ostrander propelled Jesuit Dallas to its second University Interscholastic League (UIL) 6A State Championship, 2-1, over top-ranked Arlington Sam Houston on Saturday night at Birkelbach Field in Georgetown, Texas.

Jesuit Dallas (22-3-1) captured its first title since 2010, and secured the program’s 19th state title between championships earned in the TCIL and UIL. The Rangers withstood an inspired attack from Sam Houston (22-3-2), who entered the state tournament ranked first in Texas and fifth in the nation according to TopDrawerSoccer.

The Texans attempted 21 shots, had five corner kicks and 17 free kicks from Jesuit fouls. However, Ostrander and the Rangers would not be denied, allowing their lone goal on a free kick which deflected off a member of the Jesuit wall and into the net in the 58th minute.

Flaim laced a shot from 33-yards out after an early first half foul, a low liner that skipped off the turf inside the box and snuck past the hand of Sam Houston’s goalkeeper for the game-opening tally. Sam Houston’s first two quality chances came moments later, the first a shot in the 15th minute from the near side penalty area to the far post, necessitating a diving stop by Ostrander. One minute later, Sam Houston’s Nate Kopetsky got past the Jesuit defense and sent a shot that got past Ostrander, but was saved off the far post to keep the game scoreless.

Sam Houston controlled the first half pace, taking six shots, including three on target and three corner kicks, but were unable to find the back of the net. Burciaga nearly put the Rangers up by two goals in the ninth minute, sending a close-range shot over the crossbar, but Jesuit was able to withstand a late bevy by the Texans.

In the second half, the play slowed after Sam Houston’s equalizer until Jesuit began to ramp up the pressure late in regulation. Lerma had an open look at the goal from 15 yards out, but pushed the ball just wide of the net.

Junior John Koshakji had perhaps Jesuit’s best look of the game with under five minutes remaining, deflecting a header that seemed destined for twine, but was deflected out by the far post. The two teams went into overtime tied, 1-1, and Jesuit responded with a strong first overtime period that ultimately resulted in the game-winning goal.

Senior Chase Burciaga took a corner kick from the far side in the 89th minute, a ball that found junior Israel Ollarzabal just inside the eight-yard box. Ollarzabal’s header glanced off the upper right corner of the goal, floated through the air, and landed at the feet of Lerma, who put away the point-blank shot for the lead. Sam Houston’s final quality attempt came with a close-range free kick midway through the second overtime that sailed over the crossbar.

Debate Places Three Teams in Top 20 at National Championships

The Jesuit Dallas debate program, which has enjoyed prominence at the national level for over six decades, closed out the 2016-17 campaign achieving another historic milestone as the teams of senior Jack LoRocco and sophomore Jack Moore, seniors Beomhak Lee and Alandro Valdez, and seniors Zachary Watts and Emmanuel Ruiz finished in the top 20 of the National Debate Coaches Association (NDCA) National Championships at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. The result marked the first time that Jesuit Dallas cleared three teams to the elimination rounds at nationals. In addition to the team performance, Ruiz was tabbed as the 18th overall speaker, and LoRocco, 26th, against a field of over 170 of the best high school debaters in the country.

All three Jesuit teams finished 4-2 in the preliminary rounds. LoRocco and Moore defeated teams from California, Illinois, and Kansas; Lee and Valdez defeated teams from Illinois, Texas and Kansas; and Watts and Ruiz topped teams from Illinois and Utah. In decisions that were termed “extremely difficult,” all three Jesuit teams lost in the first elimination round by 2-1 scores.

The strong performance at the national championships caps another impressive slate for Jesuit Dallas debate, which included a first-place finish at The Hockaday Invitational, a top-10 performance at the nationally prestigious Barkley Forum Debates at Emory University, and three teams in the top 10 at the Texas Forensic Association State Championships – where Jesuit was also just one of two schools in the state to qualify six teams to state.   

The Roundup Lauded in Dallas Morning News Journalism Competition

Jesuit Dallas’ student paper, The Roundup, was recognized for its outstanding web presence during the Dallas Morning News’ 26th annual High School Journalism Day & Competition. The competition drew close to 1,200 entries from student journalists and schools throughout the region, with Jesuit Dallas cited for developing and operating the second-best high school news website in the metroplex.

The Roundup is one of the most active clubs on campus. Serving as the student voice at Jesuit Dallas, The Roundup features over 50 active contributors and produces over 300 articles per year covering School news, as well as tackling local, regional, and national issues.

The paper has been a mainstay in the Dallas Morning News journalism competition, winning a myriad of awards since converting to an entirely digital format in 2010. One of only two extracurricular journalism programs in the metroplex, Jesuit is the only school to publish an online paper, exclusively.

Nearly 400 students and teachers from 48 schools attended workshops and a luncheon at The News’ office downtown and nearby Union Station for the annual Journalism Day & Competition.

Visit and follow The Roundup online.

Alistair Keggen ’17 and Felix Kimbrell ’17 Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

Jesuit Dallas seniors Alistair Keggen and Felix Kimbrell were named as recipients of the 2017 President’s Volunteer Service Award. The award, which recognizes middle and high school students across America for outstanding volunteer service, was granted by the Presidential Spirit of Community Awards program on behalf of the President’s Council on Service and Participation.

“Demonstrating civic responsibility through volunteerism is an important part of life,” remarked JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “Honorees such as Alistair and Felix practice a lesson we hope all young people, as well as adults, will emulate.”

In addition to receiving a certificate of achievement marked by the Seal of the President of the United States, Keggen and Kimbrell received a signed letter of congratulations from President Barack Obama. Volunteer activities for each of the recipients were judged on criteria including personal initiative, creativity, effort, impact and personal growth.

The community service and social justice program at Jesuit Dallas is one of the most comprehensive in the nation. Although all students are required to complete a pre-determined number of hours to graduate, nearly every student far exceeds the minimum. This past year, students worked with over 100 different service organizations and totaled over 100,000 hours of service both locally and abroad.

Busy Weekend for Debate Nets Five Top-10 Finishes and Sixth State Qualifying Team

Jesuit Dallas joined Austin Westwood as the only two schools across the state to qualify six teams to the Texas Forensic Association State Championships after an exciting weekend that saw 12 teams competing at two tournaments.

At the Royce City Invitational where 30 teams from the metroplex competed, the sophomore team of Jack Griffiths and Riler Holcombe earned third-place honors and became the sixth Jesuit Dallas team to qualify for the state tournament in March. Sophomores Ashik Amar and Giovanni Ferrer-Falto earned fifth place. 

At the Colleyville Heritage Invitational, which featured over 70 teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, and Florida, the team of seniors Jake LoRocco and Emmanuel Ruiz secured ninth-place honors in the varsity division. In the novice division, freshmen Javier Arroyo and Marshall Mann snagged second place with the freshmen duo of Thomas Cluck and Garrett Nagorzanski taking third overall.

Debaters Finish in Top 10 at Barkley Forum Debates

Seniors Jake LoRocco and Emmanuel Ruiz finished ninth overall at the Barkley Forum Debates at Emory University where the top 110 teams from over 25 states competed. In the preliminary rounds, LoRocco and Ruiz finished with a 4-2 record with wins over teams from University of Chicago Lab School, Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Evanston (Ill.), and Niles West (Ill.).  The Jesuit duo defeated Greenhill in the first elimination round before losing to Montgomery Bell Academy from Nashville in the second elimination round. 

 The senior team of Beomhak Lee and Alandro Valdez also finished the prelims with a 4-2 record and earned the 35th seed with wins over teams from Cypress Bay (Fla.), Georgetown Day (D.C.), Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.), and Greenhill, but only the top 32 qualify for the elimination rounds.

The Barkely Forum Debates is one of the oldest and most historic tournaments in the country. Jesuit Dallas has competed in this tournament since becoming a member school in the Barkley Forum in the 1970s.

Debate Closes Out at Richardson; Clinches Three More Teams to State

Jesuit Dallas enjoyed a great weekend at the Richardson High School Invitational, closing out the tournament, while placing four teams in the top five, and qualifying three more teams into the field at the TFA State Championships. The teams of junior Ben Miller and senior Greg Tan and sophomores Jack Madden and Pete Weigman both reached the final round producing the close out of first and second place. The team of sophomore Jack Moore and senior Zach Watts earned third place and the team of sophomores Ashik Amar and Giovanni Ferrer-Falto earned fifth place. Almost 40 teams from the area competed in the tournament.

In the preliminary rounds, Moore and Watts, Miller and Tan, and Amar and Ferrer-Falto all finished with 3-0 records and Madden and Weigman finished with 2-1 record with wins over teams from Trinity Valley, Sachse, Ennis, Reedy, McKinney Boyd, Glen Rose, Colleyville Heritage, Mansfield Legacy, and Wylie.  Miller and Tan beat Boyd again in the first elimination round, Madden and Weigman beat the top seed Wylie, and Moore and Watts beat Midlothian.  Madden and Weigman beat Trinity Valley in the semifinals and Miller and Tan advanced over Moore and Watts in other semifinals for the close out.  Jesuit had nine teams competing at the tournament and all nine finished with a winning record. 

Jesuit has now qualified five teams for the state tournament in March. Austin Liberal Arts and Sciences and Austin Westwood are the only other two schools in the entire state to have qualified five teams thus far.

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 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.