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.

JCL Delivers Tremendous Performance at State Championships

The Junior Classical League basically rewrote the entire Jesuit Dallas record book at the 2016 Texas State Junior Classical League (TSJCL) State Convention at Atascocita High School in Houston. With a program-high 44 students competing at the largest JCL state meet in the history of the event, Jesuit finished a School-record eighth overall out of 107 teams, while finishing the trophy race in the Upper Division Sweepstakes as the top school in North Texas.

The Rangers earned 23 individual ribbons, which required each competitor to finish in the top five of the state in their respective events. There were nearly 2,000 students across Texas participating at the convention, and most events featured over 100 entrants.

First-place or state-championship performances were authored by Gabriel Anguiano (Level 2 Research Paper), Connor Thomas (Level 2 Open Certamen), and Carson Ward (Level 2 Sculpture). Anguiano’s entry focused on the Romanization of Egypt. In addition, Rutherford Allison earned a summa cum laude ranking in the Level 1 Pentathlon, marking the highest-level score achievable.

Jack Mason, who has served this past year as state treasurer of the JCL, finished second overall in Level 4 Roman History and fifth in Level 4 Greek History, while Noah Johnson secured runner-up honors in Level 3 Latin Sight Recitation. Kristian Baluyot, third in Veteran Latin Vocabulary and fourth in Veteran Latin Derivatives, and Jack Schwab, third in Level 3 Latin Oratory and fourth in Level 3 English Oratory, joined Mason as the only competitors from Jesuit to log a pair of top-five finishes.

Additional ribbons winners included: Michael Miramontes (third, Level 2 Open Certamen); Tyler Ochs (third, Level 1 Pottery); Gabriel Farrell (third, Level 1 Latin Sight Recitation); Kieran Taylor (fourth, Level 3 Mottoes); Nick Motter (fourth Level 2 Latin Sight Recitation); Giovanni Rivas (fourth, Level 2 Latin Oratory); John Alfred Zevallos (fourth, Level 2 Mythology); Frank Nuchereno (fourth, Level 1 Greek Derivatives); Carl Quist (fourth, Level 1 Latin Oratory); Aiden Leahy (fifth, Level 4 Greek Life & Literature); Cameron Schutze (fifth, Level 3 Mythology); and Jaylon Briscoe (fifth, Level 2 Greek Derivatives).

Jesuit Dallas, which finished 10th overall in the Upper Division Sweepstakes last year, closed just ahead of Hebron High School and Austin Westlake in this year’s team standings. In addition, the Rangers far out-paced their closest academic peers in the pentathlon competition, which is required exam of every competitor. Jesuit placed 39 students in the pentathlon, followed by Highland Park (15), St. Mark’s (11), Greenhill (10), and John Paul II (9). Many of Jesuit’s students will now turn their attention to Nationals, which is scheduled from July 25-30 on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington.

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.

Jesuit Looking to Regionals Following UIL Academic District Championships

Junior Matthew Clayton won first place in the spelling & vocabulary contest to highlight a strong performance from Jesuit Dallas at the UIL Academic District 9-6A Championships. Clayton, who also finished fourth overall in the current issues competition, will compete at the UIL Region II Championships, April 22-23 at Baylor University in Waco.

Jesuit’s academic team delivered a series of strong results, including a fifth-place finish by junior Jack Schwab in ready writing, a seventh-place finish by junior Killian Leonard in current issues, a seventh-place finish by freshman Payton Bilgere in spelling and vocabulary, and an eighth-place effort by freshman Mathios Mekbeb-Gillett in number sense.

Jesuit Dallas enjoyed its best team performance in mathematics, where the group of junior Aaron Furton (sixth), Mekbeb-Gillett (14th), and junior Jackson Glenn (18th) combined to finish third in the overall team standings, just ahead of The School for the Talented and Gifted (Dallas).

There are 14 teams in District 9-6A for academics, while all of the postseason competitions are coed. More than half a million students participate in the UIL academic contests each year.

Robotics Wins Dallas Regional; Qualifies for World Championship

Jesuit’s nationally-prominent robotics program sealed its bid to the 2016 FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Championships with a commanding victory at the Dallas FRC Regional, which included nearly 50 schools from multiple states as well as teams from China, Brazil, and Mexico.

Jesuit’s team, known as The All Sparks, finished the qualification matches with a tournament-best record of 10-1, before sweeping an Elite 8 elimination bracket with their alliance partners, The Robowranglers (Greenville High School) and the Robobusters (Dallas, Texas). On the team leaderboard, The All Sparks finished first followed by The RoboChargers (Emmett J. Conrad High School). Groups from Rockwall High School, Allen High School, South Logan, Arkansas, and San Jose dos Campos, Brazil, were among other teams finishing in the top 10.

“The boys have done an excellent job this year acting as a team to accomplish their goals,” noted faculty mentor Michael Couvillon. “I am very proud of all that they have done to earn a spot at the Championships in St. Louis.”

In addition to finishing as the top team at the tournament, The All Sparks collected additional hardware by winning the Innovation in Control Award sponsored by Rockwell Automation. It was the second time since 2012 that the All Sparks secured that specific honor, while the 2009 FIRST Rookie All-Star Award winners have won all of the technical awards offered in FRC, including the Quality Award, Creativity Award, Industrial Design Award, and Engineering Excellence.

The FRC Championships serves as the premier high school robotics competition across the globe. In 2014, in front of 20,000 spectators and against more than 12,000 students, Jesuit Dallas was part of the winning alliance that captured the coveted world championship.

This year’s championship will be hosted at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis from April 27-30 and will feature over 40,000 attendees and 900 teams from 39 countries.

Debate Sizzles at First & Second Year National Championships

All four of Jesuit’s teams competing at the First & Second Year Debate National Championships posted top 10 finishes in a tremendous performance for the Blue & Gold. Hosted by Woodward Academy in Atlanta, over 60 schools from 15 states spanning coast to coast competed in the three-day annual event.

In the second year division, juniors Beomhak Lee and Zach Watts closed in ninth place, while a trio of Jesuit Dallas teams dotted the top 10 in the first year division. Lee and Watts finished with a 4-2 preliminary round record with wins over teams from Florida, Georgia and Tennessee before losing to Montgomery Bell Academy from Nashville in the first elimination round.

In the first year or novice division, Riler Holcombe and Ethan Jackson posted a 5-1 preliminary round record, while Jack Madden and Jack Moore, and Jack Griffiths and Pete Weigman posted 4-2 records with wins over teams from Illinois, Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Greenhill (Texas). All three teams lost to higher seeds in the first elimination round to finish in a tie for ninth on the team board.

In addition to the team awards, five debaters were recognized among the top 25 individual speakers, including Griffith (12th), Weigman (16th), Jackson (20th), Holcombe (21st), and Moore (22nd).

Each team debated six preliminary rounds with the top 16 competing in a March Madness style elimination tournament. Jesuit Dallas joined Montgomery Bell Academy (Tenn.) and Nile West (Ill.) as the only three schools in the country to qualify four teams for the elimination rounds across the two divisions.

Jesuit Dallas Debate Finishes Third at TFA State Championships

In an exciting spring break for Jesuit Dallas debate, the varsity team of senior Patrick Bender and junior Emmanuel Ruiz closed third overall at the 2016 Texas Forensic Association (TFA) State Debate Championships in Pflugerville, Texas. The duo led another impressive contingent to the state tournament, as three Jesuit teams finished in the top 20 with all six of those debaters earning All-State recognition.

Seniors Praneeth Kalva and Ethan Tsao finished ninth overall, and senior Joe Hall and junior Jake LoRocco teamed to finish 17th overall out of 106 of the best public and private schools debaters in the state. Texas boasts one of the most competitive qualifying processes in the country, and Jesuit was one of only three schools in the state to have five teams compete in the tournament.

The tournament consisted of six preliminary rounds with the top 32 teams competing in bracketed single-elimination rounds. In the prelims, Bender and Ruiz posted a 5-1 record and earned the 8th seed with wins over teams from Katy Taylor High School, WB Ray High School, and three teams from Houston Kinkaid. They defeated Sharyland High School and two teams from Austin Liberal Arts and Sciences High School in the second and third elimination rounds before losing to eventual tournament champions Law Magnet High School from Dallas in the semifinals. The performance marked the best finish by a Jesuit team since collecting a victory at the 2011 TFA State Championship.

Kalva and Tsao also finished the preliminary rounds with a 5-1 record and earned the 11th seed with wins over teams from Austin Westwood, Houston Bellaire, Anderson, Greenhill and the state champions from Law Magnet. They defeated another Austin Westwood team in the first elimination round before losing to state runner-up Lindale in the second elimination round. Hall and LoRocco finished the preliminary rounds with a 4-2 record with wins over teams from Van Horn, Central, Coppell, and Kempner High Schools, but lost to Law Magnet in the first elimination round.

Jesuit’s other qualifying teams of juniors Beomhak Lee and Alandro Valdez, and Greg Tan and Zach Watts finished in the top 50 but did not qualify for the elimination rounds. Lee and Valdez posted wins against Kingwood, Henderson, and the state champion Law Magnet team in the preliminary rounds and Tan and Watts bested Robert Vela, Kempner, and Trinity Valley High Schools.

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.

Robotics Reveals Grover; Readies for Dallas Regional

The Jesuit Dallas robotics team, aka The All Sparks, recently unveiled its new robot, Grover. Looking to once again qualify for the FIRST World Championships, where in 2014, Jesuit Dallas students outlasted more than 12,000 students from around the globe as part of the winning alliance, Grover is set to lead The All Sparks at the 2016 Dallas FRC Regional Championships in the Irving Convention Center, March 24-26.

Jesuit Dallas 2016 Reveal Video

This year’s competition, known as Stronghold, is played by three-team alliances, and involves breaching an opponents’ defenses, known as outer works, and capturing their tower by first firing “boulders” (small foam balls) at it and then surrounding or scaling the tower using rungs. Points are scored by crossing elements of the tower’s outer works, shooting boulders into the opposing tower’s five goals in order to lower the tower strength, and by surrounding and scaling the tower.

FIRST Stronghold Game Reveal

Qualification matches for the Dallas FRC Regional begin at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

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.