- JSerra News
JSerra Catholic High School announces the school's co-founder and an integral player to JSerra Athletics, Marc Spizzirri, has been elected to the inaugural JSerra Athletics Hall of Fame. Athletic Director Chris Ledyard confirmed Spizzirri will be the fourth entry into the Hall of Fame as well as the recipient of the first award for a benefactor. Spizzirri was instrumental in the building of JSerra and the vision for athletics.
Ledyard states, "Quite frankly, there is no JSerra Athletics without the vision and mind of Marc Spizzirri. From day one, his vision was to build athletics and use it as a vehicle to guide our youth as well as develop the total student."
Principal Eric Stroupe added, "Marc Spizzirri was a visionary for JSerra in more ways than just one. The idea of JSerra rests with him, Tim Busch, and Tom Parr. Those three founders put in the time, energy, and their own financial resources to bring the idea of JSerra to fruition.
"Marc also had the foresight to realize that a world-class athletic program centered around mission-centric athletics would do much to build support for the school among prospective families. Marc realized the great coaches and excellent, college-like facilities would work well to supplement a north campus that had strong academics and a commitment to Catholic values. That Marc was so keen on athletic development but never at the cost of compromising our school's focus on faith and academics set a tone that remains to this day.
"Marc's two children, Joe and Jenna, exemplified this at the school: they were good athletes, but more importantly, great people who worked hard in the classroom and who exhibited character in how they treated their teachers and classmates."
Beyond vision, Spizzirri served in several practical capacities for the school. His contacts in the world of athletics helped JSerra find alternative training sites before the south campus was built. He essentially was the school's first Athletic Director (though unpaid) when he hired coaches and trainers and helped create policies for the new department. He was a tremendous financial backer for the program in general and many, if not all teams, either by sponsoring those programs or helping to find other sponsors through his many local business connections. In fact, JSerra used many of his business facilities to have practices for its basketball and volleyball programs.
Spizzirri was connected with many people who aided JSerra's early years — including his valuable relationship with the City of San Juan Capistrano. The city and history of the town were very important to him as he realized early on that the relationship between the city and the school could be mutually beneficial and history has illustrated how true that is.
He also raised and donated money decidedly for academic purposes. He financed the renovation of the school's first lecture-lab, which became a central focus of its first magnet program, the Medical Magnet.
This spring's inaugural JESPY Awards will highlight the year's athletic achievements and open the JSerra Catholic High School Athletics Hall of Fame. The event will take place on Thursday, May 27, and kick off graduation weekend festivities.
The JSerra Athletics Department currently presents a JESPY Award (JSerra Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award) to recognize individual and team athletic achievement and other sports-related performance during the calendar year. The JSerra Catholic High School Athletics Hall of Fame will open with the first class of inductees honoring the achievements and contributions of alumni, boosters, and community members who have played an integral role in the history of JSerra Athletics.