On five occasions throughout the storied athletic history of Jesuit High School, the Tigers have captured multiple team State titles in the same school year.
But is wasn't until the winter of 2019-20 that Jesuit won two State titles in the same sports season. Wrestling and soccer made history by winning State crowns this winter within a few weeks of each other.
Due to COVID-19, the celebration of these historic State Championships was delayed until August 11, right after Schola Brevis. In the Tiger Palace that day, Jesuit celebrated both teams with family and friends in attendance.
The players were introduced individually and received their championship rings from school president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. Soccer goalkeeper Bryce Denick '20 and 138-pound State placer Alfonso Vargas '20 spoke on behalf of their respective teams, and then Father Hermes addressed the phenomenal accomplishments of both teams, citing their tremendous work ethic and dedication as an inspiration to the school.
An individual award also was presented. Steve Alvarez '90 gave the Hillsborough County Player of the Year Award to Carson Bien '20, who led the Tigers with 28 goals and added 10 assists. The award is named in recognition of Alvarez's late father, Jose A. Alvarez '67, who founded the award in 1985. Bien is the 8th Tiger to earn the Alvarez Award, the most of any school, and first since Connar Lufkin '16.
For the wrestling team, the State Duals Championship was its first team State title. It was earned by toppling two-time defending champion Lakeland Lake Gibson, coming from behind to win the quarterfinal match 29-27. The Tigers, led by head coach Sal Basile, then handily defeated Palmetto Ridge and Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas for the title. Also, at the State Tournament, four Jesuit wrestlers repeated as individual State Champions: Kai Owen, Braden Basile '22, Tom Crook '22, and Ethan Basile '20.
The storied Jesuit soccer program ended a frustrating 19-year State title drought by defeating Pembroke Pines Charter 5-4 in a thrilling State Final played in gusting winds in DeLand. Three goals from Zach Board '20 plus scores by Alex Medina '20 and Lucas Gobea '20 propelled the Tigers to their first State crown since winning the National Championship in 2001. Head coach Eric Sims '95 (pictured on the homepage with Bien) added a coaching State crown to the one he earned as a Jesuit player in 1995.
In addition to the two State Championship banners, a third banner was unfurled in the rafters of the Tiger Palace at the ceremony, recognizing Jesuit for winning the FHSAA's All-Sports Award again in 2019-20.
Jesuit has now accrued 24 team State Championships in eight different sports, which is believed to be the most sports teams to win a State title of any Tampa Bay area school. Jesuit's State-winning teams are: soccer (7), baseball (5), cross country (4), basketball (3), swimming (2), football (1), track & field (1), and wrestling (1).
Please view below a photo slideshow from the ceremony.
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