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Homecoming 2023

Homecoming 2023

Jesuit High School celebrated a phenomenal Homecoming 2023 on Friday (October 13) with a full day of Homecoming activities. It all began with Homecoming Fun Day during school hours, and continued through the evening Homecoming campus festivities, and then culminated with the special football halftime ceremonies for the Homecoming Court and Queen, and the honoring of Jesuit's 2023-23 Alumnus of the Year, Brian Mooney '81. Wrapping it all up with a bow on top was the spectacular and victorious finish to the football game.

(Click here for a Homecoming 2023 video on Facebook, or click here to view the video on Twitter/X).

It was an amazing day! Hundreds of alumni, students, families, and supporters of Jesuit enjoyed the afternoon/evening of awesome Homecoming campus festivities featuring seven delectable food trucks on Loyola Lane, bounce houses, games, and more. Then everybody headed to Corral Memorial Stadium, where a massive Blue Tide – the student supporters – filled the north end of the bleachers as first Mooney and then the Homecoming Court were recognized, and Gina Puleo of the Academy of the Holy Names was announced as Homecoming Queen. The day concluded with an edge-of-your-seat football triumph for the second straight week, this time in overtime where the Tigers completed a 2-point conversion to defeat Gaither, 36-35.

Homecoming Day was the crescendo of a phenomenal Homecoming Week. Several school days featured a fun-themed dress down such as Dress Like Your Dad and Jersey Day, leading up to Thursday afternoon's Homecoming Pep Rally, where Peter Pesansky ’24 was crowned Baby King, and then Friday's Fun Day on campus. There are no classes on Fun Day; students instead engage in activities ranging from musical jam sessions, video games, ping pong, and chess to tournaments in spikeball, trivia, bocce, poker, dodgeball, and more.

Closing out Fun Day were two student v. faculty events in front of the student body in the Tiger Palace. First, the student v. faculty spikeball championship was won by Mason Miller ’24 and Michael Malzone ’24. Miller-Malzone had defeated Jake Garcia ’25 and Dutch Iavarone ’25 for the student championship before knocking off the faculty team of Mr. Peter Bell, S.J. and Brock Hepworth for the all-school title.

The dodgeball championship closed out Fun Day, and the faculty was no match for an all-freshman team comprised of Bryce Besece, Tripp Branagan, Austin Hubbard, Brooks Milazzo, Evan Puleo, Tyler Trombley, and Curtis Ward. The Class of 2027 squad won in a rout to earn bragging rights for a year.

Other Fun Day events included the bocce competition for the revered Beil-Menendez Trophy, which was won by Tyler Moran ’25 and Ethan Bauer ’25. The ping pong champion was Drew Campbell ’24, as Nicholas Hadley ’26 was runner-up for the second straight year.

Additional Fun Day winners included :
Chess – 1st Nick Uteg ’25, 2nd Chris Kelly ’24, 3rd Jack Rozance ’25
Soccer – Cheers FC
Trivia – Daniel Dewey ’25, Jake Judson ’25, Nicolas Miranda ’25, and Will Stanton ’25
Pictionary – Anthony Iacono ’24 and Anthony Tuero ’24
Poker/No-Limit Hold ‘Em – Luka Picca ’25

The biggest winner on Fun Day was the Thanksgiving Basket Drive, as all proceeds – a small donation is required to participate in each Fun Day activity, and many clubs also sell food during Fun Day – go toward the drive. Jesuit’s director of community service, Andy Wood ’92, said Fun Day proceeds exceeded $5,800. The Environmental Club raised the most, more than $1,100, via Fun Day drink sales.  

Friday afternoon/evening’s Homecoming 2023 slate of activities on campus included the seven fabulous food trucks plus sno-cones, cornhole, face painting, photos with the Tiger mascot and more. Two alumni from the Class of 1948, Dan Brown and Eric Fabian, who connected for the first time in nearly 75 years at Homecoming 2022, reconnected at Jesuit again for Homecoming 2023.

At halftime of the football game, Mooney, was honored as the 2023-24 Alumnus of the Year. With his wife, Kathleen, and an enormous throng of family accompanying him – Mooney has 10 children, including four sons who graduated from Jesuit – Mooney was introduced and greeted at midfield by Jesuit president Fr. Richard C. Hermes, S.J. The huge Homecoming crowd gave him a standing ovation for his generosity and contributions to Jesuit High School through the years. (See below for more information about Mooney.)

Then the Homecoming Court was introduced. Representing Jesuit were seniors Tito Borromeo, C.J. Kilkelly, Liam Maloney, Brayden McAnally, and Mason Miller, and juniors Joseph DeLucia and Nick Thompson. From the Academy of the Holy Names were seniors Puleo, Lilliana Holman, Madison Ratchford, Lily Rittenhouse, and Chloe Sansone, and juniors Ava Fernandez and Cameron Powell.

The football game was a classic. In regulation, Justin Thurman ’25 scored three touchdowns and Drew Woodaz ’24 had a punt return score, and it went to overtime tied at 28. Gaither had the ball first in OT from the 10-yard line, and the Cowboys scored a TD and kicked the extra point. Jesuit then had its opportunity and also scored a TD, with QB Will Griffin ’26 running it in.

The Tigers then opted for the 2-point PAT to go for the win. Griffin threw to Pesansky for the conversion, setting off a victory celebration. Jesuit is now 5-2, and next up is Friday's game at undefeated Tampa Bay Tech (8-0). On Oct. 27, the Tigers host Hillsborough at Corral Memorial Stadium, and on Nov. 3, the regular season concludes with Senior Night at Corral Memorial Stadium v. TC in the annual showdown against the Crusaders. 

For more Homecoming 2023 images go to Jesuit's main Facebook page, Jesuit High School of Tampa, Scroll down this page to learn more about the Alumnus of the Year, Brian Mooney '81.









































Since his graduation in 1981, Brian Mooney has been a lifelong advocate of Jesuit, donating his time, talent, and treasure, to supporting his alma mater and the Jesuit High School Alumni Association.

Throughout the years, Brian has served Jesuit in many leadership capacities. He served several terms on the Board of Trustees since 2000, including twice as Chairman.  Additionally, Brian has been a member of the Jesuit High School Foundation, Inc. since 1991, serving one term as President. He has also served on the School’s Investment Committee, Finance Committee, Presidential Search Committee, Principal Search Committee, and Trustee Affairs Committee.

After graduating from Jesuit in 1981, Brian obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1985, where he majored in both accounting and philosophy. In 1988 he received his J.D. from the University of Florida’s Frederick Levin School of Law. That same year he was admitted to the Florida Bar.

Brian practiced law in Tampa, mostly as a litigator, from 1988 to 2017. He also represented athletes as a certified agent, in contract negotiations and arbitrations, in Major League Baseball and the National Football League. In 2017, he stepped away from the active representation of parties and has established himself as a nationally renowned mediator and arbitrator. In his mediation and arbitration practice, Brian has presided in over 1,500 complex commercial mediations and arbitrations in 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Those cases concerned disputes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. He is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, has been named a “Super Lawyer” in dispute resolution since 2015, and is a member of the arbitration panels for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the National Futures Association, and the American Arbitration Association.

Brian also serves on the Board of Directors of Sachem, Inc., a global specialty chemicals company, where he has chaired the Strategy and Planning Committee as well as the Human Resources Committee. He has also served on the Board of the Catholic Education Foundation for the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Brian and his wife, Kathleen, have been happily married for 36 years and are active members of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, where Brian has served on various advisory councils of the Parish. They have 10 children (four boys and six girls), and all their sons are also proud graduates of Jesuit High School.