Jesuit High School’s winter sports teams all are off to outstanding starts to the 2015-16 season.
Basketball (9-0, 4-0 in the District) and soccer (12-0-2) are unbeaten, and wrestling has notched some tremendous results at major invitational tournaments.
Basketball, under veteran coach Neal Goldman, is ranked No. 4 in the Tampa Bay area by the Tampa Bay Times, No. 6 in the state in Class 5A, and No. 14 in Florida (all classifications) according to MaxPreps.com.
The Tigers have been led by the senior trio of D.J. Snyder (pictured on the homepage - 9.4 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.7 spg), Lee Green (11.7 ppg, 59% shooting) and Ryan Fleming (7.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg), and the top scorer is Stevie Darst ’17 (13.9 ppg, 3.3 apg, 3.8 spg).
Next up for Jesuit basketball is the Nike GulfShore Invitational at Jesuit. The Tigers face Strawberry Crest on Friday (Dec. 18) at 7:30pm in the Tiger Palace, and then will face either Lakeland Kathleen or Brandon on Saturday (Dec. 19), with the consolation game at 1:00pm and the championship at 2:30pm.
The soccer team also is having an outstanding season, defeating Mitchell 3-2 on the road Saturday for its 12th win to go with two ties. The Tigers are 4-0 in the District, and they play another District game Monday (Dec. 14) against Robinson at 7:00pm at Corral Memorial Stadium.
Jesuit has had a balanced attack under third-year coach Eric Sims '95, with eight players notching three or more goals, led by Benny Ortiz ’17 with 12, followed by Connar Lufkin ’16 and Joel Brewer ’18 with 7 apiece. Jeffrey Kujawa ’17 has a team-best 11 assists. Goalkeeper Tim Gyenis ’17 has anchored a defense that is allowing less than a goal per game.
The wrestling team has been making its mark at major events the past two weeks. This past weekend at the nation’s premier prep wrestling tournament, the Walsh Jesuit Ironman in Ohio, three Jesuit wrestlers received invitations to participate and fared extremely well.
Julian Ramirez ’19 (152) won his first three matches to advance to the semifinals, and ended up placing 5th. Brian Buser ’16 (170) won his first two matches to reach the quarterfinals and just missed placing, and Adam Lewis ’16 (145) also came up just one win shy of placing.
The remainder of the varsity wresting team competed in a 31-team tournament in Hernando County tournament this past weekend, and William McGill ’19 and Matt Daner ’17 both earned fourth place.
On Dec. 5, the wrestling team placed 4th at the 26-team Border Wars tournament in Destin, a major event with powerhouse programs from four states competing. Buser pinned all seven of his opponents to capture first place, and Ramirez was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Lewis placed third, as did Daner.
Next up for the wrestling team is the Knockout Christmas Classic on Dec. 29 in Kissimmee.
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