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St. Ignatius College Preparatory, San Francisco
  • Rethinking Africa: The staff of the African Advocacy Network includes Joe Sciarrillo, pictured here with Jean Elias Xavier, Director Aboudou Traore, Charles Jackson and Clementine Ntshaykolo outside their office in the Dolores Street Community Services building. They help a growing number of African immigrants to the Bay Area who may number as many as 50,000.
  • Retiring Pillars: SI’s faculty surprised Fr. Sauer in May with applause and flowers after the announcement of his reassignment.
  • The SI boys’ lacrosse team enjoyed what may have been best year since its founding nearly a quarter century ago. The lacrosse press ranked the team among the top 15 in the nation as SI turned in another undefeated season in league play – its fourth undefeated season since it joined the WCAL in 2010.
  • Richard Driscoll ’06, a performance engineer for Oracle Team USA that will defend the America’s Cup in September, is among the few locals hunkering down in Pier 80 off Marin Street, where they work 65-hour weeks to make sure that Ellison’s boat sails twice as fast as the wind and maneuvers with precision and power as it takes on challengers from around the world.
  • Retiring Pillars: Since the 1970s, Mary McCarty made sure Latin was a living language for students in her classes.
  • Rethinking Africa: Ira Shaughnessy ’00 spent two years in Ghana from 2007 to 2009 working with the Bormase helping with the cultivation of the Moringa tree, whose leaves are rich in vitamins.

We Are SI

 

Karate Kid

Michael Dunne '16
Contributing Editor

When you were in your adolescent years, did your parents ever sign you up for a mixed martial arts class? For many teenagers, like Chris Jereza ’16 the answer is yes. However, when Chris and I discussed his karate experiences, he said, “I took classes for about two months before dropping out to focus more on music and theater.” Instead of ending, however, Chris’ amazing journey as a mixed martial artist was only beginning.

Taking him only a year to realize that he missed the sport, he met a grammar school friend’s father who took him under his belt (no pun intended) and taught him new forms of mixed martial arts. After six years of dedicated effort, he earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


Wax on, wax off

Chris’ martial arts career gradually escalated as he had “only competed in ‘unofficial’ local tournaments until about a year ago.” Just how serious you may ask? Chris claimed, “I started participating in AAU Tae Kwon Do tournaments around California and with USA Tae Kwon Do.” As a result of practicing two hours nearly every day, he and a few other elite competitors were fortunate enough to qualify for the national championships in Chicago this past summer. Unfortunately, Chris said that he had to “forfeit [his] match at the national championships due to an overuse injury.” Despite this disappointment, through his “indomitable attitude” and “unconditional belief in himself,” he found the strength to pull himself together and motivate himself to continue competing at an elite level.

Later, Chris explained that mixed martial arts are much more than a competition to him. “As a martial artist,” he said, ”I have developed a deeper level of respect and humanity towards other people.” Prior to each match, he prays and meditates, both of which contribute to the unification of his mind, body, and spirit.

Since he acquired his Tae Kwon Do black belt, he currently is on his quest to acquire one in Hapkido. With so much success in his mixed martial arts career, I’ve already contacted Jackie Chan advising him to replace Jaden Smith with Chris Jereza ’16 as his new protégée.

Posted by on Saturday November, 30, 2013

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