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April 2010

St. Augustine High School 3266 Nutmeg Street San Diego, CA 92104-5199 619-282-2184


Mud, Sweat & Cheers—Saintsman Rugger Phil Ona (’10) powers his way through two Pt. Loma players in the Saints Rugby team’s official first league match. Willie Fleming (’10) trails behind. Saints won the match enroute to a 4-3 win/loss record for its inaugural league season. See Page 8 for more on Saints Rugby.

Photo by Annette Fleming (Saints Parent).

Parents Helping Parents Continuing the Commitment to Our Sons, Our Communities

aints has been quietly educating young men in an out-of-the-way residential neighborhood of San Di-

Unitas Veritas Caritas

Dear Parents and Friends

Striving to be Good Neighbors


t. Augustine High School respects and values its home, the historic North Park district in San Diego. We strive to treat our friends and neighbors, the citizens of North Park, with respect in everything we do. Over the years we have worked to improve parking both for the members of the campus community and for the benefit of our neighbors. Principal James Horne Years ago it might fairly be said that parking was one of the most pressing concerns among our neighbors. Today, the situation has improved markedly due in large measure to our investments in new facilities and the related parking management program through which all members of the campus community, including all students who choose to drive to campus, are required to display parking placards in their cars. Although parking is much less an issue than it was just three years ago, there is still some room for improvement. Saints asks all parents and students to consider these parking guidelines in an effort to continue our pattern of responsiveness to neighborhood parking issues. • Do not block driveways of our neighbors. • Consider arranging a drop-off / pick-up location a few blocks from campus with your son to avoid the congestion on Palm and Nutmeg in the 15 minutes before and after school. • Organize carpools with neighboring students or members of your same team/activity in an effort to help us reduce traffic. • Always greet neighbors courteously and respond to their concerns politely. If you are a neighbor and have comments about parking or want to report an issue with a car displaying a Saints parking placard, please contact us. Yours in the Spirit of Catholic Education,

ego for over eight decades. But no matter where you seem to go or who you meet, we continue to be amazed at how many people have had a son or relative attend Saints. The conversation always energizes when Saints is mentioned, the praise is universal and forever positive. No other schools are described in the same way. Saints educates beyond the books, beyond athletics, challenging our sons to look beyond themselves, to their greater role in God’s community. No other school offers such an education. And for over eight decades, behind every Saintsman, there has been the guid-

Continued on page 6.

Don’t Miss!


By John Marin, APA President

The Party of the Year On Saints Campus Saturday, April 17

In the Big Tent! Live and Silent Auctions, plus Dinner & Raffle.

Tickets: 858-449-1151 or 858-228-7638

Vol 29 no. 8

Two Cultures, One Community, 18 Golf Holes, One Great Event


n Friday, June 25, 2010, St. Augustine High School will again hold its annual golf tournament, this time with a twist: the tournament will take place at the Tijuana Country Club, or Club Campestre Tijuana. Saintsmen from as many as 50 Mexican families live in Tijuana and make the crossborder commute each day. Their families are helping to stage the tournament, demonstrating the same binational commitment required to put their sons, nephews and grandsons through Saints. The tournament will accommodate up to 144 players (36 foursomes) in 18 holes of scramble competition and will feature a raffle, shootouts and three meals. How Often Do You Get to Play Golf in Another Country? The agenda for the all-day event is as follows: • 8:30 AM: Coach transportation from Saints for San Diego players • 9:30 AM: Arrival at Country Club, breakfast • 10:30 AM: Registration, driving range practice • Noon: First tee time. All players receive box lunches • 5:30-7:00 PM: Drinks, awards, raffle • 7:00-9:00 PM: Dinner and live auction • 9:00 PM: Return transportation to Saints, with expedited border crossing “This tournament will be a red letter day for the school,” notes Edwin Hearn, the president of St. Augustine High School. “Most cross-border efforts in this region come from leaders on both sides deciding to hold a joint event, but this is different. Several Saints families from Tijuana approached me, eager to host a big event in Baja, and they have jumped on the Annual Golf Tournament as a vehicle for supporting and enriching the school community with their culture. Just think about it: How often do you get to play golf in another country?” Tournament fees for foursomes are $1000, and individual rounds are $250. Fees include round-trip transportation, green fees, breakfast, box lunch, dinner, hosted bar, one raffle ticket and a gift bag of promotional items. Continued on page 2.

April 2010 Calendar Highlights Event Name


End of 3rd Quarter

April 1


Easter Vacation Begins – Good Friday

April 2

School Resumes – 4th Quarter begins

April 12

“Under The Tuscan Sun” Saints Big One Event

April 17

Under the Big Tent/Campus

Campus Ministry Kairos Retreat for Students

April 20-23

Palomar Christian Conference

Report Card Night – Speaker Series

April 21

7 pm / Gym

Seniors Mother & Son Luncheon

April 25

12:30 pm / Marina Village


James Horne Principal

For a complete list of sports schedules and locations, visit the online calendar at .


Augustine: A student, a Teacher, a Parent Part Eight

More of Augustine’s own reflections on being a teacher By Fr. Bob Gavotto, O.S.A., (’55) Saints Chaplain A teacher is one: Who Acts with Authority and Exercises Discipline Let us guard against any excess in the use of punishment, and against any shortcoming in our readiness Fr. Bob Gavotto OSA (’55) to pardon. Let us not punish if it is not for the sake of improvement, and avoid all indulgence that may lead to worsening behavior. Let us consider as our family all those who have been put in our charge. Let us be at their service as if were embarrassed at having power over them, and use the power in such a way that we enjoy serving them. (Order, 2,8,25) When we decide to learn something, often what stimulates our enthusiasm is the authority and enthusiasm of those who teach the subject. (The Trinity, 10,1) Carrying out a position of leadership doesn’t consist in being above, but being before. (Sermon 340,2)

Who Both Learns and Teaches As long as I am a good teacher, I will continue being a student. (Sermon 244,2) The love of knowledge and truth should invite us to continue learning. The love of others should compel us to teach. (Answers to the Eight Questions of Dulcitius, 3) Don’t hope to receive from me all the answers that you need. I am not a perfect teacher, but rather I continue learning new things every day in the very activity of teaching. (Letter 266,2,4) Who Understands that Love is the Great Difference If we are bored by repeating the same things over and over again, especially if they have been adapted to children, let us join ourselves to our listeners with a brother’s, a sister’s, a father’s or a mother’s love so that united with them in heart, these things will seem as new to us as they do to them. (Catechesis of Beginners, 12,17) Consider yourself happy, not because you exercise authority over those for whom you are responsible, but rather because you have been given the opportunity of serving them with love. They are your brothers and sisters. (Rule, 7,3) Those are more likely to love the person in charge if they are aware of the genuine love that person has for them. (Catechesis of Beginners, 4,7) Who promotes a Climate of Kindness and Understanding Teach with happiness. Sadness darkens the atmosphere and it withers our words. (Catechesis of Beginners, 10,14) It is relatively easy to list what needs to be taught. What requires the greatest consideration is the means by

Golf and Community Continued from page 1

Scenic Locale – St. Augustine High School’s Fourth Annual Golf Tournament goes International to be played June 25 at the beautiful Tijuana Country Club.



which it is taught, so that teachers enjoy their work when they teach. The better they succeed in this, the more attractive they will be. (Catechesis of Beginners, 2,4) If teachers who speak wisely also wish to teach eloquently, they should so mange their approach that they are listened to with understanding, with pleasure and with assent. (Christian Teaching, 4,26,56) Who Give Good Example: the Best Lesson Teachers offer themselves for imitation. In many cases this is what we mean by teaching. (Music, 1,6) The good behavior of those who exercise authority is the best and most effective confirmation of the truths that they teach. (Order, 2,27) Although the way of saying things has great importance, the teacher’s own life is the most decisive factor affecting the receptivity of the audience. There is never a shortage of those who, in order to justify their own shortcomings, find an excuse in the faults of their teachers, saying in their hearts if not even to the faces, “Why don’t you practice what you preach, if it is as good as you proclaim?” Distracted this way and rejecting the teacher, they end up rejecting the teachings. (Christian Teaching, 4,27,60) [Editor’s Note: These excerpts are from Education, An Augustinian Approach, pages 37-41.] Next time Augustine as a parent. St. Augustine, pray for us!

Tuition Grant Applications Close April 9

ttention Parents: The deadline for submitting applications for 2010-11 tuition assistance is April 9. Any family wishing to be considered for a grant must complete both the Private School Aid Services (PSAS) form and the St. Augustine Supplemental Form. New forms must be submitted even if a family received a grant in 2009-10. The PSAS Form and required documentation

must be mailed and postmarked before April 9. The Supplemental Form is returned to the school’s main office in Vasey Hall. The office will be closed April 2, 5, and 6 for Easter break and will be open from 8:00 to 1:30 April 7-9. Both forms are available at the main office or on the school website.

Announced sponsors so far include Agua Caliente Racetrack, Honda, Nextel and Grupo Farmaceútico de Tijuana. A Reflection of the Region “Our first big binational event is going to be another answer to the question, ‘Why should I send my son to Saints?’” continues Mr. Hearn. “A cross-border culture is evolving between San Diego and Tijuana. This is reflected in the school: in our student population, in our school families and extended families, and now in our high-profile events. It’s an exciting time for the region and it’s an exciting time for Saints, so I invite golfers from both San Diego and Tijuana to join us for the tournament.” “This is the fourth time we’ve put on this event,” adds Pancho Marty, tournament committee co-chairman, “and holding it in Tijuana is icing on the cake. My co-chair, Roberto Encinas, is one of 10 Saints dads from both sides of the border working on this tournament, and Mario Fajardo is a past chairman of the board for the Tijuana Country Club, so the combination of the golf course and the school is perfect.” For more information, contact Casey Callery, Associate Director of Advancement, St. Augustine High School,, 619-282-2184 ext 5541. For details on the Tijuana Country Club (el Club Campestre Tijuana), visit Editor’s Note: This spring there are two important golf tournaments supporting the school. In addition to the Baja Tournament being held June 25; the 25th Annual Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on May 14. For details see “Save the Date for Saints Alum Golf Classic” announcement in this edition of Saints Scene.

It’s Easy To Contribute to St. Augustine! Now that your son is a proud Saintsman, please consider adding St. Augustine to an existing eScrip account that you had established at his previous school! eScrip allows you to target contributions to up to three organizations. The amount of your contribution will be divided equally amongst the organizations you choose. It’s easy to add St. Augustine to your existing account! ■ Go to ■ Click on “my escrip” ■ Login with your existing username and password. If you don’t remember your password, it will guide you through a process to remind you. ■ Click on “change my group selection” Add or delete any groups you would like (up to 3 groups are allowed). ■ Saints’ group ID is #137716597


...Road Together

Summertime Do’s: Long-Term Advantages Of Summer Classes By Edwin Hearn, President St. Augustine High School


hen our country was in its infancy, the Founding Fathers knew an educated citizenry was the critical factor in the ultimate success of this noble experiment of governance. A system of Edwin J. Hearn, Jr. public, private and parochial schools slowly took shape. At that time, the United States was a land of yeoman farmers; the harvest required a huge labor force and children were a key factor in that. For this reason, schools were in session from early fall to late spring, allowing them to help their families. Today, most American school schedules are still based on the agrarian economy of the past. Despite the industrialization and urbanization of our society, American students attend school from September to June an average of 180 classes a year. This is much less than most students in other countries of the world, so it comes as no surprise that foreign students outperform their American counterparts on standardized exams in math and science. In Japan, students must attend school 240 days a year and are typically world-class performers on these exams. While summer can be a time for vacation, it can also be an opportunity for students to remediate an academic problem or to take an enrichment course in an area of interest. Research has demonstrated that students who are inactive during the summer tend to lose skills and have trouble recalling some of the previous year’s lessons. Many students use the summer to take a difficult class and get it out of the way. Concentrating on only one class often allows them achieve a higher grade. For those heavily involved in athletics or co-curricular activities, a difficult class taken during the summer allows for a less stressful class load during the regular year. Colleges are looking for students to be involved in productive pursuits during the summer. The summer break is an excellent chance for students to explore the world and discover their strengths and weaknesses. Internships, jobs, camps, travel and community service are all opportunities to grow in both intellect and maturity. While it is just April, and summer seem a long way off, it is really just around the corner. This is the perfect time to sit down with your sons and create a plan to use this summer well. Providing a well-planned experience will enrich your son and ready him for the next academic year.

Year in Review

Updating ASB Student Activities to Date


By Reilly Marin (’11) Commissioner of Community Relations Associated Student Body

he St. Augustine High School Associated Student Body has made some remarkable steps forward during this 2009-2010 school year. During the first semester, dances, pep rallies, barbecues, and Freshman Welcome Week all filled the calendar with excitement. Reilly Marin (’11) We kicked off the school year with the Back to School Dance, which was a great opportunity for the new freshmen to meet girls from OLP. We continued into the Fall Sports Pep Rally and ASB Barbecue for the entire student body. Soon it was time for Freshman Welcome Week, and the ASB planned every day’s events. These included dance contests, chariot races, and a day off from classes, when seniors and freshman had a nonstop day of activities. In October, the ASB organized the Freshman Dance Lessons with OLP as well as the biggest event of the semester, Homecoming. Planned by the Junior Class Officers, the Homecoming Dance had nearly one thousand attendees, and was held at SeaWorld. The Juniors also coordinated a video to be made of the Homecoming Queen candidates, and it was shown at the Homecoming Rally. The Sophomore Class Officers organized a FatherSon Breakfast during the month of October that went very well. Elected in November, the Freshman Class Officers were in charge of a barbecue and helped greatly during the November Turkey Trot. Our Saints ASB also has a new logo, designed by Senior Anthony Riel. We wear it on our new sweatshirts and windbreakers, making the members of ASB very visible around

campus. This year, the Executive Council of ASB has met with the executives from OLP’s Associated Student Body once a month to discuss activities for both of our schools. By actively working with OLP, we have been able to plan many more events for the student bodies of Saints and Our Lady of Peace. The Saints ASB has had a great first semester, and, coming back from Intercession, we are looking forward to a great spring semester. Some great events are already in the making, such as a Saints Grand Prix of go-kart racing, a Junior Boat Dance, the Hypnotist Show, Spring Sports Pep Rally, Prom, and Sober Grad Night. We have also made big improvements in our announcements and are beginning to record weekly video announcements. As we move forward as an Associated Student Body, we strive to satisfy all the needs of the Saints student body and community. If there is anything that we can do to improve our events here at St. Augustine High School, please contact us. We meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7 a.m. in room 105. Our ASB moderator, Mr. Gregory Hecht, can be reached at (619) 282-2184 ext 5544.

Save time, Subscribe to E-Saints! To receive the Saints e-Scene to your inbox or subscribe to other lists, please just go to the home page, to register. Saints will deliver important information, including Saints Scene and Saints Alive!, right to your email.

SAVE THE DATE For Saints Alum Golf Classic Entries for the 25th Annual Alumni Golf Classic are now available and can be obtained by contacting the Alumni Office (619-282-2184 ext 5539) or from the Alumni link on Saints web site ( This year’s event will be held May 14 at Cottonwood’s Ivanhoe course in Rancho San Diego. Tee time is 12:30 pm. “Play is not limited to just alumni and teams can form their own foursomes which makes for a great day of fun with friends, business associates, and fellow alums,” says Event Chair Ed Querin (’85). To mark the 25th anniversary occasion, the Alumni Association has reduced this year’s entry fee by $25 per person. The entry fee includes shared cart, green fees, tee gift package, refreshments on the course, and a dinner following play. The deadline for submitting entry forms is May 3. For further Golf Classic information and sponsorship opportunities contact Ed Querin at


Around th Photo by Casey Callery.

Top Scholar – Christopher “C.J.” Curtis (’10) is the school’s lone National Merit Finalist. In his four years at Saints he was a regular on the Principal’s honor list and always gives his best in academic pursuits. His recognition as a National Merit Finalist is just one more example of his drive to become a distinguished scholar.

PLANNING AHEAD Gift Gathering Party– Fr. Bob Gavotto, OSA, (’55) chats with Sandy and Lawrence Manzer (’53) at the recent gift gathering party held at the beautiful home of Saints Community members Dave and Cathy Smith. The La Mesa party was one of four held this year to help support the Saints Dinner Auction on April 17.

May 7

“MORP” Dance

May 13

Disneyland Grad Night

May 15

Senior Prom

May 24

Senior Retreat Day

Mosaic Cross – Juan Arce (’11) (left) and Will DeCino (’10) combined their art class skills to create a large mosaic cross for the annual dinner/auction fundraiser slated for April 17 here on campus. Saints Moms Julie Riley and Peggy DeCino assisted.

Face Looks – Drawing the human face is a tough assignment for beginning artists, but judging from the art work that recently galleried in the main office lobby, our Saintsmen have a knack for this artwork.

Boyz Makin’ Noyz—Last month, Saints Varsity Football team showed its support for the playoff-bound Pilots Varsity Basketball team from Academy of Our Lady of Peace.

Wholly Mackerel – Saintsmen (Left to right): Juan Arce (’11); Glen MacDonald (’12); and Will DeCino (’10) are creating a fish print in Art Teacher Mickey Carson’s class. They’re applying paint to a recycled seafood market fish so as to print it onto paper; then to transfer it onto a surf board for an authentic ocean design.

Easter Break

Off April 2 Hop Back April 12 4


School Announces Austin Exam Participants

t. Augustine High School is pleased to announce this year’s Austin Exam participants. The “Austins” are rigorous oral examinations in the fields of English, mathematics, religion, science, and social studies given to selected seniors. The senior with the highest weighted cumulative grade point average (with P.E. excluded) automatically is invited to sit for the Austins. The remaining students, normally five, are selected by the Academic Council from the top 10 percent of the graduating class. Criteria in making the final selection include, but are not restricted to, membership in CSF for at least three semesters, number of honors or Advanced Placement courses, grade

Scott Briggs

Juan Acosta

point average, and recommendation from the Academic Council. The Austin Exam is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14, 2010. This year’s participants are Jose Acosta, Scott Briggs, C J Curtis, Cody Oei, and Bryce Persichetti. These students will graduate as Austin Scholars, and depending on their performance during these exams, they will graduate as either “summa cum laude,” “magna cum laude,” or “cum laude.” We applaud these young men for reaching this honor and wish them good luck on this exam. —By Mr. Tom Cudal, Saints Assistant Principal for Academics

Bryce Persichetti

C.J. Curtis

Cody Oei

the Patio S

Saints Family Produces Four Eagle Scouts

Plus, two Eagle Scout Grandfathers

aints Scene doesn’t believe there is another school in the nation that has such a long waiting list to have news published about Saintsmen becoming Eagle Scouts. Saints Parents Maureen and Bob Marks had to wait most of the year to read the news that their youngest son, Daniel Marks (’10), who earlier in the year attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Normally, that’s news enough. Not in this clan. In addition, with four brothers who have become Eagle Scouts, the Marks Family from St. Brigid’s Parish in Pacific Beach may have the biggest nest of Eagles anywhere. Three of the brothers are Saintsmen: Michael (’97) Andrew (’99) and Daniel this June. Older brother Christopher graduated from Grossmont High in 1994 and has served two tours of duty in Iraq in the U.S. Army. That’s just in one generation. The Marks men are following a Eagle Scout tradition. Both grandfathers were Eagle Scouts and Marks sister Ellen (OLP-’05) earned a Girl Scout Silver Award. Mrs. Marks’ father, Reamer Argo, won a national Boy Scout Medal of Honor for saving a drowning man. “Scouting was a wonderful experience for our boys,” says Mrs. Marks. “They learned how to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors, and they acquired leadership skills. Daniel admired his brothers growing up. The boys worked on one another’s Eagle projects, so it became a family affair. The older boys were in the troop at Our Lady of Grace in El Cajon. They had a great troop and I think that is what kept them interested and enjoying Scouts.” Saints faculty member, Mr. Brendon Johnston was a member, and Eagle, from this troop. Daniel’s required community project involved the

yard at the Children’s School in La Jolla. Many volunteered to support him in the effort. He landscaped the preschool play area. This included removing and pouring concrete, planting trees and shrubs, and building a play structure. The school was very pleased with the contribution, says Mrs. Marks. “Saints and the Scouting programs both develop leadership and promote service to the community,” she adds, “Combine Scouts and Saints and our sons are ready for life!” Now, somebody please notify the Guinness Book of Records.

Group Effort – Senior Saintsman and new Eagle Scout Daniel Mark’s required community project involved the yard at the Children’s School in La Jolla. Many helped out, including (Left to right): Daniel Marks; Luke Vickrey; James Wiggle; Matt Gray; [Back to camera]: Robert Marks, dad to Daniel; [Partially hidden:] Kyle Gudstadt and in a hat and sunglasses is Scoutmaster Clark Smith.

From The Band Room

The St. Augustine High School music program spans well beyond our campus. The Marching Band you see at football games breaks into smaller bands that perform at concerts, community events, basketball games, and high school competitions throughout Southern California. This year, the Jazz band is a 19-piece Big Band that will perform for you at the April 17th Fundraiser, The Big One, Under The Tuscan Sun. Other musical groups include the percussion powerhouse, Saints Drum Line, and the 60 member Symphonic band, which now is joined by 5 students from OLP. Music Director, Brandon Jagow, and Saints musicians are involved in over 60 performances throughout the year, and is currently creating a list of students interested in participating during the 2010-2011 School year, especially incoming freshman and soon to be sophomores. For more information, email

Deluxe in Tux – Members from the brass & percussion section of the Saints Symphonic Band perform at a recent Music Festival held at SDSU.

Have you Left Saints a Gift in Your Will or Trust?

Finished Project – Children’s School in La Jolla has new landscaping to read in the play area for primary grades.

Photo by Ernie Torgeson (Saints Alum Parent)

Marks Men – [Left to Right]: Christopher Marks (Grossmont High ’94); Daniel Marks, Saints (’10); Michael Marks, Saints (97) and Andrew Marks, Saints (’97).

If not, a simple codicil or amendment to your estate plan can benefit future Saintsmen through our endowment fund. When naming the school as beneficiary, please direct your attorney to use the legal name of the school: St. Augustine’s School of San Diego. If you would like further information, please contact Mr. Ed Hearn at (619) 764-5517.

All Star Cast—The Saints Players turned in a series of superb performances in last month’s spoof, “Three Murders and It’s Only Monday.” Venue was the Coronado School of the Arts. Kudos to Saints and OLP talent, faculty, staff and parents for proving once again Saints is the best in theatre arts and musical productions. [Top row, left to right]: Jeff Benton (‘13), Cole Neal (‘11), Cole Rougas (‘13), Bryan Cullen (‘10), Andrew Leyva (‘13), Kevin Smalls (‘10), Ajejandro Ibaibarriaga (‘13) in captain’s hat; Nick Hessling (‘13), Donovan Theseira (’11), Nick Klotz (’10), Robert Estrella (’11), Jacob Whispell (’11), Paul Williams (’11) in

white tux. [Middle row beginning with nurse]: Claire Sparr, Miranda Hart in hat/white gloves, Hannah Gradijanwahl, Victoire Marque, Brooke Rubino, Kevin Guico (’10), Sebastian Alberdi (’13), Mr. Ned “Sir” Wilson (’58), Tanner Safir (’12), Nadia Lopez and unidentified OLP crew member. [Seated on Sofa, L-R): Young lady in evening gown Julia Dendle, Irish Giron (’12), Megan Callery, Kenny Gouin (’10) and cowboy Austin Schmid (’13). 5 5

Students Helping Students Earlybird math tutoring sessions a hit By Adam Johnson (’10)


t’s 6:30 in the morning. Where are you? While most students are just waking up, many students are in Room 220 getting needed help on their homework or being tutored on a subject few understand, math. Beginning as an idea by principal James Horne and teacher Tom Isaak, morning math tutoring has been a helping hand on campus for six years. “It’s open five days a week and officially starts at seven, but I get here at 6:30, so many students decide to come even earlier,” explains Isaak, the teacher overlooking the morning tutoring. With a total of 45 different math tutors, these morning math sessions cover any level of math ranging from pre-algebra to pre-calculus. Accompanied with the satisfaction of helping their fellow students, tutors also receive service hours for their help. “Students are literally helping other students. If the tutors can’t figure out a problem, I can of course help, but for the most part the students are able to work together to find the answer,” explains Isaak. All students, freshman to seniors, are accepted. “I’ve been taking advantage of this program off and on for my entire high school career.” says senior Mark Gracyk. “It’s an easy way to get the help I need on the homework from the night before or just to study for a future test.” Don’t be afraid. Math tutoring isn’t a place for failures and rejects. It’s a safe haven for students of any caliber. It’s a place with no prejudice where stu-

dents can get the help they need without the fear of embarrassment that one may feel in a normal class setting. “People are either in the same boat you are or there to help you,” says Gracyk. “Either way, we always come up with the right answer.” For the past six years, this program has been coming up with the right answers. It has helped countless students and will continue to thrive. The next time you need help with math, where will you be?

Parents Helping Parents Continued from page 1

ing hand of a parent, introducing and encouraging them to consider a Saints education. As parents, we believe in the school’s mission and the leadership of our Augustinians. Parents seek out Saints for the formation of their boys from all walks of life, from all across the county and into Baja. Those parents who can least afford a private education to those who generously give to assist those who cannot. It has created a student body that reflects our entire region, giving our sons the opportunity to develop meaningful and lifelong friendships. For more than two years, almost 25 percent of the Austin Parent Association’s fund raising monies have been dedicated to tuition assistance and scholarships to help parents in need. As we approach the APA’s 32nd annual fund raising event on Saturday, April 17th, remember that your gifts, your participation and your contributions go far beyond the immediate financial needs of the school. We are parents helping other parents in God’s community, a positive and energizing goal. We look forward to seeing you at the Dinner Auction.

Baseball Camp This Summer

Math Mentors – If your son needs an extra boost with Math there is a mentoring program available on campus at no cost that’s put on by Saints faculty under the leadership of Mr. Tom Isaak, which utilizes several volunteer student mentors. This peer-to-peer mentoring is proving to be a highly successful opportunity to help math skills for many Saintsmen. More info:

Saints annual Baseball Camp will be held July 12-16 for youngsters 7-14 years of age. It is designed for a wide range of skill levels. Cost is $250 per and is available on a first come basis. Camp will be held at Hickman Field in Kearny Mesa. Contact & mailing info: Saints Baseball c/o Craig da Luz, 3266 Nutmeg St., San Diego CA 92104. Email: cdaluz2@sahs. org Phone: 619/282-2184 ext. 5525

More Athletes Than Ever – Track and Field


By John White, Parent (’11 and ’13)

ne in four Saintsmen is going out for track and field this year. “Big numbers – that’s the story this season,” observes Coach Jerry Downey. “We started with 191 boys across all four grades out here, which is the most we’ve ever had in the 28 years I’ve been coaching track at Jerry Downey Saints. Head Coach, Track and Field “The freshmen always come out in really big numbers, and we have about 50 of them this season. But the surprise this year has been that 50

Prayer For My Saintsman Son Loving Father, Please guide my son to always do Your will; allow him to see what is really important, and remind him how much I love him. Send good and wholesome friends into his life, keep him safe, bless him with good health, and give him the courage to do the right thing when difficult or tempting choices cross his path. Make my son strong in character, rich in sympathy, and generous in spirit. Bless him with a gentle nature, and a kind heart. Let him become a man committed to the Gospel of Your Son Jesus. Grant him a lasting faith, and lead him to a profound love for You, his family, and himself. Amen. Prayer by Rev. John R. Sanders, OSA (’66). 6

seniors – almost half the members of the class – have come out. Normally, that figure is between 20 and 25. Many of them have just told themselves, ‘I can do this,’ so they decide they’re going to buckle down and do the work it takes. I think they have that Olympic motto in mind, ‘Higher, faster, stronger.’ That’s good, because they seem to know what they’re in for. Track is a matter of strength and speed.” Coach Downey looks forward to a good year in the field events, particularly shot-put and discus throw. Thomas Hart (’10) placed ninth in California last year in discus and is currently the top-rated high school athlete in the state in discus. He has recently begun putting shot as well, hitting 48 feet with little training. A 50foot throw is enviable in high school circles, and Hart is knocking on that door. Other standouts in the field events include Kevin Pinciotti (’11) and Eddie Medrano (’12). Among the sprinters, Johnny Jackson (‘11), Ricardo Azcarraga (’10) and Nick Gonsalves (’12) are this year’s standouts, with Jackson and Gonsalves strong jumpers as well. In the long distance events, most of the cross country team is competing, with a strong group of juniors this year. This early in the season there is always attrition. “Of course, not all of the kids will stick with it because – face it – these events are really hard work, and some kids’ bodies are better suited to other sports,” continues Coach Downey. “Some of the boys will find that out and leave, but I don’t begrudge them the fact that they gave it a shot. It’s important to me that they at least try something new, and if they’re willing to stick with it and let the coaches and me help them do their best, I’m glad to have them stay on. There’s also the fact that participation in a sport like track looks good to a prospective college, so when a student wakes up to that and comes out willing to do the work, it’s a win for everybody: the team, the boy and the college.” Track and field also appeals to the independent streak in most students because, other than relays, each athlete competes on his own. Coach Downey’s long years of experience have shown him that good students

Top Rated in the State—Tom Hart (’10) is among the promising Saints track & field athletes competing for the school this season.

in particular gravitate to the track and field, with its mix of bonding with teammates on one hand and competing as an independent athlete on the other. “Our field is beautiful this year,” Coach notes. “because we laid new turf over the Christmas break. The track itself is in bad shape, and it’s only 340 meters, which is why we never hold meets here. We usually host our home meets at San Diego High School instead of here on campus, but their track is under construction until May, so all of our home meets this season will take place at the schools against which we’re competing: Scripps Ranch, Mission Bay, La Jolla. Of course, San Diego High has better seating for the spectators than any place else in town, and once their track is finished, I think it will be the best one in the city. We’re looking forward to that, but not this year, unfortunately.” Parents willing to help, take note: Track meets require a lot of work, and the team welcomes volunteers to help with logistics on the field. An even more important job is to keep an eye on duffel bags and belongings, which are vulnerable during meets. The coaches recommend that athletes leave their gear near the Saints spectators for safe keeping, so if you’re attending a track meet, offer to adopt a bag and ease a Saintsman’s mind. You can do your part to help him go higher, faster and stronger.

V O L L E Y B A L L All photos by Thom Vollenweider unless otherwise designated.

The Set – Saints vs. Canyon Crest (L-R): Geoff Supplee (’11); Matt Ryan (’11) and Spencer Castillo (’12).

Photo by John White Tasting Wood – Senior Robbie Cantonwine hits the floor to keep the ball in play and secure a sideout for Saints. Saints seniors in background are Matt Asaro, left and Chris Guarin.

The Win!— Saints top Canyon Crest High 3-2 (best of 5). That’s #27 Reilly Marin (’11) leading the victory shouts. Visible (L-R) are #16 Brandon Macheck (’11); Spencer Castillo (’12); Grant McNamara (’10); Matt Ryan (’11); Matt Pekin (’10) and far right is Andy Kondon (’10).

But Really – How’s Our Wood Taste? Volleyball 2010


f you spend all of your time on the volleyball court standing up, you’re probably not playing for Saints. This year’s varsity players get horizontal a lot, diving and digging, finding out how the wood tastes. At a recent practice in Dougherty Gym, Coach Gregory Hecht was as relentless as ever, launchVolleyball Coach ing serve after serve into play Gregory Hecht from the back line and hammering the varsity team into shape. His voice rings out through the gym over all the ball-pounding: “C’mon, guys, we can do better!” “You’re too good to be doing that over and over. Let’s go, everybody – five laps.” “Don’t make me say it again! You gotta want it more than Scripps Ranch does, or you know what’s going to happen.” “That’s what I want to see. Way to finish tight!” “Everybody get water. Hydration. Good job, you guys.” Dig, Set, Spike Nine players from last season’s varsity team graduated in June, so Coach Hecht is rebuilding this year with a crop of aggressive, young players, many of whom participate in club teams as well. Their defensive skills are especially strong, which makes for exciting volleyball. “I’m grateful for the students’ attitude,” says Coach Hecht. “It’s healthy and positive, and I’m really looking forward to watching the team grow this season. Spencer Castillo, our starting center, and Austin Oriol are sophomores I’ve brought up to varsity, and the rest of the team is an almost even mix of juniors and seniors.” Last year was Coach Hecht’s first season at Saints. He played volleyball at Los Alamitos High School and obtained his coaching certification from UC Santa Barbara, then ran the program at Marian High School from 1993 to

Block Party – Patricio Healy (’10), left and Matt Ryan (’11).

By John White, Parent (’11 and ’13)

1995. Returning to Santa Barbara, he was campus minister, vice-principal and volleyball coach at Bishop García Diego High School, then returned to San Diego and his current position at Saints in 2008. In large part, his job is to build more interest in the school’s volleyball teams, and his tenure had an auspicious start last year when the team made it to CIF finals.

that’s pulling fans in here to find out how exciting and fun a Saints volleyball game can be.” Coach French is right. At a recent home game against Scripps Ranch, Principal Ed Hearn was enjoying the game with friends in the Saints Skybox (top row behind the scorekeeping table). “Who knew volleyball is this much fun to watch?” he said. “These games are terrific.”

“Dripping Adrenaline” Volleyball is one of several sports and activities competing for attention during the spring, so there is little opportunity for pre-season tryouts and practices before the time comes to take the court against other teams. Coach Hecht emphasizes both the fire in the belly that he sees in this year’s players and the commitment of their parents to the ramp-up of the sport. “We’re in a growth phase on all three teams – varsity, junior varsity and freshman – and that’s a big thrill for all of us. I’m particularly proud of the freshman squad and really want to see that part of the program get off the ground, because that’s how we can develop the benchdepth we need over time. “This isn’t about batting a ball around a grammar school playground anymore, and the boys realize it. The volleyball program at Saints produces great young men and gets these players to grow as individuals and stay true to the school’s mission statement.” Junior Varsity Coach Aaron French has gotten the religion as well. He works at Serra High School as a special education assistant, but claims that his heart is in Saints volleyball. “I didn’t go to Saints,” he explains, “but I really love volleyball. The program here beats anything I’m seeing in nearby public schools, so I jumped at the chance to coach here. “We’re getting good attendance for home games, and it’s not only parents in the stands, but also teachers, siblings and friends. These players are just dripping adrenaline, and when you watch the way they bounce off of one another, catapult themselves across the court, and highfive one another over a good spike, you see the energy

Fans Wanted – Bring Noise The big change in this year’s volleyball program is in the freshman squad, whose new coach is Chris Topping. Chris has personally contacted coaches and athletic directors at a number of high schools to get Saints onto their playing schedules. As a result, he has quadrupled the number of games the freshmen will play – from four to 17 – and signed the team up for tournaments at Steele Canyon and La Jolla. “This freshman program is in its infancy,” notes Coach Topping. “Except for one player, everybody on the team has played one year or less, so it’s a new experience for everybody, including me. I played volleyball the whole time I was at Saints, then graduated last year. We’re starting from the ground up in a lot of ways, so we constantly practice fundamentals: passing, setting, hitting, rotating. With so many more games on the schedule, everybody is going to have plenty of opportunities to improve.” Coach Topping has another goal: more fans. “I really want the program to attract enough notice among students and parents so that our games aren’t so quiet,” he continues. “I think we should be able to build a good home crowd. I mean, with only four games last year, we didn’t give our fans many chances to cheer, but this year, the freshman volleyball game is on!” Volleyball fans and future fans: All three coaches have great games in store for you, and they strongly encourage the entire Saints community to watch the Saints calendar and go see a game this year. Just watch out for the dripping adrenaline. It’s infectious.

Spike – Patricio Healy (’10) soars over the net for a perfectly executed point.

The Team— Saints Varsity Volleyball is coached by Gregory Hecht, pictured in the team huddle. Visible (L-R) are Spencer Castillo (’12); Andy Kondon (’10); #5 Matt Rush (’11); #8 Kevin Dixon (’11); Matt Ryan (’11) and #2 Robbie Cantonwine (’10). 7

Photo by Annette Fleming


Mud, Sweat and Cheers Pretty much sums up Saints outstanding first Rugby season By Annette Fleming (Parent ’10).


he St. Augustine Rugby Football Club had its inaugural season this past winter sport season. The team had 65 members who competed against other high school age clubs in San Diego county. The number of students who participated allowed the club to offer a JV and Varsity team. This meant the players had a chance to play a lot of rugby in intersquad games or versus the other teams’ B side teams. The first game was the Mud Bowl versus Pt. Loma. It was a memorable game because it was the team’s first game played as Saintsmen and it was played on a very wet field. The Saints were victorious that day and went on the win victories over Serra and Los Alamitos. The Saints played some more established programs and played well. The Saints final record was 4-3. The team had an exceptional first year and is gearing up for next season. The club is going to provide more opportunities to get involved over the spring and summer. Anyone who is interested in Saints Rugby or getting involved with the program should contact Eric Dent at

Saints Scene Your monthly report on the St. Augustine High School Experience

Publisher: Edwin J. Hearn, Jr. Saints President Editor-in-Chief: James Horne Saints Principal

Senior Editor: Steve Chipp (’68), Alumni Director

Managing Editor: Thomas Shess, Alum Parent (’05) Art Director: Carol Sherwood

Chief Photographer: Ernie Torgeson, Alum Parent (’08) Circulation Director: Casey Callery, Associate Director of Advancement Austin Parents Assn. Editor: Annette Fleming

Contributing Writers: John White, Steve Chipp and John Marin

Editor Emeritus: John D. Keller O.S.A. (’55) Correction Policy

While every effort is made to be accurate, we occasionally err. We do apologize to those impacted and kindly ask that you notify the Managing Editor so we may choose to publish corrections or amplifications in future issues.

Muddy Good Time—Top photo would make a great commercial for a heavy-duty brand of detergent. It’s a classic reminder of Saints first-ever Varsity and Junior Varsity rugby seasons. In its first league game, the Saints Varsity side outmuddied Pt. Loma High’s rugby squad. The victory brought postgame smiles and high-fives all around for Coach Eric Dent’s Varsity (in pure mud) and JV (clean shirts) squads. True Grit—Saints rugby player Nick Church (’11) in first-year victorious rugby action against Pt. Loma High.


April 2010 Issue, Vol. 29 No. 8 Saint Augustine High School San Diego CA