We have some remarkable youth in Scripps Ranch. Here, we highlight a few who have achieved impressive successes. Congratulations to all of them!
SR Resident Plays in National Championship
Dreams do come true. Lifetime Scripps Ranch resident Blake Breslau is a member of the Notre Dame "Fighting Irish" football team. He took part in college football's highest honor, the National Championship, in January against Alabama.
Blake began his football odyssey at the tender age of 5, playing Pop Warner for the Poway Eagles Mighty Mite football team. He learned to love the game as a youth. He continued to play recreational football five more years before transitioning to high school football at Francis Parker. Blake attended Francis Parker from preschool until his high school graduation in 2009.
Blake was a star linebacker and team captain. He earned many awards including being named to the San Diego County's All-Academic First Team and being awarded the coveted "Scholar Athlete" from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Blake finished his senior year with 122 tackles, placing him eighth in the county and first in his conference.
His dream was always to attend Notre Dame and possibly "walk on" to this historic football program. Being a pre-med student, Blake understood that academics always came first and that he would never play at the professional level. That dream became a reality in his sophomore year when Coach Brian Kelly invited a handful of "preferred walk-ons" to try out. Blake impressed the coaches and was invited to join the team.
Blake's greatest memories have been representing his school, donning the golden helmet, and running through the famed "Notre Dame tunnel" under the watchful eye of "Touchdown Jesus." Another great memory was "Senior Day," where the tradition is to announce each individual prior to the start of the final home game. The athletes are then met mid-field by their parents to the cheers of 85,000 fans.
So on January 7, Notre Dame faced Alabama for the national championship. Blake once more fulfilled a childhood dream that many young boys in our community have while throwing the football in the backyard with their dad. During the national anthem, Blake reflected back to his days as a Scripps Ranch resident and knew he also represented the community he loves.
Scripps Ranch Chess Champ
Alex Costello (above), a Jerabek Elementary 3rd grader, placed second in the United States Chess Federation's 2012 National K-12 Championships. The tournament was held in Orlando, FL, and more than 1,200 students took part.
The 3rd grade competition included 145 students, many of the top chess players in the U.S. Alex was undefeated until the final round where he played on stage for the national title. His second place finish at the U.S. Chess Nationals represents a tremendous achievement for a Scripps Ranch boy who learned to play chess right in our community.
Alex's interest in the game started when he joined the Jerabek after-school chess program in 1st grade. He loved it so much that he began to compete in scholastic tournaments a year ago. While he has earned a number of awards in the past year, this national trophy sits front and center on his desk. It is a reflection of what a good school program and a determined student can achieve.
School Board Recognizes Outstanding SRHS Students
Scripps Ranch High School students were recognized by the Board of Education for their outstanding academic and athletic achievements. The Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) was honored for its Academic Bowl first place win. The women's field hockey team was acknowledged for its CIF Division 1 championship win.
San Diego Unified School Board vice president Kevin Beiser, our board trustee, pointed out, "In a nation obsessed with measuring student success exclusively with standardized tests, it is reassuring to know that we have amazing opportunities for students to learn the value of team work, collaboration, and perseverance in athletics and JROTC."
At the board's January 8 meeting, Beiser brought forward proclamations recognizing these students. Beiser said, "The parents, staff, and administration are to be commended for their hard work and support...to ensure vibrant athletic and JROTC programs. The Board of Education...congratulates these students for their accomplishments."