With the weather finally cooperating, the spring sports schedule — the busiest of the academic year — is in full swing at Loyola Marymount University, with a solid supply of “locally grown” athletes from area Catholic high schools represented on nearly every Lions’ team.

Four are on the LMU baseball team, including sophomore pitchers Sean Paquet (Servite) and CJ Fernandezees (Serra/Gardena), along with junior infielder Steven Chavez (St. Bernard) and freshman infielder Ethan Patrick (La Salle).

Conversely, only one local Catholic school alum is on the Lions’ softball unit, but that “one” is sophomore infielder Maddison Flores (Mater Dei), who as a freshman last season became the first Lion and first freshman in West Coast Conference history to earn West Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year by playing errorless baseball at second base through the 14-game conference schedule.

Two members of last fall’s outstanding LMU women’s volleyball team are playing  beach volleyball this spring: junior Savannah Slattery (Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks) and freshman Ella Boehle (Notre Dame Academy/West L.A.). In beach volleyball, Slattery was WCC Freshman of the Year in 2017 and All-WCC second team in 2018.

In men’s golf, two former all-conference players in high school tee it up for the Lions this season: freshman Kyle Kinnane (Servite) and redshirt junior Michael Mozilo (St. Francis), who transferred to LMU two years ago from Creighton University. Junior Ryan Brown (St. John Bosco) plays for the men’s tennis team.

Two local Catholic HS alums are part of the women’s water polo squad: sophomore Ryan-Marie Ickes (Rosary Academy) and freshman Amanda Reeder (Santa Margarita). And freshman Greta Wessel (Mater Dei) is on the women’s rowing team. 

Middle- and long-distance runners on the women’s track & field team include junior Emily Hubert (Bishop Amat, where she was a CIF champion in cross country) and redshirt senior Danielle Shanahan (Bishop Montgomery). The men’s track & field squad likewise features distance runners Branden Estrada (junior, St. John Bosco) and Joseph Garcia (freshman, Salesian).

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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