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Junìpero Serra High School
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Steve Firenze ‘62, Jerry Tallon ‘66, Denny Calonico ‘69, Jim "Bo" Meyersick ‘75, John O'Leary ‘75,
Noel Roberts ‘92, Tim Kennedy ‘95, Tom Brady ‘95


Steve is one of the few athletes who can honestly say that his record will never be broken. While Steve is primarily recognized for his track skills he was also an excellent football player and key contributor on the team of 1960 and the 1961 CAL championship team.  Doubling as a defensive back and running back, Steve earned all league honors in 1961.

But it was on Serra's old dirt track that Steve established his Hall of Fame credentials.  As a junior in 1961 Steve won both the 100 and 200- yard dashes in the CAL league meet and qualified for the State Meet.  He repeated the feat the following year.  He was also a double winner (the 100 and 200) in the North Coast Section III meet again qualifying for the State Meet. Unfortunately an injury forced him to withdraw before he could compete.  As a senior in 1962 Steve set a school and league record that still stands in the 100- yard dash, running it in a blistering 9.8 seconds!  That record was still extant when the WCAL converted to meters twenty years later and now will never be broken!


In the spring of 1965 and 1966, Jerry Tallon, the colorful middle distance runner, made track and field at Serra a spectator sport once again.  In the 1965 CAL championships, Jerry ran the half-mile in a super time of 1:57.5 to take first place in that event. He then went on to win the section finals in a time of 1:56.2 to qualify for the State Meet.  As a senior Jerry was a double winner in the CAL finals, winning both the quarter-mile (440) and the half-mile.  He again won the section finals in the half-mile with a time of 1:53.2 for a return trip to the State Meet.  In the half-mile finals, Jerry set a school record of 1:52.5 to finish third!  This record time still stands.




Dennis is a perfect example of an athlete overcoming obstacles to be "all he can be." Physical limitations limited his athletic experiences at Serra to managing the football teams but his spirit and dedication could not be matched.

After serving as the athletic director at Carey School and girls basketball coach at Crystal Springs Uplands, Dennis became involved in the Paralympic Games in 1992 when he asked by the Dwarf Athletic Association of America to participate as a player-coach on a basketball team.  In 1993 he won four gold medals in swimming at the International Dwarf Games in Chicago and set a world record in the 25- yard freestyle (master's division).  In 1994 he set a national record for dwarfs in the 60- meter dash and won two gold medals in swimming and two more in track at the trials in San Antonio. That same year Dennis was the top U.S. swimmer at the World Paralympic Games on Malta, winning two bronze medals. In 1996, at the age of 45, he participated in the Paralympic Games in Atlanta, competing in the butterfly, freestyle and breaststroke. The next year he won 11 gold medals and 1 silver medal in swimming, track and field, and basketball at the Peterboro, England games.


Jim was an outstanding player and two year starter for the Padre football and baseball teams in the mid -‘70s.  As a team captain, Jim anchored the defensive backfield for Coach Freitas. He was named an All-WCAL defensive back in 1974 and earned Honorable Mention All-County that same year.  He continued his football career at the University of California where he made the squad in 1975 as a "walk-on." He lettered in 1976 and 1977 as a standout special teams player. In 1977 he was named Special Teams captain.  On the baseball field at Serra, Jim earned All-WCAL honors, was Honorable Mention All-County and was the MVP of the San Mateo Lions Club Tournament as a senior. His teammates also selected him as the Blanket Award winner, capping off an outstanding senior year.

While at Cal, Jim fell in love with rugby. He lettered in rugby three times and was once again a team captain as a senior. After graduation he served as an assistant rugby coach in 1980 when Cal won its first collegiate national championship.  He continued his career with the Old Blues Rugby Club from 1980 through 1993, playing on seven national championship teams. He served as vice-captain on several Old Blues teams and was named Club President in 1992.  He was a member of the United States Eagles National Rugby team from 1982 through 1986, allowing him to play the game he loved all over the world.


When you make honorable mention all-league in your "worst" sport, you've got to be a great all-around athlete. That's what John O'Leary was for his careers at Serra, CSM, and Fresno State. John was a three-sport starter for two years at Serra.  On the football field, John teamed with Hall of Famer John Caselli to form one of the most outstanding receiver tandems in school history.

On the basketball court John was an excellent point guard.  His four free throws in overtime helped defeat St. Ignatius in the first "Jungle Game." As the starting right fielder on the baseball team, he hit .367 as a senior and led the league in stolen bases. He was named all-WCAL in 1975.

After Serra, John attended CSM where he played football and basketball for two years.  As a sophomore John had 56 catches for 780 yards and 7 touchdowns, earning second team all-conference honors.  On the baseball diamond that same year, he hit .357 and was named second team all-conference once again.

Enrolling at Fresno State following his CSM career, John continued to play two sports. As a junior he had 10 catches on a Fresno State team that won the league title. He became a starter his senior year. For the Bulldog baseball team, he hit .315 as a senior and earned second team all-conference honors.


Noel was a two- year starter and key member of CCS football and baseball champions at Serra and personified the word "hustle."

As a football player, Noel doubled as a running back and defensive back.  He was second team All-WCAL as a junior and first team as a senior.  He was chosen first team All-County defensive back as a senior.  He holds virtually every Serra interception record: career interceptions-13; interceptions in a season-10; interceptions in one game-4.  For his accomplishments and leadership, Noel was selected as the Blanket Award winner in 1991.  On the baseball field, Noel played just as hard as he did on the football field.  As a senior he hit .406 and was named All-WCAL, All-County and All-Peninsula first team. The San Mateo Times selected him as one of the finalists for the county Athlete of the Year.

After Serra, Noel attended Fresno State where he was the starting second baseman for most of his career.  As a sophomore he was second on the team in hitting with a .316 average. He finished his career with an average of .294. Statistics aside, Noel's leadership, hustle, and spirit endeared him to fans and teammates alike.


Tim Kennedy was as good as it gets for Serra basketball. Brought up to the varsity early in his freshman year, the first freshman to play varsity ball since the early 1950s, Tim was a three year starter and holds virtually every Padre offensive record. As a senior, Tim broke the career scoring record with 1490 points, erasing a record set in 1967.  He holds the record for season and career scoring average, average, the most points in a season, the most field goals for a season and career and the most free throws in a career.  Twice Tim scored 34 points in a game which ranks number four for most points in a game. He also holds the record for most career rebounds with 787-again breaking a twenty-eight year old record.

The individual honors Tim earned could fill a scrapbook. He was named to the All-County team as a junior and senior. He was first team all Metro as a junior and second team as a senior. As a junior he was the Chronicle's Peninsula Player of the Year.  He earned all-WCAL honors two consecutive years and was named the WCAL Player of the Year twice, the only player in league history to do so! As a senior he played in the Bay Bridge All-Star Classic. Playing against the area's best players, Tim had 13 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocked shots as was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Tim earned a scholarship to Loyola Marymount where he was a four -year player and two- year starter. Following graduation, Tim became a member of the Irish National team and played professionally in Ireland and Portugal for four years.


Even if Tom Brady had not won two Super Bowls as quarterback of the Patriots; even if he had not been named MVP of those two wins, even if Tom had not been a star at the University of Michigan, he would have been selected to the Serra Hall of Fame.  That's how good he was wearing a Padre uniform.Tom ranks in the top three in virtually every passing category of the Serra record. His career yardage mark of 3,514 yards is second, his 2,121 yards in his senior year is second, his 331 yards vs. Sacred Heart in 1994 is second. His 219 completions are third on the list, as are his 129 completions in a season. He is tied with Hall of Famer Jesse Freitas for most completions in a game with 22 and third in career touchdowns with 33.  No wonder he was the team's MVP, all-league, all-county, all-Northern California, and Prep Football Report All-American!

On the diamond, Tom was a two-year starter as a catcher. As a junior, he was a second team all-WCAL selection and was named to the first team in his senior year. He was also named to the all-county and all-CCS first teams.  Widely regarded as the top defensive catcher in the area, Tom was drafted in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos.  To cap off his senior year, Tom was the recipient of the Shea Award given annually to Serra's outstanding senior scholar athlete. He then accepted a scholarship to the University of Michigan.

Tom redshirted his freshman year and then waited two seasons to become the starter.  He set school records for most attempts (350) and completions (214) in a season. Also set records for attempts (56) and completions (31) in a game.  Tom led the Wolverines to a win over Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl as a junior and to a dramatic victory over Alabama in the Orange Bowl.  He was drafted in the 6th round by the Patriots in 2000.

The rest is history!

Junìpero Serra High School - 451 W.20th Ave. San Mateo, CA 94403 - phone:650-345-8207

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