Laurence Held '79 Inducted
Into Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame
Laurence Held a 1979 St.
Mary’s High graduate,
was inducted into the
Stockton Athletic Hall
of Fame. Laurence was a
basketball standout who
played for Pacific and
then professionally in
Europe with teams in
England, Holland and
Australia. He averaged
17.9 points per game in
his senior season with
the Rams, who went 29-5.
Bishops Award Dinner Honors
Geiger, Class of 1961, local attorney and Chairman
of the Catholic Charities Board, Kathleen Lagorio
Janssen, Class of 1964, the President/CEO, Lagorio
Family of Companies who is involved in countless
community outreach program and a generous friend of
St.Mary's High School and Peter D. Morelli, Class
of 1969, NFL Referee and retired Principal of St.
Mary's High School were honored by Bishop Stephen
Blaire at the 2017 Bishops Award Dinner.
Asked to provide advice, Kathleen recommended that
young adults pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance,
as she credits the “nudging” He gave her as the
impetus for her parish involvement.
Peter's advice was that “Prayer is the foundation
and motivation for all that we do – Individually and
Don recommended that young people pray as he knows
that faith gives meaning and purpose to his life.
Greg Heli '16 Army Bound
It was a proud day for St.
Mary's High School and the Greg Heli family as Cadet
Nicholas G. Heli, Class of 2016, swears into the US
Army with eight other cadets for 3-year full
scholarship to the University of Portland, Oregon.
Nick is committed to the Army for 8 years Active
or Reserve Service. Nick is planning to go into the
Armor Branch, Ft Benning, Georgia
Brown '17 Attending West Point
Elijah Brown, SM Class of
2017, completed basic training (CBT). at West
Point. It was so intense it is known as Beast
Barracks. According to Elijah, he made the right
decision to attend West Point. (8/17)
Brusa '12 Focus of Record Interiew
Gio Brusa, Class of 2012,
was interviewed by Thomas Lawrence of The Record
prior to the San Jose Giants game against the
Stockton Ports regarding his pro baseball career.
Gio, who is a professional baseball player in the
California League playing for the San Jose Giants
discussed life on the road, being patient and
focused on the present, plans for after baseball and
who he credits with the success he has experienced:
his father, Jim Brusa, SM President and former MLB
star and Olympic Gold Medalist Ed Sprague, SM
alumnus, class of 1984.
Gray '10 Named to WBNA All Star Squad
Chelsea Gray, Class of 2010, and a player for the
Los Angeles Sparks, was named as a reserve for the
West team in the WNBA All-Star Game at KeyArena in
Chelsea is in her first season as a starter for the
defending champion Sparks, after playing a key role
for L.A. in last year’s WNBA Finals. She leads the
WNBA with a 50.9 field goal percentage, and scores
an average of15.8 points per game.
Chelsea Gray, Chelsea, pictured with Kathy Smith,
visit to St. Mary's to meet with students and say
hello to friends.
Players Tribune Article by
"Lucky" Diaz '96 Performing in Stockton
From a Story By
Record Staff Writer
Diaz, a 40-year-old St. Mary’s
High School graduate, brought his family music home
for the first time, performing a free show on April
“Stockton still is a big part
of anything I do,” Diaz said.
In part, that’s because Diaz —
who started singing-songwriting at Stockton’s
original Blackwater Café as a teenager with a guitar
his mom bought at a flea market — has,been really
busy accomplishing what once was unimaginable.
“I never thought, in my wildest
dreams, that anybody would be writing about me in
any way,” said Diaz, who formed the group with
Gaddis in 2011. “It’s really cool.”
Along with music-industry
acknowledgment, the Family’s reputation has been
elevated by best-children’s-album or
song-of-the-year credits from People magazine (“A
Pot Luck” in 2012), USA Today and Sirius-XM radio.
“The No. 1 album for kids?”
Diaz said from L.A., where he and Gaddis live in the
Los Feliz district. “That’s something special you
don’t ever forget.”
Writers at the New York Times
and Washington Post also have been impressed by the
Diaz’s five albums, the Post critic labeling their
folk-rocky style as “kindie” music.
“That makes it relatable
somehow,” said Diaz, a guitar player from an
artistic Stockton family. “That nomenclature makes
it cool. The ‘face of kindie.’ Indie music.”
Certainly a contrast to Mister Rogers.
Gaddis won a 2013 Emmy for
“Lisha Lou and Lucky Too!!!” a version of their
debut album on PBS. They became the first Americans
to win a children’s Latin Grammy for “¡Fantastico!,”
sung in Spanish.
They perform on PBS’ “All
Things Considered” and their recordings have been
honored by parents and education organizations.
Coca-Cola’s “summer song” for 2013 was “Falling.”
“They’ve performed on PBS’
“Austin City Limits” — “a fantastic dream come true
for me,” Diaz said — and has played solo at the
Texas capital’s South-by-Southwest Festival.
They’ll entertain the “kindies”
during the Aug. 3-6 Lollapalooza Festival (Kidzapalooza)
at Chicago’s Grant Park. Chance the Rapper and Muse
are among the headliners.(4/17)
Kat Comes Back
Kat Tudor, Class of 2016, had a
homecoming of her own as she joined her
teammates on the Oregon State team for a
special practice at Morelli Gymnasium at
St. Mary's on March 24th. Oregon State
is in the NCAA Regionals being held at
the Stockton Arena. (3/17)
Porteous '12 Newest Lodi PD Officer
Reagan Porteous, Class of 2012 has become the newest
member of the Lodi Police Department. After
receiving her undergraduate degree at CSU Monterey
Bay, where she excelled on the women's soccer team,
Reagan attended the San Joaquin Delta College Police
Academy where she was named top overall cadet and
top female athlete. (3/17)
Air Force Alumni Meet Up
Captain Greg Heli, USAF
Academy, Class of 1986 recently attended his 30th
reunion where he ran in to classmate and St. Mary's
alum, Class of 1986, Col. Jim Griffith.
Capt. Heli also ran in to
Cadet 1st Class Patrick Moso, St. Mary's Class of
2016, Cadet 3rd Class Anthony Cabri, St. Mary's
Class of 2015, and Senior Cadet First Class, Joey
Carl, St. Mary's Class of 2013 (not pictured).
Earl Smith '74 49er, Warrior and Death Row Chaplain
Rev. Earl Smith, Class of 1974 was featured in the
Modesto Bee. Reprising an interview, the paper
wrote;"Focusing on similarities to build unity is a
lesson he learned as a youth in his native Stockton,
Smith said by phone Thursday. “I grew up in a time
in the ’60s when there were riots at my junior high
school,” he said. “I was kicked out of school over
the differences I had with the white kids.”
He was a troublemaker, according to a PBS biography
of Smith – stealing cars and money and selling drugs
at that junior high age. In 1975, he was shot six
times and left for dead during a botched drug deal.
The faith and love of Smith’s father helped pull his
son through. Words Smith’s father said to him – “You
are a rebel, but you are God’s rebel, and he is
going to use you to his glory” – have motivated him
He ended up going to St. Mary’s, a Catholic high
school in Stockton, where he learned “to let some
things go,” Smith said.
After being ordained, the Rev. Smith – in 1983, at
the age of 27 – became the youngest Protestant
chaplain ever hired by the California Department of
Corrections. He started work at San Quentin. Over 23
years there, he ministered to such criminals as
Charles Manson and Robert Alton Harris, the first
person executed in California since 1976.
In his 2015 book,
“Death Row Chaplain,”
Smith wrote: “Looking back, I realize now
that a career in prison ministry probably appealed
to me because I wasn’t much different from the
inmates. In many ways, I was very much like the men
and women whom society has cast aside for their
crimes and mistakes.”
Smith is chief executive officer of Project IMPACT
(Incarcerated Men Putting Away Childish Things) and
CARE (Concerned About Recovery Education), in
addition to his work with the Warriors and Niners".
Battle of Former Rams
When Oregon State and Cal met on the court, two
former teammates and stars, Kat Tudor and Mi'cole
Cayton met on court in the contest before many
friends and family who had come to cheer them on. .
Although Oregon State won the game 66-56, it was a
great reunion for these alumni. (1/17)
Payne '06 In LNB All Star Game
Payne, Class of 2006, was selected to play in the
2016 All Star Game basketball match of the French
Ligue Nationale de Basket (LNB). Mark has returned
to play for Champagne Châlons-Reims of the LNB Pro
A, after a season at Limoges CSP (Pro A). He
previously played in the Greek and Spanish leagues
of EuroBasket. He has been nicknamed "The Swiss Army
Knife" due to his versatility Mark was a standout
player while at UC Davis where he earned an
economics degree, He is studying to be a financial
Tony Ramirez '69 Sculpts
Statue of St. Francis de Sales
On November 21st St. Mary's High School installed a
new statue of St. Francis de Sales on the Zieter
Memorial on the former senior lawn.
This statue recognizes the Oblates of St. Francis
who have served St. Mary's since 1970 and of the
charism that our community embraces
Tony Ramirez is an alumni, SM Class of 1969. Tony is
the owner of Ram Studios in Stockton and has been
described as a multiple media artist. His work can
be found in sculptors, paintings, stained glass
windows, tiles, wood work, metal work, repurposing,
restoration among many, many other artistic mediums.
His work has appeared in Star Trek movies and
locally for Haggin Museum, Morris Chapel and Old
St. Mary's Church. (12/16)
Herrera '99 Coach For Lions All-Star Team
Willie Herrera, Class of 1999, is the head football
coach at East Union where he guided the football
team to just its third playoff run in the past
quarter century. Willie was chosen to be coach of
the North team, for the 44th annual District 4A-1
Lions All-Star Game in June, 2017. (12/16)