By LOU PONSI     6/15/2023

Some hit the water like human cannonballs. Others held hands, making the leap into the water side-by-side. Some of the more athletic types did flips. Then there were those who jumped, feet-first, into the pool, holding their nose.

Whatever technique they use, the JSerra Catholic High School senior plunge is a tradition like no other.

As is tradition, the entire class of 120-plus seniors, donned in the formal attire they wore for the Mass immediately before, charged onto the pool deck and launched themselves into the water, where they then stayed and frolicked for a good half hour.

This year’s plunge took place on May 17, with dozens of parents, teachers and administrators capturing the action with cell phones and video cameras.

“They’ve been working hard and now they get to celebrate and have fun,” JSerra activity director Emily O’Berry said. “They’ve worked hard so we want to make them feel special.”

The senior plunge became a sanctioned annual tradition in 2011, but actually started two years earlier as a prank, O’Berry said.

Senior Ashton Peasley made his big splash into the water, after receiving the Science Department Gold Award minutes earlier during JSerra’s senior awards festivities.

“It was super gratifying just to be with my friends who I’ve been close with the last four years and to get the award and all of them cheering for me and then to be able to jump in the pool together is a great experience,” said Peasley, a straight-A honors student who’ll be taking pre-med classes at UCLA. “It kind of symbolizes that you’re reached that point that you are going to graduate in a week.”

After they had enough of the water, the seniors dried off, enjoyed lunch and received their yearbooks

The plunge was among several activities celebrating JSerra graduates.

They took a trip to Catalina the day before the plunge and were gearing up for senior prom that took place two days later.

Nobody on the pool deck could think of another school that celebrates its graduates with a ritual as unique as the plunge.

“It was crazier than I expected,” said senior Annaliese Czick, who plans to major in sports medicine at Chapman University. “This is just kind of like a farewell good activity to
say goodbye and really leave our mark on JSerra.”

Senior Nixon Broders said the senior plunge is a way to blow off steam after a year of hard work.

“It’s just a fun way to get rid of all the stress that we’ve had this year and get ready to move on,” said Broders, who will be attending the University of Utah where he plans to major in film and hit the ski slopes. “This is a great moment for all of us.”

JSerra has done a great job making all the seniors feel special, Sophia Recupero said.

“This has definitely been one of the things I’ve been most looking forward to this year,” said Recupero, who will be attending Santa Clara University. “I’ve just seen a whole bunch of pictures and videos of it from past years and to finally get to do it is pretty surreal. Everyone enjoys it. It’s really great to have one final hurrah with everyone.”