Competitive spirit drives Stinn in football, baseball 

click to enlarge Jack Stinn - ERIC LUIS/SPECIAL TO THE S.F. EXAMINER
  • Eric Luis/special to the s.f. examiner
  • Jack Stinn

The St. Ignatius football and baseball teams won unprecedented section titles in the 2011-2012 school year and one player was at the center of it all.

At quarterback and in the outfield, junior Jack Stinn led each team to its first respective Central Coast Section titles in school history.

That’s why he’s The San Francisco Examiner and Boys’ Athlete of the Year.

On the football field, the 6-foot, 183-pound left-hander was far and away the best passing quarterback in the West Catholic Athletic League and was named Junior Player of the Year by the league. He lead the largely run-oriented league in passing yards (2,597), touchdowns (18) and completions (168), and he’s also the best quarterback on the 37th Avenue campus since Zac Lee, who graduated from the school in 2004 and went on to play at the University of Nebraska.

While his individual highlight on the football field was a heart-stopping, come-from-behind victory over Valley Christian in the Central Coast Section semifinals, in which he threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, he steadfastly stuck to the winning game plan in the section championship game against rival Sacred Heart Cathedral.

While others would seek the spotlight in front of more than 12,000 fans at AT&T Park, Stinn threw only six passes and completed none, but continuously fed St. Ignatius running backs for 51 total rushing plays, successfully grinding down the Irish defense.

“One of Jack’s strengths is his competitive spirit,” St. Ignatius football coach John Regalia said. “What’s really special is that he likes to compete in a group effort. There was never a question in his mind about a game plan this year, but we know that when he has something to say, he’s offering it for the right reasons and he has good ideas, because he’s a student of the game.”

Stinn didn’t have his best games on the biggest football stages in his junior year, but he had a penchant for clutch hits in the baseball season.

He hit .355 and led the Wildcats in RBIs (19) even though he regularly hit in the bottom half of the order and had much fewer at-bats than the other team leaders.

“He’s one of those guys who is just a gamer,” St. Ignatius baseball coach Matt Stecher said. “You get him in a tough situation and he has a knack for producing big runs.”

When the Wildcats lost Stanford-bound junior center fielder and pitcher Jack Klein to an injury early in the season, Stecher shifted Stinn from left to center and also moved him into the starting rotation.

Most of his innings were in relief, but he had a 0.51 ERA and was a key left-handed arm Stecher used late in games.
“I don’t think there are many players that compare to Klein, but knowing that we had someone like Stinn to step into that role was tremendous,” Stecher said.

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Jeremy Balan

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