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Meet Jake Francis '23

Pressure? More Like Pursuit of Happiness

If there is a word to describe Pingry’s former pitching ace, Jake Francis ’23, it would have to be unflappable. Whether out on the pitching mound with the game on the line, or hunched over his books quietly prepping for a test, Jake is unruffled. Unbothered. Where some may get nervous, Jake remains focused. It’s this innate quality of his that was refined during his time at Pingry, in the way pressure changes coal into diamonds. His time at Pingry taught him many things, yet chief among them was the importance of seeking out challenging opportunities. “Pingry has provided me with an incredible high school foundation, with strong academics and great sports programs,” he says.

Pingry nurtured his drive to push past temporary failures so he may achieve great things. After all, throwing a 91 mph fastball doesn’t happen on the first try.

Though for Jake, who quite literally threw a perfect game on his first outing at Pingry, it nearly does.

Jake played basketball and baseball growing up, but there was something about baseball that appealed to his work ethic and inner drive. “I really love the difficult aspect of it,” he admits. “Nothing was ever really easy in baseball.”

He worked with Pingry’s Varsity Baseball Coach Anthony Feltre for years, pushing himself on and off the field—always the first player to show up for practice; always the last to walk off the field. Humble and quick to share accolades, when he struck out the side to win a game, he simply credited the whole team for the win. It’s a quality of character that made him captain of the baseball team, and won the admiration of his teammates.

Yet it’s his ability to remain calm under pressure that mystifies friends and opponents alike.

Some call it grace under pressure. A demeanor that remains unruffled in even the most challenging of circumstances. But in sports, oftentimes ease and calm belies an intense drive to win. “Some people say even if I’m winning or losing, I look the same,” says Jake. “But the competitiveness there never varies. It’s just for me, I know I’m going to play my best when I’m calm.”

Or as Coach Feltre puts it, “When they made Jake Francis, they broke the mold.”

Now starting his baseball career at Villanova University, Jake was accepted into their extremely competitive School of Business. “I have learned so much from all of my Pingry coaches, teachers, mentors, and teammates that I will carry on to college,” he says. “Coach Feltre, Dean Hoepfl, and Mr. Lear have all been such important role models to me. I am really thankful for their guidance and support.” The expectations are high, and so is the workload, yet he is excited by it all.

And, of course, unflappable.


I have learned so much from all of my Pingry coaches, teachers, mentors, and teammates that I will carry on to college.”