Sports: Bosco Football Destroys Calabasas 63-7 in CIF-SS Quarterfinals

by: Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor, and Travien Sears A and E Editor

The Second-seeded Braves, walked into Panish Family Stadium Friday night with one goal in mind: Destroy. As the Braves are coming off yet another impressive season, tenth year head coach Jason Negro and the Braves will look to make another CIF Championship appearance this season, which hopefully will result in another state, and possibly national, championship.

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Friday night the Braves ran out of the tunnel lead by stars, Kobe Pepe, Kourt Williams II, Drake Metcalf and D.J. Uiagalelei. Now, the Braves did, however, start the game off a little bit slow, giving up the first touchdown to the Coyotes. The early touchdown can be credited to some pregame nerves, because after that initial touchdown, the Braves came down with the hammer on the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

The Braves lock down defense started with limiting the Coyotes to no more touchdowns the remainder of the game. However, Calabasas quarterback Jaden Casey did throw another touchdown, but to Bosco’s defensive back Josh Alford for a pick-six. Alford, Williams and Pepe led the defense with a shutdown mentality.

“They had a lot of weapons on their team offensively, and I feel like altogether we played like a team,” Williams said. “I feel like if we do what we did against Calabasas and we do our jobs and play like a team, that we should come out really well against Corona Centennial this week.”

Offensively, the Braves were led by quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei passing for 268 yards and 2 passing touchdowns. While also receiving some major help from RB Nathaniel Jones who rushed 12 times for a total of 145 yards and 2 touchdowns and WR Kris Hutson who received 6 passes for a total of 119 yards and 1 touchdown. All around, the Braves showed what a team should look when they’re clicking when it counts.

The Braves this Friday will travel to Corona, CA to take on the public school powerhouse of the Inland Empire, the Corona Centennial Huskies. The Braves will attempt to take down the Huskies and make their seventh straight CIF Championship appearance.

 

Life of a Brave: Men of Service During “Season of Giving” and Beyond

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

With the season of giving nearly approaching, the urge to help others in need comes into full force. However, this desire to assist those who need help is not limited to just the holiday season. It is a way of life that should embody a person’s character all year long. 

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This desire to give is represented in full force by the St. John Bosco Christian Service Program at Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, which takes place throughout the school year.

The St. John Bosco High School Service Program is an aspect of the school that pertains to the student body, reaching out to foundations and helping others in need. Students are required to achieve a certain amount of service hours each year in order to graduate.

However, the impulse to help others does not only come from the faculty and staff but from the student body itself. Many students have dedicated countless hours of their personal time as it genuinely lets them enjoy time away from themselves to help the less fortunate.

“Bosco’s service hours have helped me realize a lot about myself,” says St. John Bosco senior Jean Martin. “I’ve gone to many places such as Skid Row and the beach, to help not only people but the earth itself. I’m really glad I came to a school that persuades us to make a change in our community.”

One of the main establishments the school helps is the food service program at Skid Row. Skid Row is an area in Downtown Los Angeles where the homeless population accumulates to approximately 5,000-8,000 people.

Although, the numbers of the homeless may seem high, there are many programs and organizations that assume to help these people with shelter, food, drink — including St. John Bosco.

Many teachers take the venture out to Los Angeles with students and enjoy the day at Skid Row as well. St. John Bosco teachers get the opportunity to feed, speak with and the homeless during their trip.

“You know about homeless people and all of that, but to put a face on it and interact with them, you usually don’t get to have that kind of experience,” said St. John Bosco science teacher Michelle Dolphin. “It’s made a huge difference within our community.”

The connection between St. John Bosco and the Skid Row Program comes from former religion teacher Jack Hastert. Mr. Hastert has been long involved with many programs during this time at the school, but most knowingly: Skid Row. He has enjoyed his time — with the help of his family — helping others in the Los Angeles area.

“I first started taking Bosco students to the Los Angeles Catholic Worker Soup Kitchen on skid row in 1979-80 school year.” Mr. Hastert said. “My contributions include donating money and on occasion going out to feed people.”

Because of this branch, St. John Bosco has been able to be a part of a human-phenomenon that helps the less fortunate, provides a meal and promotes a human-capitalism that values dignity of dollar signs.

While Christmas may be called the “Season of Giving,” the desire to help at Bosco spans much more than a couple months. It is a way of life that stems from the Salesian Brotherhood.

That is love. That is Bosco.

A+E: New AirPods Pro Headphones Live Up to Hype

by Joshua Lucero

Last week, Apple released the next generation of earphones, the AirPods Pro. The next generation of AirPods is available now. The new AirPods Pro are for sale at $249 and are the newest addition to the AirPods family.

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New features include “active noise cancellations and superior, immersive sound in an all-new lightweight, in-ear design,” according to Apple. The new design is made to be lightweight, have Bluetooth audio, and an in-ear design that is created for comfort.

Rather than having the normal design of Airpods this new generation has an “expanded mesh microphone port versus the older AirPods,” according to AppleInsider. The new AirPods have a smaller design, each individual earbud is designed with soft silicone ear tips that are made to mold to a person’s ear. This provides both comfort and greater sound quality for the user. Not only have they provided a more comfortable fit to a user’s ear, but now they are both water and sweat resistant. This new generation of AirPods are being molded toward a more active lifestyle but are still able to be used by everyone.

Apple’s new and improved AirPods have adapted to the noisy walks of life. On an average day, someone would walk in a populated area where noise cannot be escaped. The AirPods Pro allows users to be able to listen to music, phone calls, and more from their noise cancellation improvements. They do this by using two microphones that adapt to each ear and fit, one microphone facing out and the other facing inwards which allow for the noise cancelation to work.

Apple added a more pure sound quality by combining it with an Adaptive EQ, “which automatically tunes the low- and mid-frequencies of the music to the shape of an individual’s ear — resulting in a rich, immersive listening experience,” said Apple. The new design upholds itself on a better and clear sound quality.

With a new feature of “Transparency Mode,” Apple has added this so a user can still listen to outside noise. You can activate this by using the Pros directly or in the control center for any Apple device. Comparing this to past AirPods this new feature allows someone to hear their voice naturally, communicate with someone and many other possibilities that involve communication.

Compared to the last generation, the AirPods Pros have added some new features. Mainly the AirPods Pro has a customizable fit to a user’s ear, Active Noise Cancellation, an Adaptive EQ, Sweat and water-resistant capabilities and a $50 dollar increase on sale from $199.00 to $249.00.

Other than these changes these two AirPods have everything else in common, the only con that the AirPods Pro have is a user can listen to four and a half hours when the last generation had five hours of battery life.

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero Counselor Ms. Alyssa Skipper

by Dominic Sanchez

Ms. Alyssa Skipper, a prominent member of the faculty and staff here at St. John Bosco High School as our Director of Counseling, may not be as well-known to some parents and alumni, but she is a mainstay in the lives of our student body. She plays a dominant role in the community in helping hundreds of students reach their academic potential and goals for the future to come. Photo for Article.jpg

Ms. Skipper’s journey to St. John Bosco has been drawn out and alluring. She was born one of two daughters in Torrance, California and then raised in Lakewood for the majority of her life. Growing up with a very supportive and loving family who supported her through anything, they would go to any limit to help her succeed with her goals throughout her early life.

After middle school, Ms. Skipper decided to attend Mayfair High School participating in cheerleading and several other clubs. Graduating from high school she chose to go to UC Santa Barbara as an undergraduate and got her Masters at Cal State Dominguez Hills College. She then chose to start majoring in sociology, as well as minoring in applied psychology to broaden her opportunities for the counseling career she’s been pursuing.

By the time she was about to leave high school, she knew that being a school counselor was a career path she wanted to be in. Besides working at a few fun jobs on the side during high school in the Summer, like Soak City Water Park, which she definitely did not enjoy.

“It was a terrible first job; I will definitely say that,” said Ms. Skipper.

She also worked many other jobs, but there was no other job she wanted to ever pursue like being a counselor and helping others reach their academic potential.

Ms. Skipper then began focusing on her career in college in her undergraduate, and  went directly into grad school as soon as she graduated from the University of Santa Barbara. Fast forward to two years later, she already started getting into her fieldwork in the counseling career.

Growing up in public school for her whole life, she was looking at a variety of schools to lend her services. Her public school education was a foundation for her experience in applying to these schools. Being in different types of settings and meeting with a variety of students has helped her tremendously, as well as helping her grow as the best counselor she can be.

In 2018, Bosco was looking for a fresh face to help with the counseling department, and Ms. Skipper seized that opportunity, making it the first Catholic school she’s ever worked at. She was hired as the Director of Counseling for students, helping with the college application process, test preparation, class modifications, guiding each and every student to their own path and the social and emotional well being of all.

“I thought it would be really interesting to see what the private world looks like, to see what the Salesian community looks like, and it has been really cool to see how different the education can be here,” said Ms. Skipper.

Being at St. John Bosco for about a year and a half, Ms. Skipper has developed a strong sense of connection and friendship with the majority of Bosco’s staff and faculty. She believes that this is a unique place with great accomplishments and continued potential. Described by her, it is easily one of the best groups of people she’s ever had the privilege to work with. As a welcoming and open personality among the staff, she believes that people are really sold on the idea of being there for their students being present in class, as well as being out and about on campus.

With much of her first year at Bosco spent working with the Counseling Department and the Parent Association, the immense sense of welcoming for her personally, as well as the support of Mr. Delgado and Mr. Totah, solidified her feeling that she was in the right place. After 6 years of being dedicated to counseling, she has also toyed with the idea of being in Administration someday for St. John Bosco, but for now, she is truly happy with her position and will never change her career as an educator in some capacity until she reaches her retirement from the field.

From my personal experience with Ms. Skipper, having her help me with my personal struggles and stress over my college applications, I feel the best word to describe her is compassionate. No matter how busy she is, or how much is on her plate during the day, she will always find a way to take the time to handle the situation a student is having even when it seems like she can’t help.

From assisting in supervising student events, welcoming students, providing college lectures, providing advice for students when they need it most and more, she is a welcoming personality and truly a joy to have around you. Currently, she is juggling the Counseling Department, graduation ceremonies and is working on aiding hundreds of students in their college applications, just to name a few of her many responsibilities.

Her job is quite a handful and is not easy. It is satisfying and rewarding work that takes a lot of effort to pursue. Miss Skipper cannot imagine being at any other high school in the country. The school community and staff cannot imagine Bosco without her and is incredibly thankful for her and her efforts of making Bosco a better place to be.

Sports: Bosco vs. Santa Margarita Homecoming Game Preview

by Hunter Richardson, Assistant Sports Editor

The Braves, coming off a disappointing 38-24 loss against Mater Dei, have an excellent opportunity for a quick bounce back in the final regular-season game squaring off tonight against Santa Margarita.

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Last week was a difficult one to swallow for the Braves with much anticipation built into that game and falling very short against Mater Dei. Luckily the season is not lost as the Braves stay the number two ranked team in the country and have tonight’s match up and the playoffs with another potential Mater Dei match up to look forward to.

On to tonight, it is the Homecoming game for the Bosco Braves, which is bringing the entire Bosco community past and present together for tonight’s game. It is always a special night as alumni and current students all come together to celebrate the special community and tradition that this program and school have built. As for the game to be played on the field tonight, if the Braves are amped up and ready to put last week behind them, we might be in for a big-time performance in favor of the Braves.

The Braves are currently 8-1 ranked currently ranked number two in the country looking tonight to sharpen up prior to making their playoff run. The offense for Head coach Jason Negro’s squad did not have the ideal week last week especially in the run game and that will most certainly be a point of emphasis for improvement this week entering the CIF Playoffs. Many will have their eyes tonight on the defense as well after an abysmal start last week to see if they can bounce back this week.

Santa Margarita enters tonight’s contest with a 3-6 record having zero wins in league. This year has been a rough one for the Eagles with tonight being their final game of a season to forget. They can erase all the frustration tonight if they can shock the world and get a win to close their season at Panish Family Stadium. Offense for the Eagles has been the main problem mainly the passing game where they have thrown more interceptions than touchdowns. The Braves defense has an opportunity to bounce back with a big performance tonight as well especially the D-Line against the run-heavy attack of the Eagles.

The Eagles defense has been the strongest point for the team and will look to put the team on their backs tonight and keep them in the game. The O-Line for the Braves will not have a cakewalk tonight against this Eagles D-Line and are attempting to make a statement prior to the playoffs with the rest of the Braves roster looking to do the same.

The Braves take on the Santa Margarita Eagles tonight at 7 at Panish Family Stadium.

Final Score: Braves-35 Eagles-14

Sports: Kourt Williams and D.J. Uiagalelei to Represent Bosco in All-American Bowl

by Lucas Garrison, Sport Editor

On Tuesday, October 29, 2019, St. John Bosco’s football stars, Kourt Williams, II and D.J. Uiagalelei, were invited to the Army All-American Bowl, in San Antonio, Texas.

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Both of these players have not only exceeded on the gridiron, but also in the classroom. Such a prestigious honor is not just given but earned. Anyone can be a true football talent, however, to be a part of the All-American Bowl, you need to also be a true champion in the classroom.

D.J. and Kourt have proven over the last two years to be leaders of the number two team in the nation. D.J., who is the number one ranked pocket passer in the nation and will be attending Clemson in the Spring of 2020, has posted 2623 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns and two interceptions. He also has posted solid grades throughout his four years here at St. John Bosco High School.

D.J. will most likely sit behind current Clemson QB Trevor Lawerence for a year or two, but. Coach Dabo Sweeney bagged a great one. D.J. surely will look to show that he is the true number one QB out of the 2020 graduating class once given his opportunity at the next level.

Kourt Williams this season has posted numbers of 44 totals tackles, three tackle for loss, and one fumble recovery. However, in the classroom Kourt has posted a cumulative 3.8 GPA. Kourt continues to impress in the classroom and has time and time again proven that he is a true Bosco role model.

Kourt who will be attending The Ohio State University in the Spring of 2020. Kourt will add a solid defensive boost to the Buckeyes secondary. Once Kourt hits the field he will look to show fans, scouts and other teams that he is the real deal and a top talent out of the 2020 graduating class.

Sports: Bosco Water Polo Continues to Improve Behind HOF Coach

by Joshua Whitfield

St. John Bosco Water Polo is one of many sports programs that are underrated and under-publicized. The St. John Bosco water polo varsity is led by head coach Jeffrey Powers. The Braves record this season for league was (0-4) and (7-18) counting their pre-season games. Coach Powers has been leading the Braves for many years, honing and developing many Bosco water polo players to take them to greater heights.

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Coach Powers was recently inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame as part of the 35th induction class in June of 2019.

“It was an honor, that’s not why you play the game but it is nice being recognized for some of your achievements,” said Coach Powers.

While Coach Powers was honored with this highly prestigious achievement, it didn’t interfere with his main priority, leading and coaching the Bosco Braves to make his players the best they could be.

The Varsity team consists of 13 players, the three Senior players Lucas Garrison, Ryan Mowl, Gabe Garcia, and Kyle Perera. The remaining of the team consists of juniors, Parker Moore, and Ethan Olney along with six sophomores on the varsity line up. The sophomores competing on varsity are Anthony Best, Joshua Joson, Lucas Okampo, Christopher Valente, and Jack Woodson. With only one freshman on the team named Matthew Cassas. Coach Powers believes the team has made great improvements from last year.

“There was a lot of guys that showed improvement from last year, Parker Moore showed a lot of improvement, some of the freshman that came out like Matthew Cassas he showed a lot of improvement but everyone improved, I think Gabriel Garcia had a really solid season, he played well and was always fighting,” said Coach Powers.

This entire varsity line up is rather young for a varsity team while only having three seniors to lead the younger players, yet their coach sees much potential in them all. Coach Powers gives recognition to his players knowing how much they all have improved over the off-season.

Though the Braves made many improvements to their skills personally and as a team they were unsatisfied with where they were placed.

“I do feel we could’ve done better that being said, I do think the boys made a lot of progress, and that they still learned, it was a productive season in that sense but record-wise I feel as if we could’ve done better,” said Coach Powers.

During the Braves season, many players were injured while playing with Coach Power even stating, “This season we caught the injury bug”. Because of the massive list of injuries the players experienced it affected their game plan and the assets they would’ve used very affectively during their matches.

“It was crazy it was almost like every other week someone was getting injured,” said Senior Ryan Mowl.

Though the Braves could not make league on their own merits, Coach Powers still answered who he felt the best team in their division was.

“I feel Santa Margarita is a better team but Orange Lutheran just managed to win”

The Bosco Braves still performed fairly well with the hand that they were playing this year, Coach Powers isn’t looking at the past now. Instead, he’s looking to the future so next season the Braves will show everyone what they’re truly made of.

Coach Powers is currently looking at his team and seeing what changes he can implement to advance the team.

“Hopefully next season we’ll perform better, the boys didn’t seem to like how this season ended kind of with the record and stuff, but hopefully they’ll feel motivated in the off-season and that they’ll continue to get better and everyone will have a year more experience,” Said Coach Powers.

With the massive amount of injuries to plague the players and the very young squad taken into account, the Braves played adequate, but next season is a new season.

“We should have a lot of returners next year so hopefully we’ll play better,” said Coach Powers.

The Braves with a record of (7-18) to end the season won against High Schools Buena, Tustin High, Cerritos, Montebello High School, Crespi Carmelite High School, Gahr High School, Warren, and Cypress. The Braves with their seven-wins shined in particularly two games, one against Gahr where they won (15-1) and against Cypress running the board ending it (17-3).

Looking to next season with predictions is a bit of a stretch because the season has just now ended, but Coach Powers understands where the team needs to improve for next season.

“We want to play better than this season, we have improvements to make all around though swimming, ball handling, awareness in the pool but that just comes with experience and time spent playing so hopefully we can progress,” said Coach Powers.

While it is early to predict, Coach Powers has some clear goals for the upcoming season.

“It all depends because there is so much our goal consists of for next season, well our goal is to always win but it’s to be above 500 records and to make playoffs for CIF that’s our goal.” Said Coach Powers.

Though the Bosco Braves had a rough season this year the realized their mistakes and are working in the offseason to mitigate them as much as possible for next season. Coach Powers believes in his players and is guiding them to take the Water Polo program to new heights with his players.

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