Life of a Brave: Bosco Water Polo Coach and former-Olympian Jeff Powers Honored in HOF

by Christian Estrada

With all of Bosco’s big sports glory, do not be surprised that an Olympian walks among Braves. Head water polo coach Jeff Powers was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall Of Fame this past Summer, yet another big athletic splash in the Brave community. 

Mr. Powers was born January 21, 1980 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but went to San Luis Obispo High School and played basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming and water polo.

He started water polo in high school, however, he did not take the traditional route. While Coach Powers understands the importance of hard work in a sport, he believes it is best for an athlete to participate in multiple sports.

“I am a big fan of [athletes] playing multiple sports and just having fun year around, and if you are an athlete you will be fine, it allows you to build character. Once you get to high school then you can start singling out and focusing on one sport. But until then, I say play all the sports that you can. I think you will be a better athlete, and lower your chance of injuries,” said Coach Powers.

While Coach Powers became known for his success in water polo, he did not always have the intentions of playing in high school. This all changed when one day the water polo coach at San Luis Obispo High School heard that he was an incredible swimmer and a prolific athlete in school, asked him to try out for the San Luis Obispo Water Polo team. Coach Jeff Powers indeed tried out and loved it.

“It was kind of a mix of all the sports that I already played plus the water, so I loved it,” said Coach Powers.

He said that all the other sports that he played helped him develop the skills he would use in water polo and being a highly competitive swimmer was also a huge help when getting in the water. Coach Powers believes it was this swimming ability that gave him an edge over other people on the team.

“A lot of people if they’ve never been in the water before, they have problems with it because it’s different. Everyone walks on land but not everyone is used to the water, but since I was a swimmer, I was already good at swimming.”

After his four years of high school at San Luis Obispo High School he attended the University of California at Irvine playing 5 years of water polo and red-shirted his last year; majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in public law. He loved living in the dorms at UCI but later moved into Newport. The head coach at the time for the  UC Irvine Water Polo Team was notorious for his work ethic, training at least 6 hours daily (excluding practice with the National Team). He graduated from UC-Irvine in 2003. Year-round training often would be two and a half hours in the morning before class; another two and a half hours of practice after class for a total of five to six hours.

Two good memories he had his freshman year was winning a major tournament with all the best teams, the Northern California Tournament. His junior year he won the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) league, winning the regular season. In that tournament, they beat teams like USC, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. Coach Powers would later get to play with several teammates on the UCI Water Polo Team, play with him on the USA Water Polo Team.

While at UCI he was a very industrious student-athlete scheduling his day to be consumed primarily by academics, athletics, and preparations for the next days of practice and games to come. He believes his coach helped prepare him for this rigorous schedule, but some of his fellow teammates did not fare as well.

“Coach prepared us well in a way that we all knew how to grind, but there were some who fell off to the wayside. Some guys couldn’t handle the pressure,” said Coach Powers.

According to Coach Powers, they were not prepared mentally, and they could not take the hours and the work and how mentally tiring it is to be in that program.

“You did not want to see them go but you knew that guys gonna go he could not handle it. You could tell whos got it and who does not [physically and mentally], hard work plus talent,” said Coach Powers.

During his freshman year there, he did not handle his schoolwork too well with his grades beginning to slip. It just took a plan, and after some time, he was able to have a balanced schedule. He said that his secret to figuring it out was literally sitting down and physically writing out a personalized schedule. This allowed him to stay on top of his work and have the mindset that nothing was being sacrificed.

“People always ask me what was your biggest sacrifice. I didn’t have to sacrifice anything, a sacrifice is something you don’t want to do, but you’re still willing to do it. You must be willing to put the time in,” said Coach Powers.

During his freshman year at UCI, Powers was one of the select few to receive an email to train with the USA Olympic Water Polo Team. He enjoyed the opportunity, but understood the extra work that was required.

He was just practicing with the National Team his freshman year because he was not quite prepared, but by his junior year at UCI, he would be ready with the tools and have his skills to compete at the next level.

He was a part of the  USA Water Polo 2004 training group, where Coach Powers described his time on the team as “fun but brutal.”

At Irvine, the team would train for five to six hours regularly. However, the time only increased when he went to the National Team training, as he would continue to train with his college team simultaneously. Coach Powers knew his goal was always to make the Olympic team eventually.

“I wanted to be a part of the Olympic team. It is something that I wanted. I wasn’t sacrificing anything, and I made it happen,” said Coach Powers.

He understood that this goal would come with missing out on things his peers would be a part of, but his goal of being an Olympian was too strong to hold him back.

“Did I miss out on some things? Maybe, but like parties and things like that. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be an Olympian, so I made my schedule around that,” said Coach Powers.

It was definitely a privilege to be on the Olympic team and on UC Irvine’s team. Nowadays, they are not as good as they were when he played. He did not say it was because of him, but when he did play, they were constantly top four in the nation.

“I helped out a little bit. It was a great school to go to for water polo and for education,” said Coach Powers.

Even with this busy schedule, he found time to have some fun too. He enjoyed low energy activities, such as going to the movies. But most of his free time was spent just preparing for the next day.

He ate a massive amounts of food. He ate everything and anything he could get his hands on, trying to make it healthy, but at some point, he would just try to get calories in his body. He made it to three Olympics, which included 2004, 2008, and 2012, and won the silver medal in 2008. Coach Powers will always be honored by these awards and recognition, as well as his new Hall of Fame status, but believes that the bonds he made and his love of the game is why he played.

“Being in the hall of fame makes me feel nice, but it’s not the reason why I started playing the sport. It is nice to be recognized for achievements and things like that. It was kind of cool that I got inducted with a couple of my teammates from Irvine,” said Coach Powers. “But at the time we were playing, it was not the reason we played.”

Sports: Insider Look at the “Game of the Century” with DB Kourt Williams

by Kourt Williams

It was the game on everybody’s minds. The rematch. Part two of the royal rumble. High school football couldn’t get any bigger. My teammates and myself couldn’t have had a better week of preparation leading up to the game, and we were prepared for anything that came upon us. 

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The preparation was relentless. We knew what we had to do in order for us to be successful. We had to score as much as possible on offense, and on defense, we had to limit their big plays and play makers. The game plan was set.

The days of practice were nothing but electric. The starting offense competed against the starting defense every practice leading up to the game. It was all a part of the strategy. Our coaching staff knew having us players play against the best competition everyday at practice would more than prepare us for the game.

The feeling on the night before the game, is hard to describe. You wish the game would come already. Falling asleep the night before playing in a game like that is not the easiest thing to do. This was a game I had been waiting to play in since I was a freshman at Bosco. No matter what happened, I told myself would leave everything I had on the field because it could be my last game in a Brave uniform.

So the day the finally came. I woke up in the morning with adrenaline coursing through my veins. Knowing within the next six to seven hours, the whole nation would have their eyes fixated on one event, one showcase, one game: the rematch of number one versus number two.

The pregame atmosphere was unreal. Families on both sides tailgating outside the stadium made it feel like a college football game. I had been feeling butterflies in my stomach since the night before, and it was now time to lay it all on the line.

The game started out rough. The “Team in Red” got a headstart on us. We had started off the game on a slow start and they jumped ahead on us quick and took advantage of every opportunity where we fell short. Before we knew it, it was 28-12 at halftime, and it looked as if the game was over. So much so that fans on the “Team in Red’s” side left during halftime. But the crazy thing was, things had only just begun.

Going into halftime, we knew something had to change. Therefore, myself and the other leaders on the team took it upon ourselves to deliver the message to the team on what had to be done.

Whatever we said in the locker room worked. In that second half, we stepped on the field and were a different team than what was witnessed in the first half.

When things started going our way, you could sense a shift in the air. It was funny, because personally, there was no part of the game when I felt worried or lost hope. I knew the reason why the game had started the way it did; we were beating ourselves.

When the game started to unfold in our favor, I wasn’t surprised because I knew that we were capable. My teammates, like DJ Uiagalelei, Logan Loya and Kris Hutson made the difference for the offense in terms of putting points on the board. Myself, Jonathan Vaughns, Jake Newman and James Smith were heavy contributors in stopping the “Team in Red” from putting up any more points.

Before you knew it, you looked up and we were in the lead by five points with the final possession of the game was among us. My heart was pounding so fast because I knew this drive would determine the outcome of the game and the legacy we left.

My defense and I were able to hold them to fourth down and caused them to throw a Hail Mary pass on the last play of the game. As loud as the stadium was, I could still hear myself breathing and my heart beating. The ball is snapped and I run to the end zone because I know for them to win they have to throw a touchdown. The ball is thrown and it felt like the ball was in the air for hours.

When it made its way down and I saw Hutson with it in his hands, it was almost surreal. At first, everything happened so fast. I looked up and saw everyone from my sideline sprinting onto the field with nothing but pure joy on their faces.

It was difficult to wrap my head around it. I looked up in the stands and saw my family screaming at the top of their lungs, and then it hit me. The feeling in my heart was one of the best feelings I’ve ever felt in my life.

This was a storybook ending, and with it being my senior year, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Our back’s were against the wall, and people started losing hope in us. But we never lost hope in ourselves. We knew that as long as we had each other, we could tear down any wall in front of us.

We proved everyone wrong and showed them who the real number one team is this year. I am proud to say that I was blessed and fortunate enough to be a part of it.

Life of a Brave: Juniors Share a Nostalgic Night at Ring Ceremony

by Ryan Tavera

November 20, 2019 marked a significant day for many students attending St. John Bosco and their families, as the juniors received their class rings.

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Pictured (Left to Right): Hector Andrade, Diego Santizo, Alfred Munoz, Adrian Garcia-Esparza, Joseph Ochoa, Xavier Zuniga, Vicente Casanova, Andrew Olmos, Joshua Hernandez, Adrian Arredondo, Christian Avila and Jesus Barreto.

Junior rings have been a tradition in many high schools over the years and Bosco is no stranger towards the tradition. The ring is a token of appreciation and congratulations to juniors in the man they are today and the man they are shaping into. It also signifies their progression through high school, and the start of the end of their high school days.

Students were to meet in the Chapel with their family shortly after school ended, and they were seated together while their families sat towards the back of the chapel.

The mass focused on admiring, wishing the junior’s a good future. The main difference between this mass and others, was that it had a more professional tone to it, almost like mini graduation.

Following the mass, Mr. Flaherty delivered a speech detailing the significance of the ring and what exactly the purpose of the ceremony is and what it means to him.

Mr. Flaherty’s advised students to not look at the ring simply as a piece of jewelry, rather the significance and the hard work experienced by all juniors.

“When I put my ring on with my class number glaring on the side I don’t see a piece of metal I see a token of appreciation and a reminder of me and my friend’s hard work and dedication to becoming a better version of ourselves each day,” said junior Josh Hernadez.

For many students, the ring acts as a symbol of remembrance, the ring reminds students of the young man they once were at Bosco and the memories they’ve made throughout the years.

“The ring for me represents my class and the memories I have made during my years at Bosco,” said junior Jake Cuellar.

Many other juniors shared the same expression towards the ring, and the class of 2021 appreciates the memories they’ve made and will make with their fellow Bosco brothers.

“In future years I want to look at the ring and remember the great times I once had at Bosco and all the people that were once apart of my life,” said junior Diego Santizigo.

Multiple juniors also explained how the ring signifies the strong brotherhood that is found between students at Bosco and how it will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

“When I was with my friends in the quad and we were all laughing and talking and taking photos with each other flexing our new rings it reminded me of what it really means to me which is the solid bond between me and my Bosco brothers,” said junior Adrian Esparza.

Following Mr. Flaherty’s speech, he began to call the names of the class of 2021 to retrieve their junior ring from the table upfront.

After the two-hour ceremony, juniors met up in the quad where they took photos and were able to show off their new junior rings to the rest of their family. All in all, it was a great experience for the juniors who had a strong sense of being a Brave that day.

A+E: “Harriet” Offers Cinematic Look at Tubman’s Underground Railroad

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

Although November isn’t recognized as Black History Month, film producers Gregory Howard, Daniela Lundberg and Debra Chase made sure American audiences could relive a major part of black history in America. 

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Harriet Tubman was born into slavery in 1820. She was one of nine children, all of which resided in Dorchester County, Maryland. Her mother, “Rit” Green, was owned by Mary Pattison. Her father, who eventually bought his freedom, lived in close proximity to Pattison’s plantation.

In the movie, Tubman is portrayed by Cynthia Erivo, a British actress, singer, and songwriter. Erivo won the part over a multitude of actresses who were rumored for the role, including Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis.

The beginning of the movie included a key aspect of Harriet’s life that could have jeopardized her escape from slavery: her spells. When Harriet was a young girl, she was hit over the head with a stone that cracked her skull open and began a lifelong trouble of spells. However, the spells, she says, includes her communication with God, who guides her through troubled times. The movie demonstrates these spells a multitude of times that include when she’s running away from her farm, while she is in the North and while she’s rescuing slaves herself.

As she plans to escape her plantation, the movie exhibits an important aspect of slave-life throughout American slavery: negro spirituals. Negro spirituals were slave-made songs that carried tradition, along with messages hidden within the song. In the movie, upon her departure, Harriet sings a famous negro spiritual that acknowledges a slave is running away. In this case, Harriet was saying goodbye to her mother through song. It was an important feature of slave-life that the movie captured perfectly.

The movie also brought in other important aspects and people of the time. As the movie approached its climax, it acknowledged the beginning of the fugitive slave act. The Fugitive Slave Act was an act that was passed by Congress on September 18, 1850, which was part of the Compromise of 1850. The act required that slaves be returned to their owners, even if they were in a free state. The act also made the federal government responsible for finding, returning and trying escaped slaves.

In the movie, when the act was passed, people of color in the North scampered and scurried around and the individuals who ran the Underground Railroad, made it a priority to get Tubman to Canada. Then, leading to another one of her spells.

The Underground Railroad was a secret network organized by people who helped men, women, and children escape from slavery to freedom. It operated before the Civil War and helped end slavery in the United States. As shown in the movie, Tubman has a big part in the success of the railroad.

When Tubman finally captured full freedom, she became acquainted with railroad leader: William Still, portrayed by Leslie Odom Jr. As they became closer partners, Tubman started to make multiple trips to Virginia to collect slaves, including her parents and her brothers.

During her time as a conductor of the railroad, the movie exhibited the many ways Tubman stole slaves, which included the aforementioned spirituals, stealing slaves right off plantations, and hidden messages that only slaves could understand.

At the end of the movie, the film showed the audience Tubman’s time as a Union Soldier, where she freed over 700 slaves and became the most recognized African-American during the Civil War; followed by written facts of her contributions, accolades, and accomplishments while she helped free almost 800 slaves.

“Harriet” exhibited a true American hero through strength, courage, and fight for a greater cause. Erivo could not have been a better choice to show the definition of a truly strong, black woman in the time of American Slavery.

 

A+E: Mr. BBQ in Fullerton Offers Authentic Korean Cuisine for More than the College Crowd

by Aharon Colon, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Known primarily for being a collegetown and an area with an eclectic mix of things to do and eat, Fullerton, CA plays hosts one of Southern California’s best Korean BBQ joints. 

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You wouldn’t expect it. In an area that is primarily Latino and White  (36.4% and 33%, respectively, according to Data USA), not many would think of going straight to Fullerton to get authentic Korean BBQ. To be honest, even I was skeptical of how good this place could possibly be, considering it wasn’t from an area known for having many good Asian restaurants.

Despite this, Fullerton is, in fact, a pretty diverse city. To finish off the data I originally cited, after Whites and Latinos, Asians come next at 24.4%. As you can see, all of the numbers are very close, meaning if you look into it more, there are possibilities of finding delicious authentic food from every culture.

From a personal standpoint, however, I only saw Fullerton as a collegetown. Being that my sister is attending Cal State Fullerton and that my father and mother go there often for meetings, not to mention I want to attend there as well, all I thought about when taking Rosecrans and Imperial Highway all the way down from La Mirada was, “I’m going to college.”

Another thing I thought of when going to Fullerton was of their downtown area. This little strip of shops, restaurants, arcades and tattoo parlors was a favorite for my family to visit because of scenery and multitude of choices it provides.

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But after going to Mr. BBQ, that whole small world changed.

It is a hidden spot if you don’t already know about it, almost hiding behind a small court of other fast foods and a CVS. Though it’s hard to miss when you get behind those buildings, because of the line that goes out the door almost every night.

It is just that good. No matter when I go, a Thursday night at 5 pm for example, or a Sunday night around the same time, it is always packed.

As you walk into the restaurant after waiting your turn for a table, you notice the bright lights,the hip aesthetic scene and huge TVs all over the place. I’d say it’s almost like walking into a loud club where everyone is having a good time and the music is just blasting over everyone’s conversations. Some people might not like that, but that’s just part of the experience of going here.

You’ll also find great art on the walls and a waiting area with Jenga, Uno and other tabletop games. The exit sign is definitely my favourite piece though, as you leave the top of the doors say, “Payce!,” with hands making the peace sign.

Anyway, you’re now seated at a table with a very clean stove in the middle of it, already prepared with utensils and good spacing between you and your friends.

The waiters at Mr. BBQ are also a great point. They’re young, diverse, quick to serve and friendly. Every time I’ve been, they were always on par with my expectations.

They shine brightest, however, when it’s a birthday, where they drop what they are doing to sing and dance to (usually rap) music for the customer. When I say it comes out of nowhere, it comes out of nowhere. You will be in a good conversation with your party, then loud birthday music starts playing and your waiter goes to celebrate with the birthday boy or girl. All in all, everything about the service is just the tip of the iceberg.

When asked of what you would like, you are presented with a large menu of an assortment of different meats, seafoods, and stews. In total, there are 78 (yes, I counted) different items you can choose from those categories. If you can’t decide, they offer three different combos of different meats and seafoods that go the best together. Personally my family goes with the Bulgogi (marinated choice chuck meat), Thinly Slice Beef Brisket, Premium Marinated Beef Sirloin, Oysters, and Spicy Homemade Tofu Soup. It’s as much as you can eat, so we just get that lineup over and over again until we can’t eat anymore. On top of that, we get bowls of white rice to wash it all down after every round.

Before the meat comes out though, you are bombarded with different small side dishes, such as edamame beans, kimchi and others.

But the best part is the meat.

For one, it comes unprepared. For those who don’t know, Korean BBQ is basically a cook your own food style cuisine, and you can just smell the marinated beef as it lands on your table.

The best feeling in the world is seeing it slap down on the stove for the first time, because you waited all day to hear the sizzling of the meat and smell the steam that comes from it. Since you want as much meat as possible, I recommend you section off the stove to fit as much as possible on it.

Time passes, and your meat is now done. It’s veloptuious look and sizzling taste enters your mouth and melts like butter. When I say this meat is premium, I mean it’s premium. 

For us, the brisket usually comes first. This thinly sliced meat is the easiest to eat and the fastest to cook. I usually tend to marinate it in salt for a little bit to get more flavor. Picking it up with chopsticks, mixing it with rice, feeling the slight taste of charcoal and chewing it minimally is why this is one of my favorites.

The next one up is the Bulgogi, Mr. BBQ’s signature dish. As stated before, this is marinated choice chuck, so when you see the meat before it’s cooked it’s bathes in sauces and juices. Once cooked, the meat is almost sweet and a lot thicker than the brisket.

The last meat I recommend is the Premium Marinated Beef Sirloin, which when presented, is one full steak on a plate waiting to be devoured. One thing you might ask when cooking it is, “How do I cut this up?” You actually have to use scissors for this meat, and I confide that you do it while cooking the meat to cook it a little bit better.

As you might expect, this meat tastes exactly like an American steak. The juiciness is unreal, the taste is flavorful, and the meat is marinated. Like a symphony, all the right flavors come into place.

Sports: NCAA Athletes Seeing Dollar Signs

by Matthew Ruiz

As Fall rolls into Winter, the NCAA has turned the wheels on allowing athletes to get paid for their likeness, name and image, which marks a major shift in the rules. 

Even though these athletes are still amateurs and still student-athletes, the NCAA wants to move in a different direction in January of 2021. A decision was announced on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 by the NCAA Governing Board.

According to NCAA Board of Directors Member Michael V. Drake, “Action directs each of the NCAA’s three divisions to immediately consider updates to relevant bylaws and policies for the 21st century.”

Some guidelines the NCAA has released:

  • Assuring student-athletes are treated similarly to non-athlete students unless a compelling reason exists to differentiate.
  • Maintaining the priorities of education and the collegiate experience to provide opportunities for student-athlete success.
  • Ensuring rules are transparent, focused and enforceable and facilitate fair and balanced competition.
  • Making clear the distinction between collegiate and professional opportunities.
  • Making clear that compensation for athletics performance or participation is impermissible.
  • Reaffirming that student-athletes are students first and not employees of the university.
  • Enhancing principles of diversity, inclusion and gender equity.
  • Protecting the recruiting environment and prohibit inducements to select, remain at, or transfer to a specific institution.

A lot of the board’s actions were based on recommendations from the NCAA Board of Governors Federal and State Legislation Working Group. This group include presidents, commissioners, athletics directors, administrators and student-athletes. This group will continue to make changes going all the way through April and work side by side with the state and federal legislation.

“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student-athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said.

Many people have seen the news and consider this info as a positive for all student-athletes. Some big influencers are NBA legend LeBron James and player Maverick Carter who helped fund the empowerment brand UNINTERRUPTED, which began in 2015 and has a website uninterrupted.com that provides student-athletes the platform to share their stories.

On Monday, October 1st, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act into law. This bill permits college athletes in California to hire agents and also be paid from endorsements.

The California law is to go into effect in 2023, which will allow them to reap the financial rewards for their athletic abilities. This law will have the NCAA on the ropes with the organization realizing over $1 billion in revenue and profits of about $27 million in 2018. The NCAA, as well as other colleges, were trying to fight this law saying, “It would bring chaos to college sports” and “make unattainable the goal of providing a fair and level playing field,” according to reporting by Forbes.

If this law was to go into effect it would cause a disaster for the NCAA. Some may fear if they go this route they will turn into the NFL with players thinking of who is earning more money and complaints from players on why they aren’t getting paid. However, we are ignoring the fact that Universities are earning so much money off of ticket sales, merchandise sales and food sales.

Top universities are flourishing off the blood, sweat, tears, and essential risking their own lives for the love of the game. All of these athletes are putting their all into these colleges to keep the reputation of their school alive. While the entire school profits of their success, these athletes are left in the dust without any compensation for their hard work.

SPORTS: BRAVES EXACT REVENGE IN INSTANT CLASSIC, RECLAIM CIF-SS TITLE

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

The Braves marched into Cerritos College on Saturday with one goal in mind against the “Team in Red”: Revenge. They emerged from the ashes of a barn burner as your 2019 CIF-Southern Section Champions after mounting an epic comeback, putting them in the driver’s seat for a consensus national title with one more win over Concord De La Salle in the CIF-State Championship. 

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In Trinity League play, the “Team in Red” took down the Braves at Panish Family Stadium. Looking back on that first meeting, the Braves looked lost on the defensive side and at times struggled to move the ball up and down the field. The beginning of Saturday’s game looked the same.

The Braves within the first three minutes of the game gave up two passing touchdowns to the “Team in Red.” The first was a 62-yard pass from Bryce Young to receiver C.J. Williams. Then, after forcing a punt, the “Team in Red” got the ball back and marched down the field, which would result in yet another passing touchdown for the Alabama-commit to take a commanding 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

In the Braves stands, it was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Brave faces showed frustration, shock and pure disappointment. That’s how a majority of the first half felt.

With six minutes to go in the first quarter, Logan Loya marched out and drilled a line drive 33-yard field goal to put the Braves on the board.

But just as the Braves started to look like they were gaining momentum, a fumble occurred and halted the Braves’ promising drive. However, the fumble seemed to work in the Braves favor for the sole fact that it backed the “Team in Red” up against their own goalline. The Braves then sacked Young in his own end zone forcing a safety, as the Braves cut the lead by two more with 4 minutes left in the first quarter to put the score at 14-5.

The Braves’ defense was the story for Saturday’s game. Forcing 5 turnovers and 3 sacks. The first interception came late in the 1st quarter, as Jake Newman read the play and perfectly jumped the receiver, intercepted the ball and returned it for 16 yards. The Braves seemed to have captured lightning in a bottle at this point, as they looked to post a touchdown on the ensuing drive.

However, the sad fact of the matter was that as the first half progressed the Braves consistently stalled out on offense, and their seemingly lock down defense would give up two more touchdowns to Young. He completed another touchdown for 30 yards to Cristian Dixon and then a 21-yard touchdown, where Young found Williams for the second time on Saturday.

Braves quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei found wide receiver Kris Hutson for a six-yard touchdown to close out the half. The score at half time was 28-12 in favor of the “Team in Red.”

Heading into the third quarter, the Braves received the ball and would begin the comeback of the century. It would start off with D.J. finding Hutson in the end zone for a 26-yard completion to cut the game down to a score of 28-19.

Then the Braves defense stepped up big yet again. The Braves were looking to force a three-and-out, as their defense had stepped up on the previous two plays. Then coming off the edge was defensive end Jalen Woods to drop Young to the ground and force the “Team in Red” to punt the ball back to the Braves.

The Braves retook the field with a sparkle in their eyes; it was a completely different feel in the stadium than in the first half. Everyone from the players to the coaches to the fans were going nuts.

D.J. began the Braves’ second drive of the half by tossing two quick passes to move the Braves 25 yards away from the “Team in Red’s” end zone. Coming out of the huddle, the Braves offense looked calm. As D.J. dropped back, he had no one open initially, but the offensive line did a great job giving him more than enough time to locate tight end Adam Awaida for the touchdown to cut the “Team in Red’s” lead to just two points.

Then on the first play of the ensuing series the Braves would tip a Young pass up in the air and pick off the “Team in Red,” setting the Braves up with excellent field position with under a minute left in the 3rd quarter. The Braves would run to the sideline as the quarter ended waving their arms attempting to hype the crowd up, and that’s exactly what they did. The Braves would head into the fourth quarter trailing. However, for the first time during the night, they felt revenge well within their grasp.

D.J. then began the fourth quarter how the Brave faithful envisioned by snatching the life out of the “Team in Red,” as he found wide receiver Logan Loya for a touchdown, putting the Braves ahead of their rival for the first time all season by a score of 32-28.

The Braves not only took the lead; they kept it.

D.J. came out after yet another stop by the Braves’ defense and found Loya for a second time to increase the Braves lead by a score of 39-28.

However, the “Team in Red” would attempt a comeback of their own. Young would complete his fifth passing touchdown of the game to Domani Jackson, cutting the Braves lead down to a score of 39-34 after the Braves defense stepped up and stuffed the “Team in Red’s” two-point conversion attempt.

Bosco would then get the ball back and attempt to run the clock out. Head coach Jason Negro would make a decision to go for it on fourth and inches in Brave territory, and the “Team in Red” took great field position after stuffing the Braves attempted quarterback sneak.

But to cap an improbable night, they quickly fumbled the ball back to the Braves. After running some clock, the Braves punted the ball back to the “Team in Red,” who were able to make everyone’s heart jump once last time as Young made a Hail Mary throw to the end zone, but of course, there was the Braves defense, again, in fitting fashion.

Kris Hutson, who caught huge passes on offense all night long while playing two ways most of the game, secured his final grab not from D.J. but from Young, whose prayer ended in the hands of Hutson, deafened by Tribe cheers exclaiming relief… and revenge.

The Braves look forward to the opportunity of capturing a state and national title December 14th at Cerritos College against Concord De La Salle.

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