Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Mourns the Loss of Longtime Athletic Director and Alumnus Mr. Monty McDermott

by Eric Torres, Editor-In-Chief

Last week, the Brave community lost Mr. Monty McDermott, class of 1986, who most notably served as the Director of Athletics, but to many, was far more than that. 

For 29 wonderful years, Mr. McDermott was a pillar of St. John Bosco. Since taking over as Athletic Director in 2002, St. John Bosco enjoyed the most successful athletic department run in the school’s history. Including a move into the elite Trinity League, Mr. McDermott is responsible for many of the changes that led to the successes that the school and its community have been accustomed to for quite some time now. 

During his time as Athletic Director, St. John Bosco won a remarkable 52 varsity league titles, 79 CIF titles, 26 state championships and 11 national championships. 

“They (Mr. McDermott and former principal Pat Lee) made an institutional commitment to compete with the teams in the Trinity League,” said instructor of Religious Studies Mr. Joe Griffin, class of 1975. 

Although all of Bosco’s athletic teams have seen vast improvements since the beginning of his tenure, Mr. McDermott’s transformation of Bosco football into a powerhouse on the national level was one of, if not his most incredible accomplishment. Bosco football’s success began roughly a decade ago, with league titles in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018, state championships in 2013, 2016, and 2019, with those 2013 and 2016 campaigns ending with the Braves as National Champions.

“His guidance and belief in our vision were two primary reasons we are where we are today,” wrote Braves football head coach Jason Negro, class of 1991, in a statement released last Saturday morning. 

Furthermore, part of the success can be attributed to the loyalty and support that he showed all coaches and athletic programs. He was a regular sight at sporting events, whether it was football, baseball or basketball.

“His legacy is ensuring that a Salesian education doesn’t just stop in the classroom, but it extends beyond to all aspects of our school,” said Principal Dr. Kris Anderson, class of 2004.

Being a practicing Catholic, God was very important to Mr. McDermott, so it is no surprise that he understood how to extend that Salesian education into athletics. He greatly valued success in the classroom in addition to success on the field or court. 

“Scholar-athletes was something we didn’t use to do, and he thought that it was very important to honor the students who were getting a 3.0 and playing a varsity sport,” said Mrs. Jeanne Pantuso, who worked alongside Mr. McDermott in the athletics office for decades.

Mr. McDermott himself was a spectacular athlete. While attending Bosco, he served as captain of both the football and baseball teams, and was also an All-League athlete in both sports. Incredibly, McDermott set a national high school record, and still holds the state record, for most runs batted in (RBIs) for one baseball game with 14, in a game where he hit three home runs, two being grand slams, against Don Bosco Tech. Mr. McDermott also went on to play college baseball at the University of La Verne.

Due to his incredible athletic abilities, Mr. McDermott was a well-known member of the athletic community, especially in the Southern California region. 

Although he is most well-known for being Bosco’s Athletic Director, Mr. McDermott also served Bosco as a dean, baseball coach, football coach, math teacher, physical education teacher and assistant Athletic Director. He also served as the CIF representative for the Trinity League. 

“I think he leaves too big of a legacy to even express. He has been so involved with so many things over the years. I think he will never be forgotten,” said Mrs. Pantuso. 

As a coach, he was very loved by those who had the privilege and opportunity to play for him. His style of coaching, being strict and meticulous while also coaching with positivity, really had an impact on many who played on his athletic teams. One such athlete who had the pleasure of playing for Mr. McDermott is current social studies instructor and former varsity baseball coach Mr. Mario Cordero, class of 1997.

“He was a positive coach. He wasn’t negative; he didn’t speak down to us. He was tough, but he was understanding, and I really looked up to him as a freshman,” said Mr. Cordero.

Beyond all of this, however, there were several qualities held by Mr. McDermott that made him not only special, but also a model man of faith. 

One of these qualities was his immense love for St. John Bosco. After his four years here as a student of the class of 1986, Monty’s love for the school drew him back for what ended up being nearly another 30 years. Because of the many positions he held, Mr. McDermott impacted many who have either worked or attended St. John Bosco and gave an unrivaled demonstration of what the model Salesian educator looks like.

“He was passionate about Bosco. He loved Bosco, and he named his golden retriever Bosco. You’d see Monty, and he was always wearing Bosco gear,” said Mr. Cordero.

Of the many lasting impacts that Mr. McDermott leaves, which began when he first set foot on campus as a Brave in 1982, is the belief that he had in St. John Bosco. His belief in the school is what enabled him to bring the energy and love that touched everyone he met. His demonstration of what it means to show up every day and give all he has to give and work hard for an institution is the legacy that he leaves behind at Bosco. 

“[His impact is] his loyalty to the school, his love for the school, and his willingness to work hard every day for the advancement of the athletes and the school itself,” said Mr. Griffin. 

Another quality held by Mr. McDermott that was admired by all those who met him was his positive attitude and humor. His friendliness and happiness were very endearing aspects of his character, and made him someone that everyone wanted to be around. 

“He was completely caring. We’ve all had those days where we don’t want to talk to people, but I don’t think he ever did, or at least showed that. He always made sure that the people he was with were in a good place,” said Dr. Anderson.  

His love for St. John Bosco, however, was second only to one thing: his family. Mr. McDermott is survived by his wife, Delores McDermott and his son, Monty McDermott Jr., the loves of his life. His love for Bosco and his family were connected as he greatly involved his family into Bosco affairs. 

“Monty involved his family, and I think that really illuminates the reality that Bosco was family for Monty. The McDermott family was always around Bosco, and I think that is a testament to who he was not only as a family man, but a Bosco family man too,” said Mr. Cordero. 

His family truly was a Brave family. With him being an alumnus, and his parents being very involved in the community and his sisters attending St. Joseph High School, there was not much more possible involvement for Mr. McDermott. Through and through, Mr. McDermott was a Brave in his heart and a prime example of what it means to be a Brave. 

The Brave community is currently awaiting more information concerning services for Mr. McDermott. However, if there are any tributes, quotes, or memories that one desires to share, contact socialmedia@bosco.org.  

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Fights to Stay Open Among COVID-19 Surge

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

As the new Omicron variant continues to spread rapidly across the nation, colleges across the state are beginning to return to online learning. However, St. John Bosco has taken preventive measures in order to stay in person as initially planned.

Photo by County of Los Angeles Public Health

The first detected case of the variant in the United States occurred on December 1st in California. Since then, the variant has spread rapidly across the state and as well as the country. This variant has proven to be more contagious than the prior variants and has caused turmoil everywhere it has spread.

Since the first arrival of the variant, cases of COVID-19 have risen to record high numbers, with the average number of cases per week being more than double than that of a year prior, according to data released January 5th.

Though there has been an astronomical increase in the number of cases, the amount of hospitalizations are very low compared to the amount of contracted cases. The chances of someone being hospitalized due to the variant is only 2% with only a 5% chance of being admitted to the emergency room.

Even with this low hospitalization rate, this variant has caused a number of schools across the country to transition back to online learning for the time being. Though for Los Angeles United School District (LAUSD), the main priority is to make sure that this is not the case. Although many colleges and universities in the state have already made the announcement that they will be returning to online learning, K-12 schools in the LAUSD are doing everything possible to avoid this situation.

The LAUSD prepared in many different ways to remain on campus for the remainder of the school year to ready themselves for many possible scenarios that may affect the way schools conduct class. For example, the district has set up more than enough resources in the case of staff shortages in order to assure that the students continue to receive education while remaining on campus. 

In a similar situation, Bosco has also decided that the benefits of staying on campus are too high to return to online learning, if it can be avoided safely. Due to this, the school has been working to make sure that everything that is possible is done to keep the students safe and on campus.

To ensure that the students would be able to return to campus safely, the school conducted a mandatory COVID-19 test on Friday, January 7th for all students and faculty. In order to return to school, students and faculty must have tested negative no more than 72 hours before Monday, January 10th, the day school resumed. 

Following this test, Bosco will continue to administer weekly tests to all faculty and staff, as well as student athletes. Bosco’s Principal, Dr. Kris Anderson, was pleased to see that the number of students testing positive for COVID-19 was significantly lower than that of other schools in the area.

“We are at about 7%, tremendously lower than a lot of our public school counterparts are,” said Dr. Anderson.

This figure has a lot to do with how St. John Bosco will conduct on-campus learning and the safety measures that they have put in place. Dr. Anderson feels that this is very much to the credit of the students and families of the Bosco community.

“Our families are doing a really good job. If people weren’t taking it seriously, our number would have been a lot higher. I am really proud of our community for taking it seriously so that we were able to stay on campus,” said Dr. Anderson.

Being online is something that many students will remember as being a difficult adjustment, and it was not nearly as beneficial as being on campus. Many of Bosco’s teachers feel the same way, and Dr. Anderson wants all students to continue to learn on campus so that they can get the most out of their education.

“It wasn’t fun for any of us. Being a teacher in a classroom when you are trying to teach everyone, or when half of your class is at home, it’s even worse. Our goal set back in August was to have 180 days of instruction on campus, and to this point, everybody is holding up their end of the bargain,” said Dr. Anderson.

With all the steps that Bosco is taking and through the commitment of the community, the hope is that the remainder of the year will be able to be held entirely on campus. As both the students and the teachers are enjoying on-campus instruction, neither would be thrilled with a transition back to online learning.

Life of a Brave: Alumni Spotlight with Joseph Griffin, Class of ’75

by Oscar Aranda

Joseph Michael Griffin first stepped foot on the St. John Bosco campus 50 years ago in 1971, where he found a home within the Brave community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

After working as a teacher for ten years, Mr. Griffin, or to many on campus, Coach Griffin, returned to campus in order to teach religious studies and to coach football in August of 1990. He joined the Bosco teaching staff together with Mr. Linares and Mr. Antonelli. Mr. Griffin is the religious department lead and is also a part of the freshman football coaching staff. In his 32 years as Bosco he has also served as vice-principal, CYM twice. He was the varsity football offensive coordinator for three years and the head freshmen football coach for several years.

Mr. Griffin always felt welcomed at Bosco and felt as if it was a second home. He was a quieter kid in high school and while not excelling in academics and sports, still felt very welcomed at Bosco. Though a lot of the campus has changed, for Mr. Griffin, the environment of the school has remained the same.

“There really are not many differences. We always had a diverse student community in those days,” said Mr. Griffin.

One of the only differences that Mr. Griffin has witnessed that the number of Salesians, priests and brothers that were on campus was much greater back then. Not only were there more salesians, priests and brothers, but there were no female teachers as well.

Though Mr. Griffin’s original plans were not to be a teacher, his aspirations to teach came much later. Though it may not have been in his initial plans, Mr. Griffin has proven to be an excellent teacher and a key piece to the Bosco community. He was able to achieve his goals through some of what Bosco was able to provide for him while he was in high school.

“Bosco gave me a nurturing place to grow up as an adolescent to feel welcomed and supported,” said Mr. Griffin. 

A new familiar face on campus is Bosco’s Principal, Dr. Kris Anderson. Dr. Anderson attended Bosco from 2000 to 2004. He was involved in the prestigious Bosco football program, where he was coached by Mr. Griffin during his time on the freshman football team. Dr. Anderson was able to prosper in the football program as he began as a backup offensive line man on the Gold team, until he became a starter his senior year winning league and earning himself a scholarship to the University of Idaho.

“With his mentorship and continuing to push me to be better, by the time I was a sophomore, I started on the sophomore team and was a two year starter,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Anderson feels that Mr. Griffin’s qualities as a mentor for football and teaching are what helped him grow as a football player and person overall.

“His example of commitment and drive had a big impact on me,” said Dr. Anderson.

Mr. Griffin coached Dr. Anderson his freshman year and mentioned that he was a very hard worker and very dependable. Mr. Griffin was also his teacher mentor in 2009 and is now his fellow colleague. Dr. Anderson accredits Mr. Griffin for how his relationship changed from coach and athlete to colleague. This is due to Mr. Griffin’s experience in the teaching realm, in the sense that he has seen it all.

Mr. Griffin gives this advice to current Bosco Braves and that is to start taking academics seriously during your “high school days.”

Around Bosco: The Bosco Community Enters the Christmas Season with the Annual Door Decorating Competition

by Jeremiah Davis

Last week, many teachers and students got into the Christmas spirit through the annual door decorating contest at St. John Bosco.

The competition, started by ASB and available to all who wanted to participate, gave each teacher a chance to truly show their creative side, while also having fun. Because this is a competition, the top three decorative doors were selected for the final round. Out of the three finalists, one door was selected as the winner. 

One finalist, Mrs. Becky Ellison, decorated her door in a very creative fashion, centered around Bosco and what it has to offer. In addition, she added something that was near and dear to her heart: her kids’ old toy named Freddie the Elf, which was used by her kids to spread Christmas cheer in and around their household.

“I wanted to base my door around Admissions, and I was able to do this using Bosco the Elf, whose real name is Freddie the Elf. It was a toy that my kids had previously owned when they were little, and it was used to spread Christmas cheer in our household. The elf takes a tour of every Pathway and sport on campus which is pretty neat,” said Mrs. Ellison.

Mrs. Ellison felt that the activity was a great experience and success, and she did not even spend much extra time decorating her door. Although only the Admissions team helped her this year, Mrs. Ellison will ask the Student Ambassadors to help her complete the door next year. 

Another finalist in the competition was Mr. Mario Cordero. The inspiration for his door was far different than that of Mrs. Ellison.

“Mr. Vigil was my inspiration for my door, and the students and I spent as much time as needed to make it as perfect as possible,” said Mr. Cordero 

Even though his door was not the winner, Mr. Cordero managed to have fun in the competition while also poking a little fun at Mr. Vince Vigil. Mr. Cordero credits his students for helping him with the door, but especially one who helped him the most, Jose Gaxiola. 

The overall winner of the competition was Ms. Kelly Blakeman, a math teacher. Her door integrated both the Christmas spirit and the overall dynamic of her class with a poster of the “Twelve Days of Calculus,” making a creative play on the traditional Christmas song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Similar to in Mr. Cordero’s class, the students also played a big role in Mrs. Michelle Tracy’s participation in the competition.

“My freshmen class wanted to be a part of the competition, so I began to look up ideas online and I finally found one that piqued my interest,” said Mrs. Tracy. 

Mrs. Tracy selected an idea that involved her entire class. The door consists of Christmas-themed wallpaper surrounded by many small Santa Clauses. It also has both a naughty and nice list, which has the names of everybody in the class.

The collaboration between the whole Brave community, especially the students and teachers, with such a fun competition really got the Christmas season off to the right start. 

A&E: Bosco Theater Opens the Year Strong with a Thrilling Performance of “Hands on a Hard Body”

by Brett Baligad

Following two years of COVID-19, St. John Bosco’s Theater Department hosted its first plays of the year last weekend, with more to come this weekend.

The Braves’ Theater Department kicked off the winter season with three productions of the musical “Hands On a Hard Body.”

Directed by Mr. Martin Lang, the story takes place in East Texas, as a small-town Nissan dealership hosts an annual car contest. The story follows a cast of ten Texans who learned what the prize truck really means to them. Over the course of the play, the audience sat at the edge of their seats wondering who will come out on top. The play featured plenty of catchy rock-n-roll, country and gospel scores for everyone to enjoy. On opening night, the nearly sold-out crowd stood in ovation as a musical encore concluded the heartfelt play.

“I was super excited to see the play. I haven’t seen one in person since my sophomore year. I thought it was really well done and I was happy to support the cast,” said senior and opening night viewer Kaimana Storch ‘21.

The first performance was on Friday, December 3, at 7:30 p.m. The cast was greeted by a filled crowd with students, family, friends and faculty. Alumni, such as principal Dr. Anderson ’04 and history teacher Mr. Cordero ‘97, even made an appearance on Friday. Following this successful opening night were two more performances on Saturday and Sunday evening.

The emotional and passionate performance featured St. John Bosco and St. Joseph students. Remarkably, the cast featured many first-time performers. This included lead roles junior Connor Sheehan, senior Zachary Gillett and Brianna Golani, just to name a few. 

Junior, Connor Sheehan, took on the largest and most impactful role as a newcomer. 

“Seeing my friends and family come out to support me was both exciting and anxiety-inducing. With it being my first role and the magnitude of the role, I didn’t want to disappoint. I hope I didn’t,” said Sheehan.

With these new faces to the scene, there were many bumps in the road to reach their success. This included the early learning curve to singing. 

“Some people (new coming performers) were pros, and some had never sung before in their entire life,” said Mr. Lang.

St. John Bosco hosts two plays a year, one being a musical while the other being a non-musical. As Bosco featured constant choreography and witty lyrics, the cast flexed a variety of early talent when it came to singing. By opening night, however, the chemistry and confidence between the performers shined through as demonstrated by the recognition within the crowd.

Another challenge within the program is COVID-19. The Visual and Performing Arts program, along with the whole student body, were waiting for the theater’s comeback all school year. The crowd’s enthusiasm was present as this was Bosco’s first play with a full crowd in over two years. 

“There’s no other feeling greater than performing for people and telling a story in person. Getting those live reactions helps make the story feel more real and sends an overall stronger message,” said junior Kriss Valente. 

The cast was also eager to perform in front of a live audience. Even some members that were considered veterans to the program, such as junior Alex Palmer, had never performed in front of such a large audience because of the pandemic.

Mr. Lang claimed that Bosco’s virtual production of the musical “Working” from earlier this year was very different as it featured even higher COVID-19 restrictions within the production. These restrictions included choosing a play with a smaller cast, constant COVID-19 tests and a heavily limited audience. Due to contact tracing within the production, Mr. Lang himself had to perform a lead role in order to keep the show running. These off-the-cuff adaptations are what made this past weekend’s production more memorable to the program.

As the first semester comes to a close, the theater department will perform three more times this upcoming weekend. This includes a Friday and Saturday night performance at 7:30, along with a closing Sunday night performance at 6:30. Following this upcoming weekend, St. John Bosco’s Theater Department will take a much-deserved break heading into the winter vacation. The unannounced spring play will premiere in April. 

“We want everyone in our school to be involved in something, and why not be a part of something that is creative, exciting, fun, and a way to express yourself,” said Mr. Lang 

The theater department welcomes all of the Brave and Jester community to support them in their final weekend performing “Hands on a Hard Body.” Mr. Lang also invites any students interested in performing in the spring production to try out.

Sports: Braves Basketball Bounces Back At Illinois Tournament

by Jeremiah Davis

Coming off of two blowout wins to start the season, the St. John Bosco basketball team traveled to Illinois to compete in the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.

Bosco Basketball continued their good form following a 76-40 win over Long Beach Jordan and a 74-49 win over Hesperia as they ventured to Washington, Illinois to compete in the Washington Invitational Tournament. 

The Braves narrowly dropped their first game, 55-50, partly due to a quick turnaround as they arrived at their hotel in Chicago at around midnight the previous night, with the game scheduled in the morning.

However, this mishap only motivated the Braves as they rebounded from their close loss to go undefeated for the remainder of the tournament.  They won the last three games rather comfortably, with a 50-43 win over Metamora High School, a 76-33 demolition of Tinley Park and a defeat of the hosts Washington 52-44 to finish the tournament.

The Braves benefitted from great team basketball, with key contributions from the bench to complement the great efforts of the starting players, including senior Christian Estrada, freshman Elzie Harrington and junior Delyle Williams.  The hard work and unselfish play of the team was well received as Bosco finished with one of the top records in the entire tournament.

The schedule for the Braves was unfavorable, to say the least. Coming from the west coast, the adjustment to a different time zone in a hurry was not easy. However, the Braves were able to make the necessary adjustments which ultimately led to the accomplishment of their goals to win and establish themselves as one of the premier teams at the tournament. 

“It was an amazing experience. We did a whole bunch of things while we were out there. On the court, we played four games against some really good teams. We played two games on the first day while the next day we had Thanksgiving.  We also played one game on Friday and one game on Saturday. Unfortunately, we lost the first game due to a lack of sleep, but [we] caught up on some sleep and didn’t lose from there,” said Estrada.

Estrada’s perseverance paid dividends as he averaged 15 points and twelve rebounds in the tournament while earning the All-Hustle Award. 

With all the positives regarding the Braves’ on-court experiences, they still were able to have a fun time off the court as well.

“Off the court, we had a pretty great time. As a team, we were able to go bowling, play laser tag, and play video games.  We also went on a tour of Chicago while also going to this famous place as well. For Thanksgiving, we had a feast for all the teams which was extremely good.  For dinner, we enjoyed a team meal which was delicious. Chicago has amazing Italian food,” said Harrington.

In terms of the city, the Braves enjoyed every aspect of it, from the food to the games to the scenery.   

“That city in particular loves basketball.  It was a cool experience as we got to sign autographs and take pictures with fans.  It was also a cool environment to play in as we even got to play in front of packed crowds.  The people were also very friendly as they never really saw kids from other states and kids swarmed our team after every game.  As far as the game, it was a blessing to be able to play in front of a crowd like that.  When I got into the game, I wanted to make as much of an impact as possible.  It felt as if I had taken a sip of “Mike’s secret stuff,” the game was just flowing for me,” Williams said.

Overall, the trip was a great success both on and off the court. As a team, the Braves came together as one and found common ground to achieve an important goal in winning, while they bonded off the court as they spent Thanksgiving week together. 

Heading into December, the Braves currently hold a 5-1 record, with their next game coming up on December 7th at home, against Grand Terrace. This game is scheduled to be part of a tournament dubbed “The Bosco Winter Classic.” 

Around Bosco: Father Nguyen Vien Arrives at Bosco to Spread Faith

by Ethan Gibbs

Before Thanksgiving Break, St. John Bosco welcomed Father Nguyen Vien to campus to share valuable insight.

Father Vien has faced many challenges when trying to get young people involved in the faith. Due to new lifestyles and options, fewer and fewer young men are being involved with the faith and God.

The number of Priests and Brothers in the Church is decreasing. Since 2017, there has been a decline in the number of members of the Church. The Salesians of Don Bosco USA West have seen very few new vocations for many years now. 

Another issue that Father Vien has observed is social media. Although he believes that it can be beneficial and helpful, it can also be a distraction to life in front of you. 

“Social media is not bad until we get addicted to it, so we do not have time for God or even people who are just next to us, our friends, and family members,” said Father Vien. 

When one decides to become a priest or a brother, there are qualities that are sought after in recruiting to the vocation. Father Vien made sure vocation is a gift from God for the Salesians of Don Bosco and the Church. The qualities he looks for in someone generally consist of a good heart and the desire to serve others, a sense of prayer life, willingness to learn, adequate intellectual ability, and healthy relationships, including good friends.

The journey to becoming a priest or brother begins with a personal encounter with God’s love and an invitation to serve others in this unique way. The process could take anywhere from a few months to a few years. 

Before he became a priest, Father Vien observed the people already in the community in order to understand what it would truly be like. He feels that seeing the way people treat one another and the love and respect they have inspired him and he wanted to join them. 

“They always seemed happy and at peace. Also, I liked how they were always thinking for young people, especially the poor ones,” said Father Vien. 

Although Father Vien loves what he does there are difficulties and challenges he has to face. For Father Vien, the hardest challenge he has to overcome is when he has to listen to someone struggling and he can not help them. He has to trust in God to help them in the ways that he himself could not. He also learned how to have a balance between administration and his pastoral presence. 

“It is just so beautiful to see young people growing up, being successful, and becoming good people,” said Father Vien. 

Father Vien lives on campus in the south hall. He joins the Salesian community at the school every day for prayer, mass, and dinner. 

Father Vien’s favorite part about becoming a Father is celebrating Eucharist, and other sacraments, especially the sacrament of reconciliation, are his favorite. He experienced humility and love through these moments, and they helped him to understand that God alone can make miracles happen when people are most vulnerable. For Father Vien, those moments where God and humans are so close to one another are the most meaningful. 

Father Vien came to campus last week to inform students about the vocation of the religious life led by priests and brothers. Brother Kris who is also a teacher at Bosco knows very much about the background of Father Vien. Brother Kris feels as though Father Vien is a friendly and very open man. He spoke to the fact that he is down to earth and grounded. Father Vien is an extrovert, and he tends to be shy but once you get to know him he’s very open. Father Vien started his religious life in Vietnam and he became a Salesian in Vietnam. His family moved to the United States and he had his final vow here. 

People that inspired Father Vien are his mother who was always encouraging him to be a good Christian for himself and the people around him. Another person was his older friend who has been with him since he was in high school. His friend joined the Salesians of Don Bosco first and then introduced Father Vien to them later.

Sports: St. John Bosco Football takes on Servite in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Semi-Final

by Ian Cook

After a high-scoring game against Los Alamitos High School,  the Braves manage to defeat the griffins with a final score of  63-38.  With that being said, the Braves will once again this season take on the Servite Friars, this time, in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Semi-final. 

In their first meeting, the Braves wound up defeating the Friars 24-10. Both teams will be going through rigorous preparations, as the entire season will be on the line in this game.

Led by four-star wide receiver, Tetairoa McMillan, the Servite Friars are coming into this match as the underdogs. In addition, the Friars came off a dominating playoff victory last week defeating fellow Trinity League opponent, the Santa Margherita Eagles, with a final score of 34-3. 

The Braves will look to send the Friars home after rushing for 588 yards as a team against Los Alamitos. Rayshon Luke led the team with 249 yards on 10 carries resulting in 3 touchdowns. Jabari Bates rushed for 194 yards on 16 carries, resulting in 2 touchdowns, and Michael Hayes rushed for 140 yards on 11 carries, resulting in 1 touchdown.  

“We’re gonna have to keep staying consistent and disciplined. This is one of Servite’s best years so far and being consistent and disciplined is what’s gonna help us make a deep run in the playoffs,” said Jalen Woods.

The sold-out game will once again be taking place at Panish Family Stadium where the Braves currently hold a 6-1 record with their only loss being to the “Team In Red”. 

This Friday will be a statement game for the Braves after many people have concluded that the “Team In Red” will once again pave their way to the championship game. 

“The last time we played them (Servite), we gave what we got. Their defense was the key to their success, but so was ours. Then our offense was able to make big plays late in the game and sealed the deal with the first downs we got in the fourth quarter,” said Katin Houser.  

The St. John Bosco defense will once again have their eyes on a few Servite key players being Noah Fifita and Tetiaroa McMillan. 

“We’re looking forward to playing them again. We’re going to make them beat us by having the third and fourth options on the team make the big plays,” said Jaxon Harley. 

With Servite looking for revenge, the Braves look to continue their streak of making the Division 1 Southern Section Championship for the 8th consecutive season.  However, after losing to the “Team In Red” in Trinity League Play, many people are doubting the Braves will win another Championship and consider this match as an even contest. 

“We had a great regular season, going into the playoffs for the first time in two years puts a lot of pressure on us. We have a lot of seniors in our rotations and this is our last shot. Our goal is to win the championship. We have a great group of guys that have learned to take one possession at a time, and then everything will fall into place the way it should,” said Earnest Greene. 

For those who weren’t able to secure a ticket, this game will be televised on Bally Sports West at 7:30 p.m. 

The victor of this playoff match will take on the winner between the Huskies of Corona Centennial and The Mater Dei Monarchs, Friday, November 26, at 7:00 p.m in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Championship.

News/Op-Ed: Chaos Ensues as Ten Die in Astroworld Catastrophe

by Matthew Parsons

On November 5th, tragedy struck at Astroworld Festival 2021 as ten people lost their lives and many more sustained injuries.

A crowd of 50,000 was live in Houston, Texas to watch rapper Travis Scott at his music festival, Astroworld. Throughout Travis’ set, a phenomenon known as “crowd surge” occurred, the tens of thousands who were there to witness the concert were jam packed together much too densely, leading many to lose their ability to breath. The inability to breathe is what ultimately caused these deaths.

Live Nation, the venue operator, stopped the show over a half hour after the mass casualty event began, around 30 minutes before it was planned to be over.

Scott continued to play his music and performing for the attendees, at times pausing mid-performance to acknowledge that there was something amiss in the crowd, but the show continued on.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed that accuse organizers of failing to take crowd control more seriously and not staffing the event properly. The crowd surge was like an unstoppable wave, as although some were crowd surfed to safety, others collapsed in the crowd pleading for help and were left unable to be assisted, which led to hundreds of casualties.

Many fans in the crowd were pleading for help and the show to stop, but their cries were not answered. There were protocols for an event such as this taking place by the event organizers, but whether it was used can be called into question. According to the Houston Chronicle, there was a 56 page Event Operations Page that was there to ensure the safety of the 50,000 attendees. 

“Astroworld, as an organization, will be prepared to evaluate and respond appropriately to emergency situations, so as to prevent or minimize injury or illness to guests, event personnel and the general public,” said this document.

However, according to the Associated Press, the plan didn’t include crowd surges like the one that occurred. 

The event was severely understaffed, as the New York Times reported that 505 event security staffers, 91 armed private security officers and 76 uniformed Houston police officers were present at the festival.

Madeline Eskins, a concert goer and ICU nurse that the event asked for help, reported that the staff was missing Ambu bags, AEDs

Per Madeline Eskins’ post on Instagram, a concert goer and ICU nurse, the security staff asked for her help, the medical staff was missing Ambu bags, automated external defibrillators and experience with CPR.

“The medical staff didn’t have the tools to do their jobs, and despite the crowd around us trying to get someone to stop the concert, they just kept going, even though Travis acknowledged that someone in the crowed needed an ambulance,” said Eskins.

Travis Scott concerts have a history of injuries, and Scott himself has dealt with legal troubles concerning his performances. In 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges, in 2017, a fan who became paralyzed sued Scott and at the 2019 Astroworld Festival, a stampede left three people injured with leg injuries.

Sports: Bosco Basketball Looks To Continue Successful Run After CIF State Regional Title

by Jeremiah Davis

Coming off an undoubtedly successful season that resulted in a CIF Division 1-AA State Regional Championship, the St. John Bosco basketball team looks to keep it rolling this year with an assortment of new faces who have embraced their roles.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

With all the uncertainty last year surrounding the high school basketball season, Bosco basketball embraced the challenge and the team, led by a huge veteran presence, won a CIF championship against Ribet Academy.

However, following the loss of key seniors and transfers, the Braves have revamped their roster with the addition of new transfers, highly-touted freshmen and returners who are looking to increase their role on the team. Despite such heavy losses, the team remains optimistic that they can challenge for a Trinity League title following a couple years of coming up just short.

“I feel like in league, we should be able to win the Trinity League championship, but it won’t be easy at all. We have to take film very seriously and know player personnel, so that we can be really good when the time comes to play,” said senior forward Christian Estrada.

In addition, Coach Matt Dunn has high expectations for his players, and is ready to see what they can achieve.

“This season should be a good one.  We have a roster full of players that are ready to compete night in and night out.  In Trinity League play, we should be able to compete against other teams at an extremely high level.  Overall, it should be a great experience in all facets,” Coach Dunn said.

On another positive note, the Braves have some continuity coming into the year, as the returners know their role and how they can personally impact the game. Bosco has many players available that can do multiple things on the court, so when the time comes, they will be well prepared and ready to play. One such player is DJ Henry, a senior guard for the Braves, who has been on varsity since his sophomore year. 

“I believe that the season is going to be a great season once everyone gets to fully embrace their role on the team. If all of the new pieces that we have come together and learn our system of basketball, we should be a top team in the state easily,” said Henry.

With all of the positives the Braves have coming into the season, they still have some obstacles to climb, as there are multiple players that are recovering from nagging injuries. One such player is senior Marco Kenz, a four year veteran for the Braves who has had a tremendous impact for the Braves while continuously improving every single year. However, he expects to be out of competition for two weeks with a foot injury.

“It is unfortunate that I have to be out for two weeks, but I plan to impact the game by using my voice and being a leader. I will do as much as I can to help my team while I’m out,” said Kenz.  

Another player that has been affected by injuries is junior Ray King, a guard for the Braves. King suffered a leg injury following an impressive summer with the Compton Magic. Unfortunately, this injury has interrupted his positive momentum, as he is sidelined for a part of the season.

“I am sad that I have to miss some part of the season as I was looking forward to having a bigger role than last season.  However, I will use my voice to impact the game and be a great teammate for my guys,” King said.

Overall, the Braves season is filled with major upside. With the mix of great coaching and great players, the team has a recipe for success.

Tonight, the Braves play their first game of the season, against Jordan High School of Long Beach. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. at St. John Bosco.

The Braves will then take on Hesperia High School at home on Saturday at 6:00pm. During Thanksgiving break, they will travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.

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