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.
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.