Monthly Archives: April 2022

Sports: St. John Bosco Lacrosse on the Rise, Sets Sights on a CIF Title

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

This week, Braves lacrosse finished the regular season strong with a win over Oak Park on senior day, leading them into Division 2 CIF Playoffs ranked third in the section.

On April 27th, wrapped up an impressive season that included many firsts for the program. The Braves’ 3-2 Trinity League record was good enough for third place, securing them a playoff spot. With the final CIF polls being released on April 25th, the Braves 11-4 overall record allowed for them to rank third in Division 2 lacrosse.

After such a great year for the Braves, they look to make a deep run into playoffs and end it all with a ring. 

“To win a title, it takes every player, freshmen and seniors, to handle adversity and conflict, trust each other, communicate with each other and appreciate each other in a positive way,” said Coach Tommy Johnson.

In the Braves’ final week of action, they faced off against Servite to start the week in one of the most important games of the year. Beating Servite for the first time in program history secured third place as well as a playoff spot.

Many of the players from this year’s roster are upperclassmen, with a majority being seniors. The roster size doubled from last year, and the team will look to its seniors to lead them into battle and come in clutch when they need it. 

“The main component of our success has been our high level of experience and grit as we have ten seniors,” said senior captain Noah Citek. 

Noah has been one of the key players for the Braves, as they had many dominant performances over their opponents this season. Also, in the few games they lost, it was by a matter of a few points.

Another senior, goalie Brennin Melton, is one of the top performers for the Braves. His impressive saves keep games close, making it a lot easier to win games for the rest of the team.

“Without Brennin Melton in goal and Noah Citek taking face-offs, we would be using an entirely new game plan. These two young men are at the very top of the high school level and should be attending any college they choose. I have seen a lot of lacrosse over the years, and these guys are the best at what we ask them to do” said Coach Johnson.

Bosco seniors shined all year long, as they were the bright spot of this year’s roster. They made up almost 30 percent of the team, and that showed in their matchups, as they always seemed bigger and stronger than their opponents.

One of the main components to this year’s team has been their chemistry on and off the field. From seniors all the way down to freshman the players always have had each other’s back and had full confidence in one another.

“Our teamwork is our biggest component; we struggle at times to play as a team, but when we do, we are unstoppable,” said senior George Bratton.

Before the end of the season, the Braves got hot and won eight of their last ten games which hopefully will continue to happen as they roll into playoffs looking to continue to stay on their hot streak. CIF will release the brackets and schedule for the playoff games early next week, which most likely will have the Braves ranked at a high seed, giving them home field advantage.

Life of a Brave: Unsung Heroes in St. John Bosco’s Front Office, Ms. Laura Wilson, Ms. Cat Hocanson and Ms. Diane Whitten

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

Despite flying under the radar, St. John Bosco’s front office continues to provide in critical ways for the school.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

The front office consists of three women who take care of a variety of tasks that ensure Bosco’s success. These three spectacular workers include Ms. Cat Hocanson, the supervisor, Ms. Laura Wilson, the financial operations manager, and Ms. Diane Whitten, who is the receptionist. Working together, these three operate a system that ensures the most efficient work environment.

Each member of the front office was born and raised in Southern California, and, as of now, have no intentions of leaving. Ms. Wilson and Ms. Hocanson hold a record of service at Bosco longer than most faculty members, as Ms. Wilson is in year 27 here, while Ms. Hocanson has 23 years. Though Ms. Whitten just began a month ago, she already creates an impact on the Bosco community and the front office.

Ms. Wilson and Ms. Hocanson both were put in touch with St. John Bosco through a contacting agency which is where they found out about the job opening. For Ms. Whitten however, she was able to find out and acquire the job through friends in the Bosco community.

Though the three have been working here for vastly different amounts of time, it is obvious that during their time here, they have enjoyed their work.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

“I feel that it is obvious that we have enjoyed working here from our longevity alone. Though, my favorite part about working here is seeing the diversity in the students,” said Ms. Wilson.

Though Ms. Whitten has only been working at St. John Bosco for one month, she already feels that she fits in, as she enjoys working alongside Ms. Wilson and Ms. Hocanson. 

“So far so good. I really like the atmosphere of the community, and the people are very nice,” said Ms. Whitten. 

Although the work of the front office has been going on for quite some time, the consistency of the day-to-day work has not. 

“I walk in with an agenda, and it doesn’t get done. Though I get a lot of other things done, most of what I do at this job is help other people,” said Ms. Hocanson.

The work life may not be consistent, but the quality of work has been as the three have been so instrumental in helping Bosco stay efficient in all aspects of the school. All three have an important role to play, and they all work together in unison to get the job done.

Though they are able to work together to produce amazing work, the job is not always easy as there are many complications throughout each day.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

“The hardest part about the job is probably trying to stay on task with the job duties. There are a lot of interruptions, as we serve the population not only inside the school but those outside,” said Ms. Wilson.

The front office takes care of the needs of everyone inside the Bosco community. They take care of all of the Bosco employees, the students, the students’ families, the vendors and others. Everyone who works with St. John Bosco will go through the front office.

Like many, the COVID-19 pandemic had a very significant impact on the front office and the daily operations that take place.

“The job has become digitalized and much more of our work takes place online than before,” said Ms. Hocanson.

“As a result of the digitalization, our job has become much more overwhelming. Now that there is contact by phone and email 24/7, there is a lot more happening all at once,” said Ms. Wilson.

Through all adversity, it is no doubt that the front office will not only be able to get the work done, but also have it be of the highest quality. Without the front office, much of what the students and community love at St. John Bosco wouldn’t be possible. 

When passing by the front office, make sure to show them support as they are some of the hardest workers on campus and yet do not get nearly enough recognition.

Sports: Baseball is Back!

by Aeden Alexander

After the Major League Baseball Lockout has ended the season is right underway as both local Los Angeles teams the Angels and Dodgers look to make a run for it all this year.

Expectations are high in Southern California after an amazing offseason from both local clubs. The two teams went with different routes that would fit what they were looking for and both have improved significantly heading into the season.

The Dodgers are the 2022 favorites to win the World Series and that’s not by coincidence. Not only did the Dodgers manage to bring back many of their core players but as well brought on some new guys.

The biggest move however for them would be the addition of 2021 World Series MVP Freddy Freeman. Freeman was the first baseman for the Braves and will continue to hold down his position in Los Angeles.

The Dodgers as well managed to trade outfielder A.J. Pollock for all-star closer Craig Kimbrel. Also re-signing Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw to a short deal to finish off his career.

Although they brought in high-level players, the Dodgers did indeed lose people as well. Previous World Series MVP and starting shortstop, Corey Seager, decided to sign with the Texas Rangers as they offered him a 12-year, 325 million dollar contract which will include over 140 million just in the first four years.

Across the city in Anaheim, the Angels made many moves this offseason that improved their roster dramatically. 

The Angels look to make their first playoff appearance since 2014 when they got swept by the Kansas City Royals which would be what this generation considers their Babe Ruth in Mike Trout to be his only playoff games.

Despite the key injuries in the previous season regarding Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon, the Angels have one of the best offenses in the league led by the two-headed monster in Mike Trout and reigning unanimous MVP, Shohei Ohtani.

The three all-star players only played in 32 games last season which would be a dumpster fire for the Angels struggling to find a rhythm and consistency.

The main problem that the Angels have had in the previous years is their pitching and committing to go get the top guys. This year that changed for Anaheim.

Not only did the Angels focus on signing free-agent pitchers this year, but they also used every pick in last year’s draft (20) on pitchers. This made headlines and other teams know the Angels are in to win now.

The first priority for the Angels was re-signing all-star closer, Raisel Iglesias. They would quickly complete this deal giving him four years worth 58 million dollars. This would be key for the Angels as he was their most reliable arm last year having a 2.57 ERA (earned run average).

After this the Angels would continue signing more pitchers, landing lefty reliever Aaron Loup from the New York Mets who had an astonishing .80 ERA in 2021. With Loup, the Halos also signed Michael Lorenzen and Ryan Tapera.

Another key signing for the Angels pitching staff would be starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard. Syndergaard is coming off Tommy-John surgery and is looking to return to his dominant self. With the Mets, Syndergaard had a career 3.3 ERA.

Not surprisingly this amazing offseason for the Dodgers had led them to the number one spot on many fans and analytics pre-season predictions. The Dodgers were rated +450 to win it all this year.

Despite the struggling spring for the Dodgers, they still will look to their big contract guys to carry them through the year. With Trea Turner in his main position as a shortstop and Cody Bellinger back in center full time, they are bound to make something happen.

They opened their season up in Colorado against division rival, the Colorado Rockies. In a three-game series that should have been a cakewalk for LA, the Rockies managed to stun the Dodgers taking two of the three.

Many believe that the Dodgers are elite on both sides of the ball, but just like in their spring training this was not the case this past weekend. The Dodgers would begin the series winning 5-3 with ace Walker Buehler on the mound. The next two struggled to get the offense going while the pitching gave up ten runs in two games while only scoring three.

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Bosco’s Director of Football Operations Mrs. Jessie Christensen

by Sione Hala

Bosco’s own Jessie Christensen is an absolute necessity for the football program’s success. She works hard every day on a variety of tasks to ensure the team is prepared on and off the field.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Graduating from St. Joseph High School, Mrs. Christensen started off her career professionally in the NFL and the NBA, working many years in in-game entertainment that included ten years with the Los Angeles Clippers. There, she learned everything about game day productions and ticket sales to the type of music to play to pump up a crowd.

“For the game itself, I have to prepare a manifesto of sorts, with all the elements like: Is this good music? Is it cheerleaders? Is it the video board? It’s all stuff I learned when I was working for the NFL,” said Mrs. Christensen.

Head Football Coach Jason Negro is extremely thankful to have her on board. She does everything no one wants to do, and Coach Negro and the rest of the coaching staff at Bosco all know that she is a necessity.

“She started in our program back in 2013. Her presence alone elevated us to a level to become a national brand. The experience that she brought and her commitment to excellence are two things that really elevated the entire profile of our program,” said Coach Negro.

When she arrived at Bosco, she immediately got started molding Bosco Football into a household name. Bosco’s exhilarating Friday night lights are as bright as they are due to the vision and efforts of Mrs. Christensen.  

She balances ESPN producers and their satellite trucks every game day. She deals with over 50 volunteers every Friday for all the merchandise and security. And she gets all the music and entertainment ready for every game.

“In 2013, Coach Negro called me and created my position because this program was getting bigger. And they developed this position to help manage the program because everything was going great on the football field, but they needed to organize all the other pieces, and he couldn’t do all of it,” said Mrs. Christensen. 

In addition to game day and daily program operations, she organizes all the team’s out of state trips and the team meals every Friday. Mrs. Christensen has also been known to tutor in Spanish to players who were struggling.

The experience she brings to the table has only helped elevate the Bosco Football program, from supporting the head coach and players as well as other assistant coaches and program staff. 

“Jessie is the glue that holds Bosco football together. You don’t see it holding the foundation together, but it’s definitely there. She arranges how we travel, the equipment we use, all the team meals, everything we need to do to perform on a Friday night except on the football field,” said assistant coach Kyle Trudell.

Life of a Brave: Learn More About Civil Rights Activist Cesar Chavez

by Dominic Ramirez

A week ago today, the Bosco community celebrated Cesar Chavez Day, which is a national holiday in celebration of the civil rights work Chavez accomplished in his life. Chavez was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, whose message still resonates today.

Chavez was born on March 31, 1927, in Yuma Arizona, into a family of farm workers. Like many farmworkers at the time, the Chavez family lost their property to the great depression, and because of this, they moved to California in search of work.

After he finished eighth grade Cesar dropped out of school to help support his family as a migrant worker, he would go on to be a migrant worker into his early adult life.

However, by 1944, Cesar wasn’t just a migrant worker anymore, he had started a civil rights group called the National Farm Workers Association, which is now known as the United Farm Workers of America (UFWA).

The UFWA was officially formed in 1962. It started as a small grassroots organization but soon would soon spread across the US

Cesar Chavez envisioned the UFWA as doing more for workers than giving them better hours, raising wages and better working conditions; he also helped provide better living conditions and spoke out against racism.

With the help of the UWFA, Cesar organized the “Delano Grape Strike”. On September 8, 1965, thousands of workers stopped working in vineyards in Delano out of protest. the strike went on for five years until a collective bargaining agreement was reached with a major vineyard that benefited 10,000+ workers 

Cesar was a firm believer in a nonviolent ideology. He was inspired by another famous civil rights leader, Mahatma Gandhi. Through Cesars nonviolent marches, boycotts and rallies he was able to grab national attention and impact real change.

“I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally non-violent struggle for justice,” said Cesar during a speech in 1968.

Cesar would later go on to plan and attend many other protests and projects. His civil rights work extended past migrant workers, he also protested issues such as the Vietnam war, gay rights and issues of race.

Cesar Chavez died in his sleep on April 23, 1993. 21 years after his death, president
Barack Obama declared March 31 Cesar Chavez Day, making it a U.S. federal commemorative holiday.

While Cesar Chavez Day is celebrated throughout America, only schools in California get the day off, which is good news for students at St John Bosco.

While people across America continue to struggle for fair treatment, the country can still find inspiration in Cesar Chavez’s message and in what he was able to accomplish in his life.

Around Bosco: Robotics Breaks Records in Return to Competition

by Matthew Parsons

After the disastrous era of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bosco’s robotics program started from the ground up to make a strong return to the field of competition.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

The robotics program at Bosco competes in the international program known as, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), also known as the FRC (FIRST Robotics Competition). 

This is the first year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that Bosco has been able to have a team compete in the robotics competition, meaning that the so-called veterans of the team who are the juniors still only had the experience of their freshman year under their belt. Although their team is extremely young and inexperienced in working together, they pulled through.

In the FRC, a challenge is set that teams internationally assemble a robot that fulfills the parameters of said challenge. This happens on the day known as Kickoff Day, where teams across the world tune in to a live stream that reveals the challenge. Kickoff Day signifies the beginning of the build season which lasts around 8-9 weeks.

The 2022 season’s challenge was called “Rapid React”, the goal of this challenge was to create a robot that can accomplish the tasks of intaking a ball, shooting a ball either into the upper hub and/or the lower hub and climbing up a series of 4 bars, stacked similarly as if it were monkey bars.

This year, Bosco competed in the Orange County Regional competition from March 10-12. In this tournament, they don’t compete as a team vs. team, instead, they are put into alliances during their matches and are pitted against other alliances that are randomly assigned. In matches, alliances receive “ranking points” if they do certain actions, these are held to higher importance than a match victory, as it affects the team standing more.

Unfortunately for Bosco, they had fairly poor luck when getting matched into their alliances and despite their strong and consistent performance, were ranked as the last seed of the whole tournament. However, after these seeding matches the top eight teams were gathered to select who they wanted in their alliance for their elimination rounds.

“The team from Mexico was right next to us and they came over. They started talking to us and said that they couldn’t figure out why our ranking was so low, and when they reviewed our matches and saw how they went, they saw we were consistent. But when the time came they went and skipped us. I was thinking ‘okay, we’re going home. How am I gonna explain this to my principal’,” said Mr. Wippler, the coordinator of the Robotics program.

However, Bosco’s luck turned around quickly and the third-ranked team selected them and they were given some time to meet and discuss their strategy and figure out how to work together. They played in the best of 3 matches and eventually made their way to the quarter-final matches, they won with 2 matches and advanced to the semi-finals, a tremendous achievement for the program.

“This year also happened to be record-breaking for our team, with it being the farthest our team has gone in team history,” said team Captain Loreto Albaran.

Unfortunately, Bosco wasn’t unable to advance past the semi-finals and was bested by only two points. For the team, it was a heart-wrenching defeat, but it fuels the team’s drive and determination for future success. 

“I’m more than happy with our team’s progress this year. Sure, we lost our semi-final match by two points, but hey, that’s the name of the game. We had a lot of obstacles to overcome this year, new mechanisms that we have not tinkered around with before, and through perseverance, every member prevailed. Because of this, I firmly believe this is why we were able to make it farther than any others that have come before us on this team,” said Loreto.

Despite their defeat in the semi-finals, Bosco performed greatly as a team and worked together like a well-oiled machine. 

“I was really amazed at how quick they were like a NASCAR pit group. Sometimes they were really working amazing,” said Mr. Wippler.

Next year they hope to push even further than they did this year, it serves as an example to the whole program of their potential and each and every member of the team wants to improve their work.

“We kind of had some bumps this year because of the setbacks from COVID, but this year we’ve flattened those out and we have a very promising team for next year. We hope to get an award next year at our competitions,” said freshman Diego Salcedo.