Monthly Archives: September 2022

Life of a Brave: Alder Meets The Braves 

by: William Reynolds and Ed Crowe

During Fall orientation for the 2022-2023 school year, the St. John Bosco High School senior class had a once in a lifetime opportunity to speak with members of Alder, an organization featuring a diverse collection of motivational speakers from various professional fields.

Photo by St. John Bosco High School Instagram

Principal Dr. Kris Anderson got the idea to collaborate with Alder when he met with Bosco parent, Mr. Kyle Cox. As a member of Alder, Mr. Cox possesses connections with dozens of successful entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers and professional athletes who were willing to come and share their stories with the senior class.

Their stories were shared in the course of a panel discussion. The main focus of the discussion was the three principles of self, family and community. Alder believes that in order to help your family, you must first fix yourself, and in order to help your community, you must first fix your family. You cannot go to the next step without completing the previous step. If the steps are not followed in order, the goal will be harder to obtain.

“I felt proud to see our senior class, the leaders of our school, were engaged, asking great questions and giving thorough responses. I am just proud of the seniors that rose to the occasion,” said Dr. Anderson.

With every guest speaker came a story of perseverance. Their main focus was on how hard work and dedication can take someone a long way and how the choices they made impacted where they are today.

Mr. Cox, one of the most impactful speakers that led the event, unveiled his treacherous journey. When he was younger, he struggled to mature. To help him shape up, he enlisted in the Navy to attain leadership, discipline and hard work. After six years as a satellite technician, he was honorably discharged and began to set foot on a career of marketing strategy as well as marketing development. He then created his business TCG, a men footwear and lifestyle brand who are making a Bosco exclusive shoe for the school.

However, Cox was not the only one of Alder presenters who displayed perseverance.

Nancy Gale was one of the more inspirational speakers from the symposium. She told her story about how she made a living from being an entrepreneur in the world of fashion design. But she also went through a despairing time in her life following the murder of her mother in a home invasion. In the end, she used this tragedy and made something good out of it. She decided to start an organization called Ambition in memorial of her mother, which is a nonprofit organization that helps young entrepreneurs achieve their goals.

Another prominent speaker was Ryan Hollins, who offered his experience of persistence as a child growing up in the projects. Hollins became an NBA journeyman who played for nine teams in his career. But at the beginning of his childhood, he grew up in the worst of the worst environments and brought himself up on his own, falling in love with basketball from a very early age. After ten seasons of professional ball, he decided to retire and pursue a career in broadcasting so that he can still stay close to the sport he knows and loves.

After the panel spoke, the seniors went into small groups and conversed more personally at a table with two representatives from Alder. Everyone spoke about their life experiences and answered some ice breaker questions. The leaders talked to the seniors about the vast number of opportunities they have available to them as young men.

“I thought that the whole experience was one I will never forget because I learned so much about all of the potential opportunities that await me within the next couple of years from my two Alder mentors,” said senior Paxton Allison.

Dr. Anderson has confirmed that Alder will be making another guest appearance to next year’s senior class. They plan on having smaller discussions that are more specifically tailored to our six academic pathways.

Life of a Brave: Alumnus Dr. Eric Lane Returns to Fill Big Shoes as Athletic Director

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Eric Lane, Class of 2003, returns as the successor to St. John Bosco High School legend Mr. Monty McDermott, with an overarching plan to, in his terms, “trust the process,” as he looks to continue and evolve the rich tradition of Brave athletics.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Dr. Lane is aiming to first and foremost develop Bosco’s student-athlete’s as holistic young men, emphasizing the importance of both academic and athletic life. Dr. Lane mentions that to develop a holistic man, certain parameters have to be met.

“Trust the process. We are extremely blessed here at St. John Bosco high school because we have developed a reputation of excellence. We didn’t get here by not being holistic,” Dr. Lane said. “We’ve done things the right way since this school’s creation in 1940. We have to continue to trust that process, and it’s our job to foster those young men and continue to implement the strategies we’ve learned.”

He believes that retaining that guiding principle will allow Bosco to continue its success in athletics, but also serve as the springboard for even greater success. Trusting that process, but reimagining it at the same time.

Dr. Lane attended Bosco from 1999-2003. During his time at Bosco, he served as team captain for the varsity basketball team, and his team won a CIF Championship in 2003.  Succeeding a prolific winner in Mr. McDermott, Dr. Lane is no stranger to success and winning at a high level.

Beyond Bosco, Dr. Lane would go on to play collegiate basketball at Boise State and professionally in the Europe for TG Renesas Landshut in Germany and BC Rakvere Tarvas in Estonia. Dr. Lane attributes his success in both athletics and education to his time at Bosco. 

“Bosco was really a turning point in my life. As an African American from South Central Los Angeles, coming to Bosco opened up so many different opportunities,” Dr. Lane said. “The four years I spent here were really transformative to my life and set the tone of how I went into adulthood. [Bosco] taught me how to translate my athletic skills into life skills.”

One of his contemporaries, Principal Dr. Kris Anderson, Class of 2004, spoke admirably of Dr. Lane and is excited to work with him.

“He has an infectious personality, he’s incredibly knowledgeable, and he was quickly able to articulate his vision. I think ultimately what he brings is a perspective that has a lot of crossover that brings value as a former athlete and, beyond that, a man of faith. With all of his experiences combining, it’s just exciting to have him back on campus,” said Dr. Anderson.

Dr. Lane notably represents the African American community, as the first black Director of Athletics at Bosco and being hired in a Trinity League that continues to diversify. Given that, Dr. Lane has a unique perspective regarding representation.

“As a person of color – as a black man – we are all aware of the racial inequities and societal issues that we have around race. I take a lot of pride to be the first black man in this position, but also that I can show all of our students and anyone else that you can elevate yourself to be in a position of leadership and inspire real change,” said Dr. Lane.

Dr. Lane is succeeding Mr. Monty McDermott, Bosco’s most successful and notable Athletic Director. Under McDermott’s tenure, St. John Bosco became an athletics program that consistently sits at the top of the Trinity League in multiple sports and holds two national, nine state and 18 CIF team championships.

“When I think of Monty, I was a student here when he was first hired, and he was always a great leader and supporter. I stayed in touch with him throughout my career as an athletic administrator,” said Dr. Lane. “I feel a sense of responsibility to not only carry on his legacy, but to do exactly what he would want to do and continue to elevate our standards of excellence and continue to build more opportunities for students and continue to build winning programs. I want us to change our departments to where we are running like a well-oiled machine, with the infrastructure and protocols and procedures to allow our coaches to be great.” 

Dr. Lane is beyond qualified in the field of athletic administration, serving as the Director of Development in Athletics at Cal Baptist University and Associate Director of Development in Athletics at California State University, Fullerton, and his high level degrees are a Bachelors in Communications from Boise State University, a Masters in Coaching from Concordia University and a Doctorate in Leadership and Education from California State University, Fresno.

Bosco President Dr. Brian Wickstrom, who has plenty of athletic administrative experience himself, gave an overwhelmingly positive view of the hiring of Dr. Lane.

“[Dr. Lane] is an outstanding individual who genuinely cares about the St. John Bosco student experience, understands St. John Bosco and its culture since he is a graduate, and has a very deep understanding of athletics from his years of experience in athletics,” Dr. Wickstrom said. “[He is] a very caring person, who genuinely cares about the future of St. John Bosco and St. John Bosco Athletics, cares about preparing students for successful post-high school careers in academics and athletics.”

Dr. Wickstrom mentions Dr. Lane’s eyes for the future successes of student-athletes beyond their time at Bosco, on which Dr. Lane placed a unique emphasis. 

“Alumni need to show that they are walking proof of St. John Bosco’s mission, and I want to highlight the importance of getting people back on campus to do that,” said Dr. Lane. “Come back home!”

There is no doubt that Dr. Lane holds a great regard for the values of Salesianity, the keystone of Bosco’s culture. A major part of his plan for Bosco Athletics is derivative of that need for Salesianity.

“[St. John Bosco High School] needs to continue to carry out those things that Don Bosco had wanted us to carry out. One thing I talk a lot about with my coaches is the importance of developing good young men, and from my experience that is rooted in part in Salesianity.”

Dr. Lane encompasses all of what Don Bosco intended and more, and his return to Bosco marks a continuation of that legacy.

Sports: Bosco Football On The Road Again To Face Oregon Powerhouse Central Catholic

By Christian Angel, Managing Editor

After defeating the Allen Eagles and the Bishop Amat Lancers the last two weeks, the St. John Bosco Braves travel out of state again to continue their national championship quest against the Central Catholic High School Rams at Oregon University’s Autzen Stadium, one of the most notable college football venues in the country.

Head Coach Jason Negro and Bosco Football took the show on the road once again Thursday morning to begin preparation to face Central Catholic, who are ranked number one in the state of Oregon by MaxPreps and won the Class 6A State Championship in 2021.

Bosco looks to earn another show-stopping, out-of-state win against the Beaver State’s best.

Bosco comes into Eugene, Ore. continuing their reign as MaxPreps number one high school football team in the nation after the going 2-0 in the past two weeks, defeating Allen 52-14 in week one and crushing Bishop Amat 42-7 last Friday night.

On top of their recent win, they continue to focus on their holistic approach to their success, emphasizing the necessary contributions of their offense, defense and special teams. Offensively, against the Lancers the Braves were led by quarterback Pierce Clarkson, who produced 158 yards in the air and one passing touchdowns while rushing for 37 yards on two carries with one rushing touchdown.

Bosco’s offense also received some major help from running back Cameron Jones, who rushed eleven times for a total of 164 yards and two touchdowns, and wide receiver Eric Denham, who received two catches for 97 yards and one touchdown.

And the defense has been equally as impressive for the Braves.

“Our main focus is playing fast and aggressive defensively and to create turnovers,” said All-American, four-star safety Peyton Woodyard. “Turnovers allow our offense to get the ball.”

Bosco’s defensive performance serves as a testament to Woodyard’s statement, as against the Bishop Amat Lancers, they produced a turnover, four tackles for loss, a sack and totaled 68 tackles in a brutalizing effort against the Lancers.

As Bosco Football heads to Oregon, their whole production team, including players, coaches, equipment team and staff, shifts their operations to being away from their home base and adjusting to the vast confines of Autzen Stadium. With the upcoming travel, all coaches and staff work together in order to make sure game night turns into a victory. 

St. John Bosco Football Equipment Manager Mr. Burrel Lee, III makes sure all equipment and technology are ready for game day with his managerial staff, exhausting every effort to do so.

“Going into this game, it’s like the Allen game, with thick glass windows in the coach’s press box, so I had to find a way to make sure there are no connection issues. This isn’t your normal high school field, so I just think of different ways to adjust on the fly,” Mr. Lee said.

Like the athletes on the field, much of Bosco’s success behind the scenes is due to their expertise in adjusting and creating success out of those adjustments.

And no matter the 900 mile distance to travel to Eugene Oregon, Brave Nation still comes together to show support for their team.

Mrs. Adrienne Large, parent of junior offensive lineman, King Large, is no exception. Mrs. Large and her family have not missed any of their son’s games in his time at Bosco and are eager to see their son compete in one of the premier college stadiums in America. 

“The feeling is like none-other. It is a first-class experience to support our St. John Bosco Football team, especially King,” said Mrs. Large. “King along with his teammates and [the coaching staff] have done a phenomenal job each and every day to rise to the occasion of being the best high school football team in this world, and there is no greater pleasure than to be a part of this real family.” 

The game tonight starts 7pm PST. Bosco fans who aren’t traveling to Autzen Stadium can attend a watch party starting at 6:30pm in the Mary Help of Christians Quad for tacos, football and fun.

Around Bosco: Bosco To Require Financial Literacy Course As Prerequisite To Graduate

By Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

The Entrepreneurship Pathway opens its doors to the student body, offering the entire campus the opportunity to learn financial literacy. 

Photo by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

Although the Financial Literacy course has already been around since 2018, the course was exclusive to the Entrepreneurship Pathway seniors by coordinators Mr. Bryce Weiglin and Mr. Shane Beatty. In collaboration with President Dr. Wickstrom, Mr. Weiglin felt that it was necessary that all students be able to graduate with financial literacy.

“Financial literacy at SJB teaches students the basics of money management: budgeting, saving, debt, investing, giving and more,” said Mr. Weiglin. “That knowledge lays a foundation for students to build strong money habits early on and avoid many of the mistakes that lead to lifelong money struggles.”

This course will be offered in-person and virtually in partnership with SJB Global. SJB Global is Bosco’s new online schooling platform that may potentially have students enrolling across the world. This is a major change in Salesian education, extending the boundaries and wisdom St. John Bosco has to offer.

“It’s important to empower the next generation and teach them to handle their money wisely. We want our kids, and honestly all students to beat the statistics. This course will be offered online for non-SJB students as well, to allow for a much greater reach,” said Mr. Weiglin.

The Entrepreneurship Pathway was founded in 2015 in partnership with the prestigious Wharton School of Business. The pathway offers a wide variety of classes including Small Business Management, Advertising & Promotion and Social Entrepreneurship. The most notable course is, in fact, Financial Literacy taught senior year. This became particularly prevalent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when the course was opened up to the entire senior class regardless of enrollment in the Entrepreneurship Pathway.

The next few year’s success would help the administration determine that it would be in their best interest to further open the course to all grade levels this school year. To cap off this announcement, it was decided that the class of 2027 would be the first graduating class to require Financial Literacy to graduate. 

With the school year in full swing, students are ready to see what the class has in store for them.

“I am really excited to see what we will learn this year. We are going to learn from real world experiences. Just today we were learning how to write checks and balance budgets on Google Sheets. These are all essential skills we need in adulthood,” senior and Entrepreneurship Pathway member Carter Daley said.

Overall, there is more to the class than making money. The intangibles emphasized in the course are unmatched.

“Personal finance is 20% knowledge and 80% behavior,” Mr. Weiglin said. “Throughout the course, I remind students of what I find to be the most important take-away, ‘Live within your means.’  So while it’s important that a financial literacy course teaches money lessons, it’s more important to give students an actionable plan to manage their personal finances.”

Sports: Bosco Football Silences Bishop Amat’s Kiefer Stadium Crowd

By Michael Barba

St. John Bosco Football gave the Bishop Amat Lancer’s raucous crowd little to cheer about with a casual 42-7 win, as they look ahead to tomorrow night’s game against Central Catholic High School in the Beaver State of Oregon at Autzen Stadium.

Video by CLA Sports

Last Friday, Bosco Football was able to retain their title as the number one ranked high school football team in the entire country. The anticipation for this game had thousands of people in attendance at Amat’s classic Kiefer Stadium to support these storied high school programs despite the 90 degree nighttime weather. 

The Braves didn’t waste any time jumping on the Lancers. Within the first seven minutes of the game, junior running back Cameron Jones scored a touchdown. With four minutes left in the first quarter, senior quarterback Pierce Clarkson completed a 90-yard pass touchdown to senior running back and wide receiver Eric Denham. The Braves added another touchdown to their first quarter total with about a minute left, as Jones was able to secure his touchdown of the night.

After going up 21-0 in the first, the Braves didn’t look back.

Heading into the second quarter, the ball started off on Bosco’s 35-yard line. In the first three minutes of the second quarter, junior running back Chauncey Sylvester completed a 63-yard rushing touchdown taking the Braves further down the path of dominance. The Braves added another touchdown at the end of the half and headed into halftime with a commanding 35-0 lead.

The Lancer’s started with the ball in the second half, but Bosco wasted no time getting it back. Junior defensive back Peyton Woodyard was able to cause an interception, getting the ball to Bosco’s side once again. With less than 60 seconds left in the third quarter, the Braves were able to pull off another touchdown to end off at 42-0.

In the last quarter, the Braves eased up, winning 42-7 against the seventh best team in California. The Braves six touchdown came off a total of 470 yards, while the defense had 68 tackles and Woodyard’s interception.

The Bosco Football hopes to continue their current streak of dominance against the Central Catholic Rams, Friday night at 7pm at Autzen Stadium in Oregon. A watch party will be hosted starting at 6:30pm for Brave fans in the Mary Help of Christians Quad.

Around Bosco: The Braves Welcome Back A Familiar Face To Spearhead New Lunch Program

by Marco Castro

St. John Bosco High School’s new lunch service has created positive buzz around campus, catering to all students, faculty and staff with fresh and delicious food.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Bosco has had its fair share of struggles with keeping a lunch program, with this program being its fourth lunch program in four years. Otto Rafael Penarredonda, CEO of Alumni Solutions and member of the Bosco Class of 1974, has come to end those problems, implementing a new lunch program made to last. When Bosco reached out to Mr. Penarredonda, he was hesitant at first but after much prayer and consideration, he decided he was going to help.

“If any school other than St. John Bosco asked, I would’ve said no,” said Mr. Penarredonda.

Being an alumnus of the school, he understood the problems Bosco was facing and felt he owed the community.

“St. John Bosco gave me a foundation that led me into my early 20s to become an entrepreneur.”

Bosco’s Principal, Dr. Kris Anderson, played an instrumental role in bringing Alumni Solutions to the Bosco Campus. After hearing the many complaints about the last food service, he knew it was time to look for a permanent solution to this problem.

“We were listening to the parents,” Dr. Anderson said.

Their voices were heard, and Alumni Solutions was brought to the Bosco campus. As many students have noticed, Alumni Solutions is not a typical food service. One major difference is the cashless system, which raised the eyebrows of many students on campus.

While it may seem tedious to exchange your cash for a ticket at the ASB Student Store, the cashless system actually expedites the lines, solving a problem faced by other food services. Instead of having students waste their lunch waiting to get their food, Alumni Solutions is focused on getting students their food as quickly as possible.

In addition to a cashless system, the money made by Alumni Solutions is split three ways.

“We are not profit driven,” said Mr. Penarredonda.

The majority of the money made goes back to St. John Bosco. Another piece goes to Alumni Solutions to maintain their business. The last piece of revenue goes to Mr. Penarredonda’s orphanage in Colombia, Colombia De Mi Corazón.

In addition to supporting a good cause, the SJB Canteen also has a good product, as well as an easily changeable menu. Just last week, fruit bowls were added to the menu due to students asking for a fresh fruit option on the menu.

Alumni Solutions is here for the students, and has already had better reception from students and faculty than past lunch services.

“The sandwiches are the best,” said senior R.J. Casas. While Freshman Shane Jimenez preferred the pepperoni pizza sticks.

Even Dr. Anderson enjoyed a wrap and a fruit bowl during his interview with The Brave News.

Alumni Solutions is made to last many years on the St. John Bosco campus, and it has had an amazing start so far. Faculty and students alike enjoy the food as well as the efficiency of the lines. Alumni Solutions serves food with a purpose, not only for the students here on campus, but for many less fortunate children in Colombia.

Click here if you would like to donate to Colombia De Mi Corazon.

Sports: Bosco Football Brings the Thunder to Allen, Texas, Faces Bishop Amat Tonight on the Road

By: Isaac Mays, Sports Editor

After a beat down of the Allen Eagles last Friday, tonight the Bosco Braves return to Southern California to continue their reign as the number one high school football team in America.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Bosco Football comes back to their home state to face off against the ninth strongest football team in California, the Bishop Amat Lancers. The Lancers hold a 2-0 record, with dominant wins against Valencia (29-6) and La Habra (42-7) under their belt this season.

Saint John Bosco is coming off a 52-14 blowout victory against Allen High School in Texas on a significant stage. The game against the Lancers has players and coaches alike fired up to return to California and prove how strong the Bosco Football team currently is.

This return continues Bosco’s journey to take the National Title for the 2022 year. There is a major factor of not having to play a game halfway across the country, the players no longer have to stay away at hotels and not be able to access the same comforts typical to preparation.

On top of that, the offensive attack of the Braves plans to return to its pass heavy roots after shifting their focus for the offensive game plan in Texas, where the rules forced more reliance on the run game. Under Texas rules, a typically illicit rule known as “chop blocking” is allowed. Now, the Braves look ahead to a dynamic Lancer offense.

“They’re going to be firing on all cylinders in terms of their execution, so it’s just a matter of us matching that intensity and matching that execution,” said Wide Receiver Coach Nate Munson. “I think we’ll do just fine”

The Braves are running off a clear confidence boost after a motivating victory against the Allen Eagles. Nonetheless, the players are aware of the need to stay level-headed and bring the heat to Amat. The Brave offense certainly racked up the points last week, but defensively they also have made sure to keep up their A-game after holding Allen to only 152 yards of total offense.

“I think we’re going to run up the score even more than we did in Allen,” said Mark Lutke, senior center.

Brave fans can catch the action on the campus of Bishop Amat High School at the Keifer Stadium. Kick off is at 7:00pm.

Around Bosco: New Marine Biology Course Added to Curriculum

By. Robert Visty III

St. John Bosco High School added a new course to its semester one curriculum: Marine Biology. Spearheaded by Bosco alumnus and environmental science teacher Mr. Ruben Solorza, the class aims to expand on the unit of marine biology previously taught within Environmental Science. 

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

“Last year in Environmental Science, I told Mr. Solorza that I liked marine biology, and he told me, ‘Let us create a class,’ and so now here we are,” said marine biology student and senior Myles Vaughn.

Student enthusiasm is abundant in the Marine Biology classroom. Many students in this year’s course were in the previous Environmental Science class, and because of this previous experience, they are quite passionate about the new course and its subject matter.

“A lot of students were excited about the marine biology unit in last year’s Environmental Science class,” said Mr. Solorza. “There was a lot of student support, so I’m glad we did it,” said Mr. Solorza

This year, Mr. Solorza plans on doing multiple extracurricular activities with the Marine Biology class, including dissecting squid and a trip down to the tide pools at Palos Verdes. In addition, Mr. Solorza intends on expanding the curriculum in the following years, hoping to add more immersive activities for students to participate in.

“I’d like to make the course more hands-on as each year goes,” Mr. Solorza said. “More lab activities going out to the actual ocean, the beach, visiting the aquariums, as much outside time as we can get. Getting our hands dirty in the classroom would be great for learning.”

Most of all, Mr. Solorza wants his students to learn to appreciate the ocean and the role it plays in our lives. 

“My big takeaway for this class is understanding that [the ocean] impacts our life in such a big way that I think it’s important to realize the role we have with the ocean and how it affects our lives as well,” said Mr. Solorza 

“When you care about something, you’re more likely to do something about it”

The Marine Biology class isn’t only about fish anatomy. It intends to reinforce to the environmental science course from which it grew. Mr. Solorza seeks to drive home the message of conservation and environmentalism, which he finds so important to instill in today’s youth.

“We live in a time where our world is experiencing many different new patterns in terms of climate change, and I think there’s a disconnect that people don’t realize what role the ocean plays in that,” Mr. Solorza said. “We love going to the beach. We love the animals that live there, and to protect them and keep the system running, we need to care for our ocean and protect it.”

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