Monthly Archives: December 2022

Life Of A Brave: Unsung Hero, Director Of Basketball Operations and Football Equipment Manager Coach Burrel Lee

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

St. John Bosco’s Burrel Lee plays a vital role in the basketball and football programs. He works tirelessly to ensure the CIF State Champion football team is prepared with all their equipment and the basketball program runs smoothly.

Photo by Megan Nash, Director of Digital Marketing & Social Media

Coach Burrel is a well-known face within the Brave community. Whether it is as a substitute teacher, a proctor for an exam, Bosco Football’s Equipment Manager or Bosco Basketball’s Director of Operations, Burrel Lee has done it all.

Born in Compton, California, Coach Burrel graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1993. He started off his career in the WNBA, working many years with the LA Sparks.

More recently, Coach Burrel was the Head Coach of St. Joseph’s High School Basketball, and currently is the CEO and Director of SoCal Buzz, a youth basketball team he created in 2010. There, he learned everything about game day organizational skills and basketball skills.

“In 2016 when Coach Matt Dunn called me to work with Bosco Basketball, without hesitation I said yes. And that is where I came in to help manage the program and organize all the pieces needed in order to make sure this program can continue to succeed,” said Coach Burrel.

Head Coach Matt Dunn is extremely thankful to have Coach Burrel on his team, as he goes above and beyond to make sure the basketball program is consistently one of the best in the state.

“I think every program needs somebody who is willing to do all the little things. You need that on your team. You also need that on your coaching staff, and it’s incredible the different things Burrel does and has done over the last few years,” said Coach Dunn.

He manages basketball game day operations, including team meals and travel. In addition, he manages many volunteers every game who help work security and admittance. He even prepares the entertainment for every game, and and when the game tips off, you can catch him courtside as the team’s PA announcer.

“As I help coach to set the gym up for the games, including freshman, junior varsity and varsity games, there are so many factors that fall in to achieve. From dealing with referees to picking out the different types of music to play to game day announcements to even making sure all the players, coaches and staff are well-equipped,” Coach Burrel said.

Coach Burrel is also essential to Bosco Football as Head Equipment Manager. He is one of the pillars of the program, making sure all equipment and technology are ready for game day. Coach Burrel has helped Bosco Football since 2013, and his work often goes unnoticed, as he works hard every Friday night with his equipment staff in order to make sure the team is prepared with live in-game footage on the sidelines as well as with coaches’ headsets and communications. 

He evens finds time in the Spring to serve as Bosco Baseball’s Bench Coach and Social Media Manager

Coach Burrel lives Don Bosco’s mission of being an educator with reason, understanding, affection and, most of all, humor, supporting and inspiring many each day to achieve their dreams. 

Around Bosco: Annual Mother & Son Breakfast Brings Christmas Joy To Bosco Community

by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

This past Sunday, Braves and their maternal figures celebrated Bosco’s annual Mother and Son Breakfast.

As the holidays are in full swing, members of the Bosco community are not shy about welcoming the Christmas cheer. To kick off the month, the Parent Association hosted their annual Mother and Son Breakfast. The event took place at Quiet Cannon in Montebello, as it invited all Bosco students to attend a morning mass, enjoy breakfast and hear from a guest speaker. Students were accompanied by mothers, aunts and grandmothers who have impacted their lives the most. Faculty were in attendance, too, as Principal Dr. Kris Anderson and President Dr. Brian Wickstrom were in attendance with their families.

Mass began at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning. Father Ted led mass while being accompanied by a choir and band consisting of Bosco students. Fr. Ted would dedicate his Homily to the mothers in attendance, as he recollected a story about a man who donated holiday goods to a Canadian family years ago.

“Fr. Ted had a very moving Homily. It resonated deeply with me since the story took place in Alberta, Canada and my in-laws are from there,” said Mrs. Janine Mays, mother of senior Isaac Mays. “It is brutally cold in the winter time, and I can only imagine how that single mother must have felt when the man showed up with food and toys. That was a miracle on its own, and when the child asked, ‘Is that Jesus?’ That gave me chills. ‘Yes, my child, he is our Jesus.’ Jesus lives in all of us all time, not just at Christmas.”

The Homily came with perfect timing, catering to all of the mothers that sacrifice for their children along with a sense of hope during Christmas time.

Following the Mass, a catered breakfast was open to guests. While breakfast was being served, there were raffles, silent auctions and vendors. Raffles included gift baskets from notable sports teams on campus including Football, Baseball, Basketball and Esports.

“I really enjoyed the raffles. There were plenty of options to choose from,” said senior Tyler Baligad. “I actually won a basket full of baseball gear. I am excited to wear them to school.”

The silent auction was also a big hit. The most notable prizes were tickets to a Clippers game against the Bucks and a pair of signed gloves from Oscar De La Hoya. Respectively, both winners belonged to seniors Anthony Rodriguez and Mauro Meraz.

The vendors lined the back of the event center and sold a wide variety of goods that served as perfect Christmas presents for the holiday season. This included bracelets, necklaces and St. John Bosco novelties. 

The event concluded with guest speaker and alumni, Dr. Fidencio Saldaña, Class of ‘91. After Dr. Saldaña graduated from St. John Bosco, he would go on to study at Stanford University. He is currently a Dean of Students at Harvard Medical School. 

“I really enjoyed his keynote speech. He emphasized passion, family and building an image for yourself,” said Ryan Gutierrez ‘23. “I had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Saldaña, and he said he was willing to help me build connections with his colleagues in the east coast.”

Overall, there was plenty to see and do at the Mother and Son Breakfast. Whether it was sharing mass with their mothers, grandmothers and aunts, having breakfast or shopping for Christmas presents, the Mother and Son Breakfast once again showed the importance of the Brave women in students’ lives.

Sports: The Running Braves Raced To State As The Cross Country Team Concluded Another Great Season

by Isaac Mays, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco High School’s Cross Country team just completed another successful season, placing fourth in the Division Four CIF State Finals on November 29th. 

Led by Head Coach and alumnus Tim McIntosh ‘79, the coaching staff is proud as the Braves ran their very hardest this year. Coach McIntosh proudly holds 17 consecutive Trinity League Championship titles. The Braves are already excited as they look ahead to next season, as many of the younger members of the varsity team performed exceptionally well during the back half of the season.

A lot of the credit for the great season can given to the coaching staff. The runners reported that not only would Coach McIntosh assist them in all typical duties associated with his position, but he also went above and beyond with time predictions for each individual runner. This process is called “doping-out.” The athletes even stated that his precision was uncannily accurate.

“[Coach McIntosh] is one of the few coaches that will dope-out races for us, and that really helped us,” said senior Harold Munoz. “He predicts this based off previous times and is always right on the dot.”

Assistant Coach Ruben Solorza, an alumnus of the Class of ’13, also dedicated his time by running alongside the boys throughout many of the harder team exercises, which the boys said had a major boost on team morale.

Bosco’s star runner this year was junior Aiden Aldana, as he played a pivotal role on the team throughout their season. Other notable runners on the squad were seniors Harold Munoz and Isaac Becerra. Through their seniority, they both respectably served as dependable runners and leaders for the team. All three of these runners saw improvement in their personal records and overall performance throughout the season. This only helped rack up more points for the cross country team by the end of the season.

“There has to be a lot of practice and a lot of time put into getting faster,” Isaac Becerra said.

The team persevered through many challenges as illness plagued them, particularly during their CIF State Championship. The team reported that they were feeling generally under the weather and that their performance could have surpassed their fourth place finish if the situation was different.

The Running Braves hope to use this motivation for their season next year. Junior Aiden Aladna will have had another year to grow and fully leave his mark on the team as senior next fall. Many of the Braves will continue running during the track and field season, and the team is currently valuing their offseason while making the necessary preparations to perform to the best of their abilities during the Spring season. 

“Next year I’m going to go for all the records here,” Aiden said.

Around Bosco: The Brothers Of Bosco Are The Newest Service Club On Campus

by Marco Castro

The Brothers of Bosco strive to make an impact on the communities of Baja California, Mexico. With the help of Co-Presidents Tyler Baligad and Christopher Facio, the club hopes to continue to unite the Brave community through service.

As St. John Bosco Braves, students are called to be men of service, and one new club has certainly answered that call. The Brothers of Bosco, founded by seniors Brett and Tyler Baligad, is a new service club on campus that donates money and supplies to the communities of Ensenada, Mexico. 

“We started the club earlier this year because my brother Brett and I saw an opportunity to give back to our grandparents’ church,” said Tyler. “During Covid-19, our grandparents retired in Ensenada, Mexico. Working with their pastor, Fr. Rodolfo, we saw an opportunity to do good.”

After recognizing the chance to help, Brett and Tyler reached out to their friends in the Bosco community for assistance in providing to these people. One person who answered the call to help is the club’s other Co-President, senior Christopher Facio.

“When Brett and Tyler brought up the idea, I was really excited and honored that they wanted me to be part of the moment,” said Christopher.

After assembling a group of students to lead the club, they needed a teacher moderator to officially become a club on campus. Luckily for them, science teacher Mr. Ruben Solorza, Class of ’13, was more than willing to help.

“After I heard how it got started and saw their personal connection with it, I was on board to help them get it going,” Mr. Solorza said.

While the Brothers of Bosco is a brand new club, they have already raised over $1,000 worth of supplies for the community of Ensenada, and are currently hosting a drive collecting warm clothes for the elderly.

“We raised $500 in our first project, $300 at the Dia de Los Muertos celebration, and $300 at the Culture Fair. One hundred percent of our donations have gone back into buying donatable goods for the communities of Ensenada,” said Tyler.

After completing each drive, a few members of the club drive down to Iglesia María Auxiliadora in Ensenada. From there, the clothes and other goods get distributed by the church to the people in the community. 

This club has hit the ground running and hopes to continue that with its current warm goods drive. If you would like to donate, they will be collecting beanies, scarves, gloves, blankets and other warm clothing until December 15th in room 318.

The Brothers of Bosco are always looking for new members and will welcome anyone who wishes to join. They meet every Thursday in Mr. Solorza’s classroom, room 318.

Sports: Bosco Football Reclaims Top Spot Nationally After Exacting Revenge Against The “Team In Red”

by Michael Barba

Bosco Football finds itself on the cusp of another national title after winning the Division One CIF Southern Section Championship at the Rose Bowl against their bitter rivals, the Team in Red. The Bosco Braves take on the Northern Section champions, the Serra Padres from San Mateo, at Saddleback College on Saturday in the Division One CIF State Championship, as they look to secure their third national championship in ten years. 

Photo by Bosco Football via Twitter

Bosco’s CIF-SS Championship match-up against the Team in Red was one of the most anticipated, if not the most anticipated, game of the season of the high school football season with nearly 16,000 fans in attendance.

The last time both titans met was on October 7th in Trinity League play, which ended in a close 17-7 loss for the Braves. The loss motivated the Braves to brush the dust off their shoulders and come back even stronger by the time the opportunity of the rematch came. 

“After we lost to Mater Dei the first time, we changed our mindset and put full focus on winning the championship. Our focus every day leading up to the championship game has remained the same,” said defensive backs coach, Darnell Lacy.

When the time came to show the results of that championship focus, the Braves did not disappoint. Despite the team in red leading Bosco 7-0 in the first quarter, quarterback Pierce Clarkson completed a forty-five yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Jahlil McClain to tie it up 7-7.

After a defensive struggle in the second quarter, the third quarter saw Pierce Clarkson complete another touchdown pass on a jump ball to tight end Matayo Uiagalelei, making it a 14-7 lead for the Braves. The Team in Red answered with another touchdown, but Clarkson completed another touchdown strike to senior wide receiver DeAndre Moore. Mater Dei would answer back, but the Braves defense would make a critical stop on the Team in Red’s two point conversion attempt. The final score was a 24-22 championship victory for the Bosco Braves.

“It was a great win because it meant a lot for the team, especially all the seniors, and it just goes to show how we really came together as a team,” said junior safety Peyton Woodyard. 

Because of the championship win against the Team in Red, the Braves will be taking on the Serra Padres from San Mateo, the Norther Section Champion, for the CIF State Championship, with Bosco needing the win to keep their national championship hopes alive.

Currently, the Braves have a 12-1 overall record, and the Padres are 13-0. Bosco holds the top ranking in the state of California and the nation, while Serra is ranked fifth in the state and 27th nationally. The Braves average 40.5 points and 72.3 tackles per game, while the Padres average 31.5 points per game and 36.6 tackles per game.

Get your tickets now to support the Braves in their journey to a third national championship on Saturday at Saddleback College. Kickoff is at 8 pm.