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Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero E-Sports Head Coach Gabe Giangualano

By Matthew Parsons

Head Coach of the E-sports program, General Manager of the soccer team and teacher at St. John Bosco, Coach Gabe Giangualano, has worked incredibly hard over the past few years at Bosco to provide the best opportunities for his students.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Despite not getting much recognition for his work around campus, he is still extremely passionate for what he does and is dedicated to all the boys who practice and work under him.

Before arriving on the Bosco campus as a teacher and coach, Coach Gabe was also, once upon a time, just another student who attended St. John Bosco. As he grew up in a family of nine in West Covina and Anaheim, all of his siblings took the private school route although he was the only one to attend Bosco. Coach Gabe has also had three of his sons attend Bosco, all of them active in the community and part of athletics programs. 

As a child, Coach Gabe fell in love with sports, more specifically soccer. He’s always had a love for gaming, but his strong passion for E-sports came much later in his life. His love for soccer was ignited as a child when he scored a game winning goal. 

After middle school, Coach Gabe was originally set to go to Servite, but fate had other plans when his father was given a promotion. Coach Gabe and his family were forced to move to Long Beach, leading him to attend Bosco.

When he attended Bosco, by his own admission, he was not an amazing student, but he poured himself into athletics. He dedicated himself to playing soccer at a high level and even won a league championship with his team. Though looking back, he somewhat regretted that he wasn’t so involved with his academics and grades, which is why he is a big supporter of the school’s Pathway Programs. His belief is that they allow a student to be much more engaged with their academics, helping them achieve more in school. 

“I think there were too many distractions, you know, that kind of pulled me away from being a full academic, but I would have loved to join a Pathway here. And I think that would’ve committed me a little bit more,” said Coach Gabe.

Once Coach Gabe graduated from Bosco, he attended Long Beach City College and Cal State Los Angeles, where he played soccer for both schools. After playing soccer in college, he decided to make the transition to playing soccer at a higher level. This led him to Europe for a period of time, before coming back to the United States and becoming a teacher.

“If I could go back in time, I probably would have stayed more committed to playing at Cal State LA and seeing where that was going,” said Coach Gabe.

Even though for a long while he pursued a career in soccer, E-sports became a new goal of Coach Gabe’s. Even in college, he knew that eventually he wanted to do something with it. This dream had stuck with him ever since 2009, when he played World of Warcraft and had his own guild, climbing the national leaderboard and gaining personal recognition for his in-game achievements. He’s a firm believer in all types of games and their importance on being well rounded. 

“I love games of all types: board games, video games. When you can sit down and compete on a different playing field and constantly compete and change the playing field, you create an ability to think outside the box and think for yourself,” said Coach Gabe.

Before his return to his alma mater, he taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for six years at Huntington Park and Manual Arts High Schools before changing jobs to be a Staff Analyst, working on budgets for the L.A. County Office of Education, which he did for about seven years or so. He then transitioned into being a teacher at St. John Bosco, as he felt the desire to teach at a place where he believed the students actually wanted to be there and learn.

“I think, it was working at LAUSD when I realized every time I went to class, there were 90% of the kids that didn’t want to be there. And that constantly wears down on you too. And so I really wanted to be in a place where people want to be there,” Coach Gabe said.

Coach Gabe has always been personally interested in entrepreneurship and finance, and it was actually his plan out of college to work in entrepreneurship or have some sort of business somewhere. This has led him to teaching business and finance, computer applications, office practices and now, at Bosco, economics and third-year engineering. 

Coach Gabe feels a great sense of joy and satisfaction organizing and leading the Esports program, which has allowed him to mentor the young boys who join and instill life lessons in them. He is extremely passionate about the program, many people had to come together and work very hard for it to come to fruition. 

Six years ago he pitched the idea to the administration, and since the idea was not met with much support, it failed to start up. Two years later, he met with student Mauricio Contreras, who accumulated the support from several parents, and the matter was taken up with the principal, which gave them a chance to showcase E-sports potential. Several years later, they’ve become a winning program, getting a State Championship in Valorant last year and having garnered some standout partnerships, especially ones with Razer and HP Omen, which allowed them to create their new room E-sports room worth around $70,000.

Coach Gabe has only been a teacher and staff member at Bosco for a few years, but in that time, he’s been given a lot of responsibility. He is always dedicated to the Bosco community and feels a great sense of satisfaction watching it thrive.

Sports: Bosco Water Polo Continues to Improve Behind HOF Coach

by Joshua Whitfield

St. John Bosco Water Polo is one of many sports programs that are underrated and under-publicized. The St. John Bosco water polo varsity is led by head coach Jeffrey Powers. The Braves record this season for league was (0-4) and (7-18) counting their pre-season games. Coach Powers has been leading the Braves for many years, honing and developing many Bosco water polo players to take them to greater heights.

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Coach Powers was recently inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame as part of the 35th induction class in June of 2019.

“It was an honor, that’s not why you play the game but it is nice being recognized for some of your achievements,” said Coach Powers.

While Coach Powers was honored with this highly prestigious achievement, it didn’t interfere with his main priority, leading and coaching the Bosco Braves to make his players the best they could be.

The Varsity team consists of 13 players, the three Senior players Lucas Garrison, Ryan Mowl, Gabe Garcia, and Kyle Perera. The remaining of the team consists of juniors, Parker Moore, and Ethan Olney along with six sophomores on the varsity line up. The sophomores competing on varsity are Anthony Best, Joshua Joson, Lucas Okampo, Christopher Valente, and Jack Woodson. With only one freshman on the team named Matthew Cassas. Coach Powers believes the team has made great improvements from last year.

“There was a lot of guys that showed improvement from last year, Parker Moore showed a lot of improvement, some of the freshman that came out like Matthew Cassas he showed a lot of improvement but everyone improved, I think Gabriel Garcia had a really solid season, he played well and was always fighting,” said Coach Powers.

This entire varsity line up is rather young for a varsity team while only having three seniors to lead the younger players, yet their coach sees much potential in them all. Coach Powers gives recognition to his players knowing how much they all have improved over the off-season.

Though the Braves made many improvements to their skills personally and as a team they were unsatisfied with where they were placed.

“I do feel we could’ve done better that being said, I do think the boys made a lot of progress, and that they still learned, it was a productive season in that sense but record-wise I feel as if we could’ve done better,” said Coach Powers.

During the Braves season, many players were injured while playing with Coach Power even stating, “This season we caught the injury bug”. Because of the massive list of injuries the players experienced it affected their game plan and the assets they would’ve used very affectively during their matches.

“It was crazy it was almost like every other week someone was getting injured,” said Senior Ryan Mowl.

Though the Braves could not make league on their own merits, Coach Powers still answered who he felt the best team in their division was.

“I feel Santa Margarita is a better team but Orange Lutheran just managed to win”

The Bosco Braves still performed fairly well with the hand that they were playing this year, Coach Powers isn’t looking at the past now. Instead, he’s looking to the future so next season the Braves will show everyone what they’re truly made of.

Coach Powers is currently looking at his team and seeing what changes he can implement to advance the team.

“Hopefully next season we’ll perform better, the boys didn’t seem to like how this season ended kind of with the record and stuff, but hopefully they’ll feel motivated in the off-season and that they’ll continue to get better and everyone will have a year more experience,” Said Coach Powers.

With the massive amount of injuries to plague the players and the very young squad taken into account, the Braves played adequate, but next season is a new season.

“We should have a lot of returners next year so hopefully we’ll play better,” said Coach Powers.

The Braves with a record of (7-18) to end the season won against High Schools Buena, Tustin High, Cerritos, Montebello High School, Crespi Carmelite High School, Gahr High School, Warren, and Cypress. The Braves with their seven-wins shined in particularly two games, one against Gahr where they won (15-1) and against Cypress running the board ending it (17-3).

Looking to next season with predictions is a bit of a stretch because the season has just now ended, but Coach Powers understands where the team needs to improve for next season.

“We want to play better than this season, we have improvements to make all around though swimming, ball handling, awareness in the pool but that just comes with experience and time spent playing so hopefully we can progress,” said Coach Powers.

While it is early to predict, Coach Powers has some clear goals for the upcoming season.

“It all depends because there is so much our goal consists of for next season, well our goal is to always win but it’s to be above 500 records and to make playoffs for CIF that’s our goal.” Said Coach Powers.

Though the Bosco Braves had a rough season this year the realized their mistakes and are working in the offseason to mitigate them as much as possible for next season. Coach Powers believes in his players and is guiding them to take the Water Polo program to new heights with his players.

Around Bosco: Bosco E-sports And The Beginning Of A New Era!

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

The St. John Bosco High School E-sports team is currently on the rise and is already getting eyes looking their way as they have struck a deal with Gamer Company Razer. 

Bosco E-sports is a relatively new program who not so long ago weren’t even a club on campus and now have struck a deal with one of the world’s leading lifestyle brands for gamers, Razer. 

It has been nothing short of a long road to get to where the program is today and a huge contributing factor to why the program exists is Bosco E-sports Head Coach Gabe Giangualano. 

“I had a proposal for the school and next thing we know we had a big fifty player tryout which we narrowed down to twenty and that twenty was ultimately the twenty player roster we carried last season ” said Giangualano.  

Razer is a company known for landing huge partnerships as they sponsor Evil Geniuses who are one of the best E-sport teams in the world, UCLA who always have a solid E-sports program and now they’ve partnered with St. John Bosco High School. 

Seeson Mahathavorn, a global marketing manager for Razer and a Bosco alumni had seen a post on Facebook regarding how Bosco E-sports was starting up and he couldn’t be happier when he found out the founder of it was his old soccer teammate Coach Giangualano. Once he saw how quickly the program as a whole was growing he reached out to Coach Giangualano about a potential meeting.

“Talent starts at a young age. Kobe got drafted to the NBA from high school, so why can’t the next great E-sports athlete? We don’t believe that age or level of development of a program limits the potential of a player that can be found there. As E-sports has grown we’re seeing that pro level players are being found at all ages and parts of the world. Earlier this year, Razer sponsored their first collegiate E-sports team at UCLA and it’s been amazing so far, even with the current pandemic, so why not go even farther back to where many gamers get their start: high school. As for why St. John Bosco, besides being close to me personally, back in July, my former Bosco Soccer teammate and classmate (c/o ’99), Derek Barraza, reached out to me on Facebook, showing me Bosco’s post about launching their first-ever E-sports Summer [Virtual] Camp. He also mentioned that current Bosco Soccer Coach and c/o ’99 classmate, Gabe Giangualano, was leading all things E-sports and it felt like a great opportunity to support a high school team for the first time ever,” said Mahathavorn. 

Giangualano pitched his vision for the program and the two sides managed to reach an agreement which led to Razer donating 50 headsets for Braves to in the Fall 2020 E-sports season. 

“It was a match made in heaven, honestly the best E-sports peripheral company in the world says we ‘want you?’ You gotta say ‘of course!” said Giangualano as he hopes the partnership continues for years to come. He went on to say that the program has improved with Razer’s headsets, the BlackShark V2. Currently the Braves are ranked top 10 in League of Legends, #1 in Rocket League, #1 in Smite, and playoff bound with Overwatch and Fortnite. Giangualano is committed to making the Bosco E-sports program a powerhouse. 

There is a plan in the works that Bosco E-sports will collaborate an exclusive training conference with UCLA and Evil Geniuses on the Braves campus. With the pandemic these plans have been put on hold but will soon be revisited as soon as the restrictions lift. This conference will allow the Braves to work with professionals and collegiate athletes to hear the strategies and tactics they use in their training regiments. Giangualano is committed to developing high school players the way professional clubs and colleges develop theirs.

“We’re always looking to strengthen all of our partnerships – to help E-sports programs grow, to develop talent, to build character. We’re currently working on a “Path to Pro” type of program where we would utilize all of our sponsored teams: Evil Geniuses at the pro level, UCLA E-sports at the collegiate level, and St. John Bosco at the high school level. It’s currently under construction but would include coaching, mentorships, workshops, friendly scrims, internships, sponsorships, etc where all participants will hopefully benefit from one another both inside and outside of the E-sports world” said Mahathavorn. 

Despite the process sounding easy, in reality it was far from it as according to Giangualano it was “a long road to getting E-sports here at the school” and it was “difficult to get the support to get something started”.

This beginning would go back all the way to 2016 as only ten kids showed up for an information meeting on a potential launch which led to nothing. 

In 2017 the freshman class had a lot of freshmen who were interested in a program and had to slowly wait out the process for the next big step which finally came in 2018 as “Bosco E-sports” became an unofficial club on campus which was only for fun. 

Coach Giangualano saw the potential it had and pushed for it to become an official program alongside current senior Mauricio Contreras. 

“I wanted to show people anything can be accomplished as long as you work hard for it” said Contreras. 

The dream finally became a reality when in 2019 the school officially approved the program and gave the confirmation to allow five teams within the program. 

Not only is each program led by a dedicated coach, but captains are chosen to play a huge role in their respective team as they become the backbone for those teams. 

Talent, leadership quality, and inspiration is what goes into the thought process of electing an E-sports captain and Coach Giangualano hopes each captain leads by example and follows these three pillars on a daily basis. 

The five programs of Bosco E-sports consist of: Rocket League, Smite, League of Legends, Overwatch, and Fortnite. Each one of those coaches runs their individual team and a normal Bosco E-sport week consists of: practicing three times a week, two days of rest (non consecutive), and two days of competition whether it’s a tournament or a scrimmage. 

The Rocket League program consists of a varsity and a junior varsity team. The Bosco Rocket League team can be seen as the highlight of the E-sports program as the Braves sit at #1 in all of California and #1 in the Regional League. The team is led by junior captain Brandon Suiter who is a grand champion status player. 

The Rocket League program has had a significant accomplishment as they are the one of the two programs from Bosco to have played against a university, but they are the only program who managed to get a win in their college showcase match. 

Cal State Dominguez Hills’ Rocket League program came up short against Braves in what would be one of the biggest victories ever in the young history of Bosco E-sports.

The Smite program consists of seven players in total and is led by captain Lauren Weldon who attends Bosco’s sister school St. Josephs and is the only girl in the whole E-sports program.

“She is doing a really great job keeping the group organized and communicating our strategies, she has natural leadership qualities,” said Giangualano. 

Lauren described being part of the Bosco E-sports program as a “win-win” because she finally had a good excuse to be playing video games on a daily basis while representing not only SJB, but St. Josephs as well being the only girl there. 

“I don’t really see it as a big deal to me, because at the end of the day we’re all there for one common goal which is to play video games” said Weldon. 

Lauren stressed to all the St. Joseph girls, if they feel E-sports is something that they might have a passion for or is something they want to try they should follow her footsteps and just “go for it”. 

The League of Legends program is the second program of two to have played against a college level team. They took part in a scrimmage the week prior to the Rocket League victory in which they also faced Cal State Dominguez Hills.

 The scrimmage was a best out of three series and each series came down to the last plays making every series a nail biter. Domininguez Hills narrowly escaped with the victory.  

The League of Legends program is slowly bouncing back as they lost several notable seniors last year, but are on the right track as they currently hold a 6-2 record in league play. 

The Overwatch program is looking solid as it’s a split of upperclassmen and lowerclass men giving a “youngbloods” and “veterans” vibe which could end up being a huge factor in their potential success. The Braves are currently waiting to snatch up a wildcard playoff spot in their inaugural Overwatch season.

Bosco’s Fortnite program is always eager to improve. They’ve had recent success in they’re scrimmages and the coaches as a whole couldn’t be more prouder than the performances of all their teams. They are confident all three teams will lock up playoff spots and head into December on a hunt for a title.

The Bosco E-sports program stays on the grind as they’re always available to watch on a weekly basis on Twitch and Youtube starting at 4:00 PM. You can find them on twitch at  StJohnBoscoHSesports.

The Fortnite team streams Monday on YouTube while Smite is streaming on Twitch. The League of Legends team will be streaming on twitch on Tuesday while on Wednesday the Overwatch team takes over. Thursday gets busier as Rocket League varsity and junior varsity can be found headlining on twitch. Friday will usually be whatever scrimmage the program as a whole can muster up and will also live streamed on YouTube. 

Saturday isn’t a rest day by any means as the gamers are up and ready to go in they’re households by 6:00 AM for morning practice.

Not only do the Braves work hard on their PCs, but are also very hard workers in the classroom as Coach Giangualano can’t stress time management enough. All students are required to take a time management workshop that helps players and families budget their time. 

“One of the things we strive for as a program is Academic Excellence. All players are given a calendar to stay organized and budget their time for the week. The last thing we want is for E-sports to occupy all of our time. It’s very easy for that to happen. The calendar, the time management workshop and parent expectations make for a successful student. It’s when that discipline falls by the waist side do we see declines in grades like with any sport.” said Giangualano.

A future goal for Bosco E-sports is saving money in order to improve their computer lab making it an official E-sport lab dedicated just to E-sports which will finally be the first place all Bosco gamers can call home. This will allow the program to continue to take baby steps in being successful while also building for the future. 

While most schools currently offer few game titles, players are found playing multiple game titles throughout the week. The Braves have cut this down and defined the players to a single game title E-Athletes. Meaning players usually only focus on one game title throughout the season. This approach dedicates the player to that particular focus and prevents chaos, burnouts, and loss of passion for a specific game. 

Overall, the goal for Bosco E-sports is to “convert kids from gamers to E-sporters” as Coach Giangualano knows from experience who is a “gamer” and who is an “E-sporter”. 

“Gamers are kids who want to play a game, but want to play it on their time and their time only. E-Athletes are kids who are committed to improving each and every single practice session, listen to their coaches, and always do what’s best for the team” said Giangualano.

Coach Gabe went on to say that his new E-sports club, Game Knights Youth E-sports Academy is about to open up for public tryouts this December. “It’s the best way to develop kids ages 8-18. I was approached by some parents who wanted their kids to be a part of my program but weren’t Braves. At Game Knights, we believe building the kids up at a younger age will produce a much more serious and competitive player and prevent or stop bad video game habits as we bring discipline to that chaos,” said Giangualano. You can get more information on Game Knights at gameknightsesports.com.

As for Razer, they’re aware Bosco has all the tools to become as successful as possible and will more than happily continue to support Bosco E-sports as long as they stay on the right path trending towards an upward direction. 

“We’re always working on growing and supporting the E-sports ecosystem, from sponsoring gear to promising teams and individuals to initiatives that give aspiring E-sports players a taste of playing in big tournament type and even wellness programs on how to take care of yourself while grinding to become the best of the best. Stay tuned for more announcements coming your way” said Mahathavorn. 

The future looks very bright indeed as Bosco E-sports are on a mission to become not only one of the best programs on campus, but one of the best programs in the state of California, and very soon one of the best programs in the nation. 

Around Bosco

Triduum Week Returns To Spread “Brave Love”

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

In keeping with Salesian tradition, St. John Bosco celebrated Triduum this week, a period of self-reflection and preparation for a new school year, which includes the release of the new strenna for 2021-2022. 

The word “Triduum” itself is defined as a three day preparation for an event. The most notable is the Paschal Triduum, or the three day period that precedes Easter Sunday. The Salesians of Don Bosco, however, observe another Triduum, one which is observed in September and is celebrated by the release of a strenna. 

The strenna, which is taken from the Italian word for gift, is a theme that students and members of the Salesian community strive to live by. This year, the strenna released by the Salesians of Don Bosco was: “Do all through love, nothing through constraint.” At St. John Bosco High School, however, it is adapted to align more with the school community. Thus, at Bosco, the strenna amended, while still maintaining its general meaning: “Brave love still stands, even when all else has failed.” 

“We wanted to make our strenna something that is more personal for us. We get to live out the same prayers that St. John Bosco used to give the same spirit and joy to the students, and we want to carry that tradition,” said Brother Quang Nguyen, Bosco’s director of Campus Youth Ministry. 

Although COVID-19 regulations have limited some of the more festive celebrations of the Triduum at Bosco, the three-day period still has a lot of spiritual value. At St. John Bosco, students had the opportunity to reflect, go to Reconciliation, and celebrate Mass, which was the first event on campus with the new strenna. FULL STORY

Club Carnival Returns to Widespread Excitement

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

St. John Bosco High School hosts its first Club Carnival in two years after a long drought caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, students had the opportunity to participate in clubs around the campus and get more involved with the school. 

Twenty-nine clubs, representing many different students’ interests, filled the quad with each club having a table designed with posters and other decorations. From Tribe Robotics to the International Club, students had a wide variety of options. Hundreds of students, of all grade levels, signed up to participate in clubs with many students joining multiple clubs. 

At St. John Bosco, every student has the opportunity to start or join a club that piques their interests. If a student finds that there is no club for them, all they need to do is find a teacher to moderate and they can start their own club. Although clubs are student-ran, staff members are still active members of the club process. FULL STORY

Bosco Community Rejoices as On-Campus Learning Returns

by Aydn Morris

After a long 522-day wait, St. John Bosco High School has finally completely reopened for on-campus learning.

On May 13, 2020, St. John Bosco closed their school campus due to the spread COVID-19. As of Aug 17, 2021, St. John Bosco has officially reopened their whole campus for all students and staff, but still has to hold strict restrictions due to the Los Angeles County Health Guidelines.

As everyone would expect, the school wants to be able to have the campus open for the entirety of the school year. This would mean that there will have to be health and safety restrictions and complete cooperation between students, teachers and staff.

“The best way to keep everyone safe is to follow the rules with mask and if there is  any sort of symptomatic feeling of COVID-19 to not come to school because it would be safer for everyone, even if it feels like it’s a sacrifice to make,” said newly appointed Vice Principal of Student Affairs, Mrs. Jen Schnorr. FULL STORY

Around Bosco: Bosco’s Brand New Weightroom Fit For A Brave

by Ian Cook

St. John Bosco announces a new and improved strength and conditioning facility just as the 2021-2022 school year and athletic seasons kick off.

A brand new, state of the art Strength and Conditioning Center will open at St. John Bosco High School in just a few days. Although the Pandemic has put many obstacles in front of Bosco, this has not stopped the school from working toward the goal of helping boys become men in all facets of the academic and athletic experience.

The school received brand new dumbbells, bumper plates branded with the St. John Bosco Brave logo, squat racks, leveled out rubber flooring and more modern technology.

“We have a camera system coming in that will record every athlete’s reps, sets and also track their speed and velocity so that our guys will have something to shoot toward,” said Steven Lo, the football program’s offensive coordinator and the school’s Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. FULL STORY

Braves Return To Field To Defend Their Throne

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

After a long delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bosco Football is back, as the Braves are set to take on Sierra Canyon at Panish Family Stadium tomorrow. Despite some new names and younger players leading the team this year, the Braves are still overwhelmingly favored to defend their championship throne.

The last time St. John Bosco played in an official game wearing its school uniforms, it was while beating De La Salle High School in the 2019 state championship that also crowned the Braves the undisputed National Champions. Prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, St. John Bosco were originally scheduled to kick off their season with an opening game against the same Northern California powerhouse De La Salle, but that game was canceled as the pandemic forced the state to shove football back several times.

St. John Bosco will now instead host reigning CIF-SS Division 2 champion Sierra Canyon this Saturday on their home turf looking to show the world they haven’t missed a beat. Last Saturday, St. John Bosco and Damien High School got together at Damien for a scrimmage before both team’s upcoming season openers. 

While they spent the first half hour working on special teams and scrimmaged just two quarters, it was worth it for both teams to finally feel what it’s like to trade paint again. It won’t be a full season, but for St. John Bosco High School Head Coach Jason Negro, it’s something to celebrate. FULL STORY.

The Bosco Gold Standard Continues With Successful Reopening Plan

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor in Chief and Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

The St. John Bosco High School community is one step closer to true normalcy. At the start of 2021, the school opened its doors to students for the first time since its initial shutdown due to COVID-19 in March of 2020, albeit in a much different manner than students and teachers are accustomed to. 

Before being allowed to return to campus, students who felt comfortable enough to return to school were subject to showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test as well as agreeing to adhere to the standard protocols set by school officials and local guidelines while on campus.

Amongst the protocols and guidelines those who returned must follow are social distancing, mask-wearing, using sanitizers and following passing period walkways set by the school. Moreover, students are subject to temperature checks upon their arrival to campus. 

In addition to this, students who returned to school only go to campus twice a week with specific cohorts, or a designated classroom they must remain in. While the students on campus are doing three of their four classes virtually through Zoom, they are under the supervision of the teacher who is in charge of their specific cohort. FULL STORY.

Christmas Comes Early To Campus, The First Ever Streamed Christmas Tree Lighting.

by John Udabe

In striving to keep tradition going, St. John Bosco’s annual tree lighting goes virtual.

SJB Christmas Tree Lighting (3).pngSt. John Bosco is staying busy during the Christmas season. The unusual circumstances that we all are facing have definitely put a damper on the year, yet Bosco is not letting that get the best of them.

For obvious reasons, in-person events this year must be kept to a minimum. Because of this, the annual tree lighting that we are typically used to cannot happen on campus. Yet this is a minor issue to overcome for the Braves.

This year, the annual tree lighting is going virtual. Premiering Tuesday, December 15th on YouTube, it will feature the same Christmas cheer we are all used to. Hosted by Student Leadership, the online event will feature the music, entertainment, and good tidings that have occurred in the past events. FULL STORY.

 

Due To Covid-19, Is This Going To Be A Year Without Kairos?

by Zach Gardiner

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Bosco’s Class of 2021 may not be able to experience Kairos, the well renowned senior retreat which brings the class together and creates memories that last a lifetime.

Kairos is the spiritual trip that the seniors of St. John Bosco High School take every year. The trip is supposed to bring seniors together and is a prime example of the famed Bosco brotherhood. As a 2021 graduate I speak for myself and plenty others when I say that Kairos is something that is very looked forward to. With this year’s unprecedented events, that might not happen. 

Earlier this week, Mr. Jaramillo, head of the retreat committee, spoke about the possibility of not having a Kairos retreat this year. When asked about how many Covid-19 cases the city of Bellflower would have to be under for a month, he said that it was “unclear at the moment but that it was most likely the same number for Bosco to have permission to go back to school next semester”. FULL STORY.

High School Football In SoCal Is Pushed Back Once Again Thanks To COVID-19

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

In what was supposed to soon be the grand reopening for De La Salle and St. John Bosco, kicking off the high school football season in California will have to be delayed once again due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The rematch of last season’s Open Division state championship game, won by Bosco nearly 12 months ago, was scheduled to unfold in Southern California on January 8th.

The announcement last Tuesday has determined that high school football practice in California won’t start until state health officials provide guidelines for youth sports, presumably once COVID-19 cases are flattened once again, thus the De La Salle-Bosco game won’t happen in early January.

De La Salle coach Justin Alumbaugh said Tuesday that it could, noting that in conversations he’s had with coaches, including Bosco’s Jason Negro, everybody is on the same page. FULL STORY.

Christmas Around The World, A Show Of A Lifetime, Arrives At Bosco

by Pedro Ochoa

For the first time in history, St. John Bosco will light up its 36-acre campus and invite the community to come enjoy a contactless, socially distant Christmas Lights Experience!

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The biggest St. John Bosco fundraiser of the long 2020 year has officially begun! St. John Bosco has always been known for their involvement with the community. Some of the main events that they have hosted have been annual Tree Lighting and the Día De Los Muertos celebration. 

Due to the Covid-19 guidelines, Bosco has been unable to do many involved community events. This is why this big Drive-Thru Christmas Lights Exhibit is so important. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the new lit up 36 acre campus! Not only will you be able to view the beautiful Christmas lights, but you will also be supporting Bosco Student-Life, as all of the proceeds will go towards the students! FULL STORY.

Stronger As One, Joined In Hope, Brave At Heart; How Members Of The Bosco Community Prepare For End A Successful Season Of Benevolenza During The COVID-19 Pandemic

by Pedro Ochoa

Different members of our community at Bosco are preparing to make a difference in these season of Benevolenza both locally and internationally.

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The Season of Giving just got a little more brighter and joyful! The second opportunity of giving during the Season of Benevolenza has started with the Toy Drive. There will always be a time for you to be able to donate, as there will be toy bins in front of the school until December 17th.

We are approaching the end of the Season of Benevolenza, the season of giving, with the Toy Drive being part of the last event! The Toy Drive has been going on for more than 25 years at St. John Bosco High School, and it is only getting bigger every year. FULL STORY.

Bosco E-sports And The Beginning Of A New Era!

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

The St. John Bosco High School E-sports team is currently on the rise and is already getting eyes looking their way as they have struck a deal with Gamer Company Razer.

Bosco E-sports is a relatively new program who not so long ago weren’t even a club on campus and now have struck a deal with one of the world’s leading lifestyle brands for gamers, Razer. 

It has been nothing short of a long road to get to where the program is today and a huge contributing factor to why the program exists is Bosco E-sports Head Coach Gabe Giangualano. 

“I had a proposal for the school and next thing we know we had a big fifty player tryout which we narrowed down to twenty and that twenty was ultimately the twenty player roster we carried last season ” said Giangualano.  

Razer is a company known for landing huge partnerships as they sponsor Evil Geniuses who are one of the best E-sport teams in the world, UCLA who always have a solid E-sports program and now they’ve partnered with St. John Bosco High School. FULL STORY.

New Counselor, Ms. Yesenia Moreno, Joins the Bosco Community

by Aydn Morris

Attention Braves! Attention Braves! One of the latest additions to the Saint John Bosco community is Ms. Yesenia Moreno, our newest counselor, take some time to know more about her!

Q. What college did you attend?

A. I attended the University of San Diego for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Q.  What was your major/minor in College? 

A. I majored in Psychology and double minor in Theatre Arts and Spanish.

Q. What high school did you attend?

A. I attended Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary High School.

Q. Are you from California, if not where are you from? 

A. Yes, I am from California. Born and raised in Montebello.

Q. If there was any place in the world you could travel, where would you go? 

A. The next place I would love to visit is New Zealand. I have been interested in visiting since high school but have not had the opportunity to visit yet.  FULL STORY.

The Season Of Benevolenza Is Upon Us!

by Ryan Tavera

St John Bosco’s Season of Benevolenza highlights the importance of giving from ourselves to others especially in the time of solidarity and confusion the event calls out to our Bosco Braves in order to contribute to our community. 

The Season of Benevolenza has always been a staple event in St John Bosco High School’s history, as it marks our time to give back to the larger community and make an impact in other’s lives. The specific drives that Bosco does annually are the Food Drive and Toy drive. 

“Giving is always important but recognizing that there are particular times of the year we should focus on these things and around Thanksgiving and Christmas it represents a good opportunity and recognizing that it’s really about giving. It’s giving of ourselves to other people like our family and to our larger community,” said Christian Service Coordinator John Weinandy. FULL STORY.

Fate Of A Future Reopening? Short-Term Signs Leave Bosco In The Air Of COVID-19

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor

During recent months, several plans for a future reopening of the school have been thwarted by health guidelines keeping Los Angeles County in the state’s “purple tier,” as St. John Bosco High School waits to open its doors for in-person learning.

As cases in LA County remain high, the chance for the school to reopen in the near future gets further and further delayed. But that hasn’t been all negative, as it’s given Bosco time to prepare and create a safe environment.

“I think that COVID is something that could help us prepare for any type of challenge that comes in the future,” said Bosco CEO and President Dr. Brian Wickstrom. “We have implemented bipolar ionization, which actually helps viruses and bacteria in the air, which I think it’s a big positive in all student areas: classrooms, hallways, gathering spots. So I think our school is more prepared than most with all our agile space [on campus] for lunch and student gatherings.” FULL STORY.

Bosco “Car Hop” Bing Cruises Back In Style

by Miles Bondoc

Prior to state and local COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, Bingo served as a major fundraising event at St. John Bosco. Bosco Bingo temporarily shut down following the closure of the campus in March, but returned to campus in new form last month, bringing back the funds and the fun. 

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Bingo returned amidst the COVID-19 chaos safely, introducing “car hop” bingo in partnership with BingoMeNow. Now, like back in the “old normal,” Bosco hosts bingo each week – albeit in the parking lot – from 5:00-8:00 PM. Participants can reserve their spots now via the Bosco website

The BingoMeNow app allows users to buy in and participate in car hop bingo. Bingo Manager Steve Waller oversaw the reopening process and wrote the school’s plan in accordance with state and local COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for similar events. Prior to the return of bingo at Bosco, other bingo programs reopened, but many of them promptly shut down due to their lack of sufficient precaution. FULL STORY

Bosco’s Spanish Honor’s Society and Key Club Join Forces

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco’s Spanish Honors Society and Key Club came to an agreement to unite for every single service project for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, which can end up becoming an agreement for years to come. 

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Spanish Honors Society. Key Club. Two totally different clubs, yet two clubs with the same ambitions, announced an unexpected partnership and the future looks bright!

Spanish Honor Society Executive Director Joaquin Medrano, Key Club President Hector Andrade, Key Club and Spanish Honor Society Vice President Diego Santizo and Club Ambassador Pedro Ochoa were the four brilliant minds behind the partnership and have nothing but amazing ideas planned for the current school year regarding these two clubs. FULL STORY

COVID-19 Spoils Senior “Lasts” In Spring Athletics, Theatre and Band

by Aharon Colon, A+E Editor

This was originally supposed to be an article previewing the rest of the volleyball season, but instead it turned into a piece centered around the new pandemic and how it ended our Spring sport season. 

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The spring sports had so much promise to them leading up into the Trinity League season, notably baseball and volleyball. This volleyball season was set to feature a new core of talent, such as newly minted captain junior Matthew Medina and 6’4” sophomore Maxwell Wootton, who both have great potential.

Seniors Alex Rotter, Ian Callahan and Elijah McCray have been the glue and backbone of this team since entering the program as freshman. But sadly, they won’t get to finish their seniors years as they might have envisioned. FULL STORY

Breaking On-Campus, School Suspended As Community Members Screened for Coronavirus

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

As the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to have pandemic ramifications, the Bosco community finds itself the most recent victim of the fast-spreading global disease, as school administrators opt to suspend on-campus classes through at least next Friday. School will continue online for students starting next Wednesday via Schoology.

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The Bosco community received an emailed statement from Principal Dr. Christian De Larkin at 8:16 pm Thursday night stating that a member of our community is in the process of being screened for the novel coronavirus. In response, the Brave administration decided to cancel school tomorrow Friday, March 13th through Monday, March 16th for faculty and staff. Next Tuesday, faculty and staff will return to receive training for online-based learning for students, which will resume beginning next Wednesday.

“Further details will be communicated regarding online learning guidelines and expectations. We will reevaluate school operations for the week of March 23 and update all early next week,” said Principal De Larkin in his emailed statement to the community. FULL STORY

Bosco and St. Joe’s Students Enjoy “Junior Jam” Picnic

by Johnathan Gonzalez

On Friday, March 6th St. John Bosco hosted the junior picnic along with Saint Joseph’s for the class of 2021.

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This year’s junior picnic held at St. John Bosco was brought together by the ASB board of Braves and Jesters, they brought the class of 2021 together through music, food, and games.

These games included cornhole, ping pong, a jumper, and musical chairs. These activities created a sense of competitiveness among students along with the fun atmosphere of the event. Furthermore, students were welcomed to warm pizza and cold sodas.

The junior picnic is a way for the Braves and Jesters to socialize within their class so that they can create more bonds with new students or even those who haven’t yet met. FULL STORY

 

Students Reflect On Their Faith At Youth Day 2020

by Ryan Tavera

Last Thursday, St. John Bosco students were given the chance to share their faith with thousands of different students from around the country at Youth Day 2020.

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“Hopefully, the students who were involved left inspired and challenged to live as missionary disciples in their homes, schools, parishes, and communities,” said Brother Quang.

Twenty fortunate students went to Anaheim for the day, to see other kids their age who come from many different backgrounds all throughout the Archdiocese.

The staff and students were able to experience many unique workshops that focused on a certain aspect of life and how God can guide one through rough conditions. Bosco students found themselves in front of Bob Perron, an advocate of his faith and speaker. Perron’s workshop dealt with relationships and if they are really worth the risk many go through to maintain them. FULL STORY

Feast Day of St. John Bosco

by Johnathan Gonzalez, Kristopher Leal

The Feast Day of St. John Bosco is a day that brings the saint back to life and brings him with the children of his school. St. John Bosco’s sole purpose was to give new life and opportunities for disadvantaged youth and delinquents by giving them a home, a place to learn and opportunities that they would have never had.

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His patron is of apprentices, editors and publishers, schoolchildren, magicians, and juvenile delinquents. On January 31, The Feast Day was a day dedicated to celebrating John Bosco.

The Feast Day is a very special occasion for St. John Bosco high school and allows for the students to truly understand what it means to be apart of the Bosco community. Mr. Avila, the director of student activities, recognizes the significance of the day and what it means for St. John Bosco and the Bosco community.

“It’s our Patron Saints Feast Day. It’s special because it’s sort of like a birthday and it’s a celebration of his life,” said Mr. Avila.

Following the student’s shortened classes, the day began with the Feast Day mass. This mass featured the new Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai from Hong Kong, which was very interesting for each of us that took part. He is a Roman Catholic archbishop and the nuncio of the Holy See to Greece. The Bishop spoke about many life stories that the Braves enjoyed. In the ending portion of the mass, a senior named Noah Quezada stepped on the stage and took one for the Braves and politely asked the Bishop for a school day off, the Bishop thought about what he said and he decided it was a great idea to give us Braves a day off (That day has been decided to be placed in the month of March). FULL STORY

Braves Football Rides-In Style To Their Second National Title

by Hunter Richardson, Assistant Sports Editor

The culmination of hard work and determination from the Braves football team all came together with a celebration of their historic achievements with the national championship parade and ceremony around the campus and inside Panish Family Stadium.

Bellflower Blvd. was packed with students, faculty, and parents as the Braves Football team paraded down the street to celebrate their historic season as CIF, State, and National Champions. This was not only an event for Bosco, but the whole city of Bellflower. Down Bellflower Blvd. fire trucks, police cars, and classic cars carrying public figures like the legendary Sam “Bam” Cunningham lead the parade while the Braves followed shortly behind on top of a couple of double-decker buses. 

A few prominent players could not be in attendance for the celebration such as Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei who is away at Clemson, and Kourt Williams II who both took part in early enrollment. The Braves O-line held up a picture of the star Quarterback throughout the ceremony just to remind everyone of the beast that was slinging the ball this season. FULL STORY

Homecoming Proves To Be Annual Success

by Ryan Tavera and Johnathan Gonzalez

Homecoming week is a memory filled period in the school year. The week is filled with activities, food and music that all build up to the big event, where friends come together for an unforgettable night: the Homecoming Dance.

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November 3rd, 2019 will certainly be a night to cherish for many St. John Bosco and Joseph students, with bright lights and lively music fueling the exciting evening.

“The dance was actually a great time. I really enjoyed the whole event,” said Bosco junior Hector Andrade.

When asked about the experience, many students shared this same response, so it’s safe to say the night was a success, according to a majority of students interviewed. From Freshmen to Seniors, all were able to join each other on the dance floor and enjoy the night collectively, listening to their favorite music and conversing with friends.

“It was funny to see freshman at the dance all dressed up with their friends. it brought me back to when I was a freshman and my first dance,” said St. Joseph’s senior Grace Gonzalez. FULL STORY

Spanish Honors Society Hosts Annual Día De Los Muertos

by Emilio Ceja and Matthew Ruiz

Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a Hispanic Holiday that is celebrated from October 31st through November 2nd. Every year this event is celebrated throughout Mexico, some parts of Central America and some parts of the United States, including our own community at St. John Bosco High School, which celebrated the event last Wednesday in the quad. 

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The Mexican Culture believes the Día De Los Muertos to be a time of remembrance and honor to their loved ones who have passed. They also believe the spirits of those who have passed return to be with their families. The way families remember their loved ones is by making a shrine or altar that contains pictures of who has passed, with their favorite foods, flowers, candles and other mementos that represents the deceased.

There are many ways cities celebrate Día De Los Muertos from concerts, festivals, parades and food trucks. In Mexico, there are a lot of cities that have big celebrations or fiestas to celebrate the holiday. In the United States, some well-known cities that celebrate this holiday are Los Angeles, San Diego, El Paso and New York City. These cities host large parades to highlight celebrations.

At Bosco, the Spanish Honors Society hosts our annual Día De Los Muertos Fiesta, which offers many different activities for the students, their friends and families. The event had food, music, altars and snacks and desserts being sold by clubs from around Bosco. FULL STORY

Trinity League Game, NFL Prices

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor, and Isaiah Holm

The time is here for the most anticipated high school football game of the year, as the Bosco Braves take on the “team in red.” However, the height of the competition seems like it won’t be taking place on the gridiron, but online and at the box office. 

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Yes, this game not only sold out in less than 24 hours, but it is now facing problems of scalping of tickets, security and space.

Although the game selling out in less than 24 hours could be a story in itself, with so much going on as a result of the fast sell-out, we need to cover it all.

Let us start by taking a look at the scalping of tickets and tailgating spaces. Let me remind you that the tickets were released on Saturday morning, but the following Tuesday morning had someone reselling a ticket for $200. No one has ever heard of this before; this is a straight-up high school game that is having tickets being sold at the same price that several NFL teams sell their tickets. Later that afternoon, when this had been made public, someone posted a ticket pack of 5 tickets for $1500. High school games have never had tickets sell at this high index. FULL STORY

Students, Parents and Teachers Catch Up to Schoology Learning Curve

by Jonathan Gonzalez

Schoology, an internet-based learning program for grades K-12 where students can communicate with teachers, find the school calendar and, of course, see their grades, was launched this semester to mixed reviews.

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A lot of Bosco parents are extremely involved with their son’s academic lives, and most of the Bosco community may be familiar with our school’s old system called Moodle. However, Vice Principal Edgar Salmingo ensured that Schoology was a practical and beneficial shift. Bosco has advanced its technology so their platforms are better equipped for students.

“Schoology is better at syncing with PowerSchool with grades–seeing your class, seeing when your homework is due. And it shows you what you have to do for homework that week,” said Mr. Salmingo.

Students around campus are already noticing the benefits of the change. Junior Ben Hill believes that Schoology will decrease the stress and pressure he previously felt.

“Using Schoology now for personal use just for the students gives us less stress and pressure felt on from out parents since they no longer get notifications of our grades as were the ones who have to be dependable on our grades at our own pace,” said Hill.

Teachers also feel that it is easier to put PowerPoints, Ed puzzles, notes, homework, tests/ quizzes, etc.; on Schoology. However, Schoology is also just a learning tool and it will not be able to replace PowerSchool. Mr. Salmingo believes that there is still a place for PowerSchool and that it will still be needed going forward. FULL STORY

Decathlon Represents in Trip to Philippines

by Elias Gomez

Vice Principal Mr. Edgar Salmingo returned from Manila with our Decathlon Program with “Coach of the Year” honors to his name, as Bosco students competed against 600 schools from thirty countries. As a result of their success, they qualified for the next stage of competition, The Tournament of Champions, at Yale University.

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While the football team was traveling across the country, our Brave Decathletes took a fourteen-hour trip over the Pacific Ocean and across the globe. Having such a long trip gave competitors time to study and, less importantly, watch all the complimentary movies. The food on the flight was inviting and so were the stewardesses, both of which added to create a hospitable environment throughout the long flight.

They were there for a week but only two days of competition. The first day consisted of the Scholars Challenge (120 questions multiple-choice exam), Team writing (collaborative essays) and the Scholars Debate; all of which take up the entire day. The Scholars Challenge is 75 minutes, the Team Writing is 60 minutes, and the Team Debates vary from two to three hours. FULL STORY

Life of a Brave

21 Questions With The Newest Member of The Athletic Training Team,Kiana Gleason

by Mathew Parsons

This year, St. John Bosco welcomes Kiana Gleason, certified athletic trainer, to the community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. Where were you born? Where did you grow up?

A. I grew up in Oxnard, California, which is about an hour north of Los Angeles.

Q. Where did you go to college?

A. I got my bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University and my master’s degree from California Baptist University.

Q. What made you want to work as an athletic trainer?

A. During high school I knew I wanted to do something in the medical field. My high school was small and didn’t have athletic trainers, so I had no idea what an athletic trainer was until my mom told me about the profession. I looked into it and loved it. It was the perfect combination of sports and healthcare. FULL STORY

Unsung Hero E-Sports Head Coach Gabe Giangualano

by Matthew Parsons

Head Coach of the E-sports program, General Manager of the soccer team and teacher at St. John Bosco, Coach Gabe Giangualano, has worked incredibly hard over the past few years at Bosco to provide the best opportunities for his students.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Despite not getting much recognition for his work around campus, he is still extremely passionate for what he does and is dedicated to all the boys who practice and work under him.

Before arriving on the Bosco campus as a teacher and coach, Coach Gabe was also, once upon a time, just another student who attended St. John Bosco. As he grew up in a family of nine in West Covina and Anaheim, all of his siblings took the private school route although he was the only one to attend Bosco. Coach Gabe has also had three of his sons attend Bosco, all of them active in the community and part of athletics programs. 

As a child, Coach Gabe fell in love with sports, more specifically soccer. He’s always had a love for gaming, but his strong passion for E-sports came much later in his life. His love for soccer was ignited as a child when he scored a game winning goal. FULL STORY

21 Questions with New Teacher and Baseball Assistant Coach A.J. LaMonda

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco welcomes Mr. A.J. LaMonda to the community, a teacher of anatomy and physiology as well as an assistant baseball coach.

Q. What college did you attend and what did you study?

A. I attended Loyola Marymount University, and I studied anatomy, physiology and biology.

Q.  Who is your favorite athlete and why?

A. My favorite athlete is Bo Jackson, who is the greatest athlete of all time. Just go watch highlights; the man was a monster in the NFL and MLB. FULL STORY

Life Of A Brave: Armenian Wrestlers Become Bosco Brothers

by Oscar Aranda

Bosco Brotherhood! A common feeling that both Armenian wrestlers, sophomore Grigor Cholakyan and freshman Niko Sahakian, have felt since arriving on the campus of St. John Bosco.

Sophomore Grigor Cholakyan (Photo by Jim Thrall/Mat Focus)

Both wrestlers are underclassmen here at St. John Bosco and are now both experiencing their first in-class studies after being online for the entirety of the past year. Niko and Grigor both agreed that the welcome they have felt at Bosco is like no other, especially compared to the school environment in Armenia.

“At this school, we have a special brotherhood that you may not always find at schools in Armenia. There’s no comparison,” said Grigor. 

These wrestlers also have big academic goals for themselves this year. Grigor and Niko made it clear that the most important thing to them was to maintain a 4.0 GPA status while winning a team and individual CIF-State title. They both realize that they will have to study hard to achieve these goals all while balancing their athletic careers. However, they are unfazed, as they are fueled with the desire to attend an American division-one college. FULL STORY

21 Questions With First-Year Teacher And Bosco Alum Mr. Ruben Solorza

by Eric Torres, Editor-in-Chief

St. John Bosco welcomes back alumnus Mr. Ruben Solorza, a 2012 CIF Champion in cross country and member of the class of 2013.

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Q. Where are you from, and what schools did you go to for elementary/middle school?

A. I am from Whittier, California. I attended St. Bruno’s Elementary, in Whittier, from Kindergarten all the way to 8th grade.

Q. Did you play any sports or do any extracurriculars in high school?

A. I tried out wrestling for one season (yikes), and then ran cross country and track for three years after that. I occasionally helped out with The Brave newspaper as well. FULL STORY

ALL STUDENTS GIVEN OPTION TO RETURN TO FULL-TIME, IN-PERSON LEARNING

by Joaquin Medrano, Managing Editor, and Omar Cerezo

After a year of COVID-19 protocols and shutdowns, Bosco is ready to welcome most students back to the classroom next week along with an expansion of continued participation in extracurriculars and the reintroduction of student life events, as L.A county shifted into the “red tier” last week.

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Los Angeles County has been in the purple (widespread) tier since March 2020. Recently, many people were shocked to find out that L.A County was moving towards the red (substantial) tier during the third week of March 2021. The progress towards a lower-tier brings new regulations, which has impacted schools in a positive way, as it has allowed schools like Bosco to begin operating at a 75% capacity.

Currently, Bosco is planning to bring most of the student body back to campus, while still offering an online option. This is an effort to accommodate every family and allow them to choose what works best for their schedule and health. Mr. Adan Jaramillo, the newly appointed Interim Principal, has been hard at work, as administration and faculty prepare to welcome back all students next Monday.

“We are having two grades, freshmen and seniors, come back on Monday, and on Tuesday, we start with everyone else,”  said Mr. Jaramillo. “It is only for the students who selected to on-campus learning back in August and obviously we will still offer the online component because that is an integral part, especially in a global pandemic.” FULL STORY

REMEMBERING THE LIFE AND SERVICE OF MR. ISMAEL “ISH” FERNANDEZ

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.

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On Friday, February 12, 2021, the St John Bosco High School community lost a giant, a man who truly embodied everything it meant not just to be a Bosco Brave, but a Salesian man.

The life and service of Mr. Ismael “Ish” Fernandez is a story that may be righteously told to future generations of Brave students and staff.

While Ish served the Bosco Community with boundless love and protected students and staff alike with unlimited devotion, he will be remembered as far more than just his official capacity as the Head Security Guard.

Indubitably, there are a multitude of ways that the Bosco Community will remember Ish – his famous Golf Cart being one of them. The signature image for Ish was riding around campus in the cart to ensure the safety of the premises, thus certifying the protection of the boys he never failed to protect.

“Ish was literally the gatekeeper of Bosco. All the students and staff knew him by name and by voice. Amazingly, he knew so many of their names as well. Just as part of the role of the Good Shepherd (in the bible) is to keep the sheep safe, it was Ish’s vocation to keep the students and staff of Bosco safe from danger. Ish was easily the most visible person on campus and surely one of the most respected,” said Religion Instructor and Football Coach Mr. Joe Griffin.

Yet, while such a memory may be held by so many Bosco students, alumni, faculty and staff, it is not all he’ll be remembered for. FULL STORY

THE MULTIPLE ACHIEVEMENTS OF ONE OF BOSCO’S BEST STUDENT ATHLETES, CAEL VALENCIA ’21

by Ryan Tavera

Bosco athlete and scholar Cael Valencia continues to make huge strides in the classroom and on the wrestling mat as he exemplifies what it means to be a Bosco Brave. 

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St. John Bosco wrestler Cael Valencia is the Press-Telegram boys athlete of the week. (Photo courtesy of St. John Bosco wrestling)

Senior Cael Valencia has remained a staple name in the wrestling community currently ranking #5 in the Class of 2021 at 160lbs. In addition, the Bosco Brave is a two-time California state runner up, 2019 Super 32 Champion, and multiple time Fargo Champion.

These achievements to name a few are a testimony of Cael’s determination and his commitment to wrestling.

“I’m always working whether it be in my online classes or on the mat but first I always have to eat,” said Cael.

As for Cael’s wrestling style, it can only be described as explosive and persistent. Cael breaks down his opponents through relentless pressure which is supported by his sharp technique.

“My wrestling style is constant attacking, motion, inside and outside. I think if I just keep constant pressure it’s going to open up my game,” said Cael.

On the flip side, Cael is also an active participant in school and has many fond memories of Bosco particularly of Mr. Bartelt’s class.

“Memories that make me appreciate high school would have to be with Mr. Bartlet and all the help he gave me letting me know I could succeed,” said Cael.

Cael believes that he wouldn’t be the person he is today if it wasn’t for the support of his coaches and teachers and St John Bosco. FULL STORY

AARON PICO, FORMER ST. JOHN BOSCO STUDENT AND WRESTLER, GETS AN IMPRESSIVE KNOCKOUT VICTORY IN THE SECOND ROUND OF HIS BOUT WITH JOHN DE JESUS

by: Andrew Fierro

It looks like we are seeing the best version of Aaron Pico!

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Going into this fight Aaron Pico was 6-3 and was coming off of two of his best performances he has had. He started off his Bellator career with a 4-1 record before having two disappointing losses. Despite having a rocky start he seemed to be a changed fighter and looks to be better than he ever has.

The fighter he was facing in this fight named John de Jesus was also coming off of a win with a unanimous decision over Vladyslav Parubchenko where he was dominant the entire fight. The fighter used his wide range of different striking techniques to keep his opponent always on his back foot keeping the fight where he wanted. Though with Pico this didn’t work.

About midway through the first round, Pico was able to take John de Jesus to the ground and out wrestle him the rest of the round. It was a dominant round win for Pico and it seemed to be a good start to the fight for him. After this going into the second round he looked to do the same with an early takedown being landed. FULL STORY

UNSUNG HERO MR. EDGAR SALMINGO, JR

by Joshua Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief

Mr. Edgar Salmingo, Jr, an important member of the faculty and staff as the Vice Principal of Academic Affairs here at St. John Bosco High School, plays a key role to ensure that all school-related operations run smoothly. Despite not getting enough recognition as he should, he is extraordinarily committed to the Bosco community, as he spearheads efforts at Bosco to help students and teachers succeed.

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Before arriving at St. John Bosco to embark on his journey of becoming a teacher in a Salesian setting, Mr. Salmingo believed he had a different calling as he navigated through life after graduating from college. Born into a family of five with two other siblings and growing up in both Hawthorne and Harbor City, California, Mr. Salmingo poured himself into his education as a kid, prioritizing school over all else.

After finishing middle school, Mr. Salmingo decided to attend Loyola High School, where he excelled as a student. Upon graduating from Loyola, he attended UC Irvine for his undergraduate degree, where he majored in Computer Engineering.

After getting his degree from UC Irvine, he attended Loyola Marymount University, where he got his Credential and Masters in Secondary Education. To further reflect his commitment to education, Mr. Salmingo currently attends Pepperdine University for his Doctorate in Learning Technologies.

Initially, Mr. Salmingo wasn’t drawn to Education as a career, first working at Apple as a Genius Administrator, or in layman’s terms, a Manager of the Repair Department for Apple Products. Despite being the Genius Administrator at Apple, which was a relatively stable job after finishing his studies, Mr. Salmingo felt as if he wanted to do more with his life. FULL STORY

FORMER BRAVE AARON PICO COMPETES THURSDAY NIGHT AGAINST JOHN DE JESUS

by: Andrew Fierro

Aaron Pico who is currently 6-3 and on a two-fight win streak fights on Thursday Night for the Bellator organization in the featherweight weight class.

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Aaron Pico started off his Bellator career with a 4-1 record finishing all of his fights inside one round using his high level striking and wrestling.

Though his hot streak came to a halt when he crossed paths with Henry Corrales who finished him in the first round. The fight started off well for Pico as he dropped him with a punch at the beginning of the fight, though instead of taking it to the ground he let him back up which proved costly in the end. FULL STORY

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY OF ONLINE LEARNING

by Pedro Ochoa

If someone last year told you that we would be doing all of our classes on our bed via ZOOM, would you have believed them? Of course not. Isn’t it weird that most of the time in our physical classes, our teachers would tell us that we had to put our electronics away? And now, they ask us to open our electronics, because if we don’t, then we will get marked absent. How things have changed in 2020!

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Waking up five minutes before class, in your bed, and in your pajamas is amazing right? Can you imagine being in front of a screen for more than ten hours a day? Well stop imagining it, not only are you doing this now, but most of you were doing it before the pandemic (stop shaking your head – you know I’m right).

Online learning has a lot of positives and negatives. First and foremost, every quarter is different for everyone. There have been many students that are pulling their hair out because they are taking their hardest classes in the first quarter, while some students are sleeping and dreaming of those sheep jumping on clouds because they have free periods. I know this because I was one of those sheep dreamers first quarter, while now I am starting to grow white hairs. FULL STORY

DUE TO COVID-19, BOSCO STUDENTS HAVE HAD TO ADAPT TO A NEW QUARTER SYSTEM, CREATING A DIVIDE IN THE COMMUNITY OVER LEARNING PREFERENCE

by Nicholas Neoman

The Bosco community is experiencing a divide over the rapid change of quarters this semester, sparking dialogue on whether a quarter system is beneficial or detrimental to both students and faculty during online learning.

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Teachers, as well as some students, feel the pinch of a quick turnaround. For a multitude of reasons, they believe that the three day break between quarters one and two was far too short.

When Mrs. Michele Dolphin, a teacher for the Biomedical Pathway and Chemistry, was asked about the single-day grading period, she responded with a sentiment many other Bosco teachers may share as well.

“I ended up not meeting that deadline and so I asked for an extension because it was just impossible, I felt really stressed and overwhelmed,” Mrs. Dolphin said.

Mrs. Dolphin represents the general consensus of many teachers at Bosco. Teachers like Dolphin finished administering their finals Thursday afternoon and were expected to grade them by the end of the following day. The tight pinch between academic quarters forced teachers into a frenzy, grading at an alarming rate. Teachers were expected to grade finals within a day and start teaching their next classes a few days later. Much of the teaching staff would have benefited greatly from an elongated break to grade finals and relax before they set out to teach a new set of courses.

Noah Citek, a Junior in the Sports-Medicine Pathway, responded similarly when asked about his view on the short grace period. FULL STORY

THE STORY OF DR. WICKSTROM, A MAN OF FAITH, INTELLECT, LEADERSHIP AND CITIZENSHIP.

By John Udabe

Over the summer, St John Bosco hired on a new President and CEO of the school to bring change to the Bosco community, Dr. Brian Wickstrom.

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With a rich resume, Dr. Wickstrom is an exciting and enriching addition to the Bosco community.

Dr. Wickstrom was raised and educated in the state of Kansas, along with his identical twin. As a student athlete in high school, he eventually went on to receive a full scholarship to Kansas State as a Track and Field athlete running the 400 meter. This background makes it easy for him to relate to the load many Bosco student-athletes take up in order to have an opportunity to compete at the next level, as he has experienced first-hand what that feels like.

“You have to learn to manage your time and you have to learn to survive, make friends, get along and build relationships to get through school and set yourself up to be able to have the contacts for the rest of your life,” Dr. Wickstrom said. “I think it’s very similar to going through the brotherhood of St John Bosco and the value of the relationships and the brotherhood that you make here in school.”

At Kansas State, he earned his MBA with a management concentration. After that, he earned a Masters of Sports Administration from Ohio University and later became a Doctor of Education and Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University.

“I just knew that I had such a great student experience and student athlete experience, that I wanted to impact students,” Dr. Wickstrom says.

Dr. Wickstrom’s family is a testament to the emphasis and importance of education on his life. FULL STORY

JUAN ARCHULETTA, A COACH TO BOSCO WRESTLING, BOUNCES BACK FROM A FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT LOSS BY WINNING THE BELLATOR BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

by: Andrew Fierro

Juan Archuletta, a bantamweight fighter in the Bellator organization, and a role model to Bosco’s varsity wrestling team acquires the bantamweight championship with a win over Patchy Mix on September 12.

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Almost exactly one year after losing his first title fight against featherweight Patrico Freire, Juan Archuletta challenges for a title once again and this time gets a unanimous decision to take home the championship. His record is now 25-2 and he has only lost one time in the past 5 years.

Archuletta’s great ground defense became a pivotal role in his win, with him being taken to the ground early in the first round and having to defend off many submission attempts from his opponent Patchy Mix. Though once he was able to get back to his feet it was obvious that he was in control of the fight with his superior boxing.

Archuletta commented about the difference between wrestling in a regular match and a fight, saying, “it’s different because in a fight you’re getting punched, you can’t just shoot in when you’re tired”. He cited differences in the amount of things to worry about stating “there are a lot more things to worry about when you’re fighting because it’s not only about wrestling”. FULL STORY

COVID STRIKES AGAIN, COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS HARDER TO COME BY

by Aydn Morris

High school student athletes are now panicking as college scholarships won’t be any easy to come by this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic. 

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St. John Bosco High School Athletic Director Monty McDermott, like many student-athletes and parents, is concerned about the matter. Around 500,000 students end up becoming a student athlete in college and from those 500,000 only 150,000 are under an athletic scholarship, according to Mr. McDermott.

“Now it is even tougher to get a scholarship because the number of high school students are rising but the number of scholarships are decreasing,” said Mr. McDermott.

Prior to the outbreak only 2% of student athletes were given a scholarship which resorted to only 15,000 students receiving one. It is no secret that it was already tremendously hard to get an athletic scholarship in general, and now it is going to reach a level of toughness we have never seen before.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) has been trying to figure out a way to let as many high school students as possible play their respective sports. They came up with the idea of reducing the sports seasons by only having Winter and Spring seasons, which allowed the fall sports to practice and try out due to not being able to during the summer. FULL STORY

Don’t Make Halloween A Pandemic Nightmare

by Nicholas Neoman

Celebrating Halloween in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic poses a tremendous new health risk. In the wake of a spike in cases nationwide following Labor Day weekend, health experts are concerned with the implications Halloween places on the rate of transmission.

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According to NBC Los Angeles, Labor Day saw a massive “uptick in virus cases.” Events such as barbecues and public gatherings on Labor Day caused a spike in the COVID-19 infection rate. According to the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, Los Angeles County’s cases are hovering around 7 cases per 100,000 people. Health experts fear the COVID-19 infection rate will see exponential growth during Halloween, which may mean the popular holiday will look different for at least 2020.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has placed new guidelines for Halloween in the midst of this pandemic. Social gatherings, such as parties, are now forbidden as close interactions will surely cause a spike in cases. Other traditions like Trick-Or-Treating are strictly advised against. Everyone must be six feet apart, which is simply not realistic. While many restless children will still go door-to-door asking for candy, the Health Department strongly advises to limit the amount of contact. Even small interactions with others, like handing out candy, put people at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus.

Furthermore, the Health Department has deemed online parties and drive-in-movies as safe actions for celebrating Halloween. While many are still very sick of doing everything from a distance, one moment of close interaction can ruin what months of time have built. Halloween floods people with nostalgia of times before this pandemic. Thus, the inclination to return to “normal” will be stronger than usual. But, remember: this can be deadly. FULL STORY

#BraveTogether Fundraiser Shows Strength of Community In Time Of Crisis 

by Ryan Tavera

Since its founding in 1940, St. John Bosco High School has been committed to empowering students to develop and achieve their fullest potential, but due to the recent economic decline caused by COVID-19, St. John Bosco’s goal to serve students has been put in jeopardy. Luckily, our community has stayed #BraveTogether to make sure no one gets left behind.

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COVID-19 has made nearly 10 percent of our families struggle to make due and pay tuition. Furthermore, the pandemic has resulted in several major fundraising events being canceled. As a result, an estimated $250,000+ was lost that needs to be made up.

Previously, Bosco aided 60 percent of students through its tuition assistance program. Unfortunately, no additional funds are available to help these families. So during these hard times, it is stressed as a faith and school community that we exercise perseverance and offer a helping hand to our fellow Bosco families.

The Brave Together fundraiser serves as a beacon of strength and unity and to inspire others to help one another. FULL STORY

“Senioritis” Strikes Again

by Emilio Ceja

All of the hard work done for four years of high school by students can in some cases mean nothing if they catch “senioritis”.

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All of the good grades, outstanding GPA’s, and credit for classes can be looked over and ignored if students continue through the last months of high school with this epidemic. The unwillingness to do work the second semester of senior year can not only mean lower grades for students but can also bring much larger consequences to the table. 

Throughout my years at St. John Bosco I have seen many seniors change from their academically achieving selves into the sweatpants wearing, sandals rocking, seniors that no longer care about the whole highschool appeal. Many of these seniors sometimes do not realize the real harm that they can cause to their own future by not doing the often simple work that is assigned to them. Once accepted into colleges, the colleges themselves have the ability to revoke your acceptance if your grades are not adequate to maintain acceptance. For many this can be unknown, once they realize the guidelines, it is too late for anything to change and they are stuck without the option to attend a university that they didn’t intend on choosing. FULL STORY

Bosco Water Polo Coach and Former-Olympian Jeff Powers

by Christian Estrada

With all of Bosco’s big sports glory, do not be surprised that an Olympian walks among Braves. Head water polo coach Jeff Powers was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall Of Fame this past Summer, yet another big athletic splash in the Brave community. 

Mr. Powers was born January 21, 1980 in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but went to San Luis Obispo High School and played basketball, soccer, baseball, swimming and water polo.

He started water polo in high school, however, he did not take the traditional route. While Coach Powers understands the importance of hard work in a sport, he believes it is best for an athlete to participate in multiple sports.

“I am a big fan of [athletes] playing multiple sports and just having fun year around, and if you are an athlete you will be fine, it allows you to build character. Once you get to high school then you can start singling out and focusing on one sport. But until then, I say play all the sports that you can. I think you will be a better athlete, and lower your chance of injuries,” said Coach Powers. FULL STORY

Juniors Share a Nostalgic Night at Ring Ceremony

by Ryan Tavera

November 20, 2019 marked a significant day for many students attending St. John Bosco and their families, as the juniors received their class rings.

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Junior rings have been a tradition in many high schools over the years and Bosco is no stranger towards the tradition. The ring is a token of appreciation and congratulations to juniors in the man they are today and the man they are shaping into. It also signifies their progression through high school, and the start of the end of their high school days.

Students were to meet in the Chapel with their family shortly after school ended, and they were seated together while their families sat towards the back of the chapel.

The mass focused on admiring, wishing the junior’s a good future. The main difference between this mass and others, was that it had a more professional tone to it, almost like mini graduation.

Following the mass, Mr. Flaherty delivered a speech detailing the significance of the ring and what exactly the purpose of the ceremony is and what it means to him. FULL STORY

Men of Service During “Season of Giving” and Beyond

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

With the season of giving nearly approaching, the urge to help others in need comes into full force. However, this desire to assist those who need help is not limited to just the holiday season. It is a way of life that should embody a person’s character all year long. 

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This desire to give is represented in full force by the St. John Bosco Christian Service Program at Skid Row in Los Angeles, California, which takes place throughout the school year.

The St. John Bosco High School Service Program is an aspect of the school that pertains to the student body, reaching out to foundations and helping others in need. Students are required to achieve a certain amount of service hours each year in order to graduate.

However, the impulse to help others does not only come from the faculty and staff but from the student body itself. Many students have dedicated countless hours of their personal time as it genuinely lets them enjoy time away from themselves to help the less fortunate. FULL STORY

Unsung Hero Counselor Ms. Alyssa Skipper

by Dominic Sanchez

Ms. Alyssa Skipper, a prominent member of the faculty and staff here at St. John Bosco High School as our Director of Counseling, may not be as well-known to some parents and alumni, but she is a mainstay in the lives of our student body. She plays a dominant role in the community in helping hundreds of students reach their academic potential and goals for the future to come.

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Ms. Skipper’s journey to St. John Bosco has been drawn out and alluring. She was born one of two daughters in Torrance, California and then raised in Lakewood for the majority of her life. Growing up with a very supportive and loving family who supported her through anything, they would go to any limit to help her succeed with her goals throughout her early life.

After middle school, Ms. Skipper decided to attend Mayfair High School participating in cheerleading and several other clubs. Graduating from high school she chose to go to UC Santa Barbara as an undergraduate and got her Masters at Cal State Dominguez Hills College. She then chose to start majoring in sociology, as well as minoring in applied psychology to broaden her opportunities for the counseling career she’s been pursuing.

By the time she was about to leave high school, she knew that being a school counselor was a career path she wanted to be in. Besides working at a few fun jobs on the side during high school in the Summer, like Soak City Water Park, which she definitely did not enjoy.

“It was a terrible first job; I will definitely say that,” said Ms. Skipper. FULL STORY

The “Team in Red” Will Have Their Hands Full On and Off the Field

by Aharon Colon, A+E Editor

Not only will there be a battle on the field, but there will also be a battle in the stands. 

St. John Bosco’s student section, “The Tribe”, has had a great year so far planning new themes and showing out at every home game. Here is everything you need to know about them, and what you should expect from tonight’s game.

With the emergence of a big social media presence spreading across Twitter and Instagram, The Tribe’s stock has risen tremendously over the past 2 years in the eyes of the public.

Starting with our first viral video, ironically at last year’s regular season game, the Tribe was seen jumping up and down singing the tune to “Seven Nation Army” in the rain. This was in response to rumors that the game was going to be cancelled, and a high school football fanpage got a hold of the video and posted it. Since then The Tribe has never looked back. FULL STORY

Get Hype for Tonight’s Epic Battle with 4-Star Strong Safety Kourt Williams

by Kourt Williams

It is difficult to put into words what a game like this truly means. Some are calling this the high school football game of the decade, even the century. From a players point of view, I can tell you this is nothing short of the opportunity of a lifetime. 

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This is the first time Bosco will play the team in red game at Panish Family Stadium. It’s number one and number two. No, not in the state of California, but in the whole United States. I thank God that I can be a part of it.

For the first time in a long time, we are considered the underdogs coming into a football game. We have been waiting for the opportunity to play these guys ever since last Winter, when we lost to them in the CIF-SS Championship game.

You best believe me and my teammates will be coming into the game with a big chip on our shoulders. We know Brave Nation has something to prove. FULL STORY

Unsung Hero Ms. Jeanne Pantuso

by Matthew Ruiz

Ms. Jeanne Pantuso is a well-known asset to Athletic Director Monty McDermott, all the sports teams and the staff and faculty members here at St. John Bosco. However, many parents and students don’t know who she is nor do they know all the work that she does to help the school’s athletic department, students and the overall community here at St. John Bosco High School. 

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Ms. Pantuso was born into a large family consisting of four brothers and two sisters. Her family has been associated with Bosco for decades, especially because her brothers came to Bosco. One brother, Mr. Jack Hastert, is still an extremely active and involved faculty member for the school, being the head golf coach and a recently retired religion teacher after over 30 years at Bosco. But Coach Hastert is far from the only connection to Bosco for Ms. Pantuso.

“My son Graduated from Bosco in 98’ with a football scholarship, and my daughter graduated from St. Joseph’s in 00’ two years later,” Ms. Pantuso said. She’s had many family members go through Bosco and St. Joseph’s High School whether that be siblings, nieces, nephews and brother and sister in-laws. FULL STORY

The Humility, Gratitude, and Leadership of Five-Star Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

The persona of a five-star high school quarterback, especially in the eyes of Hollywood, comes attached with arrogance and an unlikeliness to be deferential of teammates and coaches. This is not D.J. Uiagalelei. A true quarterback has to be someone who has the physical talent and mental fortitude to lead ten other individuals on the field to success. A quarterback is a leader, a headman, a commander. This is D.J. Uiagalelei.

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Growing up, D.J.’s world revolved around athletics, family and church. Coming from a religious family, D.J.’s faith was instilled at a young age. His church, Abundant Living Family Church, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, hosts people from all walks of life, as it opens its doors to people of all faiths. Diving deep into his faith, D.J. gave a visual on how his faith drove him to the promised land of virtue and prosperity.

“God has blessed me with a lot, besides being blessed by waking up day-to-day, he has blessed me with an amazing life, an amazing family, and year-by-year, an amazing team,” D.J. said. “He has blessed me by being able to play the game of football, by that blessing: He gives me the opportunity to showcase the talent he has given me.”

D.J.’s faith and family have driven him to the best person that he can be. Involving himself with Pop-Warner games, youth camps and other virtues that involves him helping others, D.J. chooses to be a part of something greater than himself. FULL STORY

Hawaii Football Trip Travel Log

by Kourt Williams

Day 1: 

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As the team and I are ready and set for the trip, eager to start this once in a lifetime experience, first we had to go through the challenge of getting there. I had to wake up at three o’clock in the morning to be able to get to Bosco by four. By the time I got to the school, the majority of the team was already there ready to go. As we drive in the dark on our way to the airport, even though this time of morning is usually peace and quiet, my teammates and I were wide awake, almost as if we were on our way to a party. You could just feel the excitement in the air.

As we arrive at the airport, after talking to my teammates about the trip, this is the first time some of them have ever been at an airport, let alone an airplane. Just the fact, young men in high school get to travel to an island and experience something only a few ever get to do, in all just to play a football game, is something I will never forget, always cherish, and never take for granted. FULL STORY

New Faculty Q&A Featuring Ms. Sparks

by Christian Estrada

IMG_2586For our first new faculty interview at St. John Bosco High School of the year, we sat down with administrative assistant Ms. Emma Jean Sparks to ask her some questions and welcome her to the SJB family.

Q: What’s your favorite movie?

A: Anything (and everything) from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Q: When is your birthday?

A: November 13

Q: What is your favorite color?

A: Blue – the color of the ocean!

Q: What is your Job?

A: I’m working as an administrative assistant – helping with registrar duties while Rubi Araque is out on maternity leave, and also helping Mr. Salmingo with the school’s technology update!

Q: How do you like your job?

A: Getting to work with the Bosco community has been such a fun experience. The staff, teachers, and students have all been so welcoming and warm. FULL STORY

When Being A “Brave” Means Getting Help, CPLA Is There

by Emilio Ceja and Jesse Neville

ymh_infographicStress levels in teens are beginning to match and even surpass the levels of adults, often in worse conditions than those stressed adults because of the unique social pressures adolescents face. Without a way to cope or handle this stress, many students often become overwhelmed and can fall behind in taking care of their schoolwork, their personal relationships and, most importantly, themselves.   

However, students at St. John Bosco have a choice. Bosco began its mental health counseling program began during the 2006-2007 school year, offering a free and personalized counseling service to help with student stress and other issues they may face. Through this program, the students are not treated as “clients,” but are treated as a friend that has others around them that they are able to talk to.

The original “Outreach Concern” counselors at Bosco have been replaced by counselors from a new company called Counseling Partners of Los Angeles (CPLA). These new CPLA counselors serve the same purpose as the Outreach ones and help the academic counselors meet all aspects of student needs. FULL STORY

Incoming Freshman Look to Blaze Their Own Trail

by Elias Gomez

Being a freshman at Bosco is a great responsibility. It is a privilege. In the classroom as well as in the community, where students may don anything carrying the cherished “Bosco” name, they are expected and held to a standard of representing the “Bosco Brotherhood.”don-bosco-2_comp

These incoming freshmen Braves began the year with a positive mindset and a fresh start with new student orientation. Like many Braves, one freshman, Diego Marquez, says that he is looking forward to Bosco’s Pathway Programs.

“The Engineering Pathway is something I am excited for because it teaches me how to be a good leader and to problem solve,” said Diego Marquez.

Diego’s intellect and willingness to learn will help him, and all freshman, in his progression through respective Pathway Programs, or just balance the classroom with extracurriculars. FULL STORY

My Recruiting Process: Kris Hutson

by Kristopher Hutson

My recruiting process has been going great. Being recruited and 140107160532-college-sports-logos-story-tophaving a chance to go to college for free is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

I got my first offer during my time as a freshman. Receiving that offer is the most exciting thing about this whole process, because that is the main goal for every athlete.

If you only receive a Division-2 or Division-3 scholarship, don’t start doubting yourself, because many pro athletes have come from even community colleges. You can go anywhere and ball-out, then transfer to a big-time university to improve your exposure. Never lose hope.

I committed to the University of Southern California early in my junior year. However, after thinking about it hard and talking with friends and family, I realized USC was not a place for me. FULL STORY

How To Gain Healthy Weight

by Jacob Jornadal and Sele Pemasa

As easy as it sounds, gaining weight is a bit more complicated than you would think. We are here to inform high school students about the healthy and correct way to gain weight.

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Many students today – especially with the ability to drive – have access to all sorts of fast food. Many advisors say to stay away from fast food or to at least limit to once a month.

Other items to avoid is soda. Soda is the highest sugar saturated drink on the market. Consuming these type of foods and beverages will lead to you gaining the unhealthy weight that will produce more body fat rather than muscle, which is what we are trying to avoid. FULL STORY

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Amy Krisch

by Kyle Moats

Ms. Amy Krisch is one of St. John Bosco’s hidden gems.img_0207

While Ms. Krisch is a well-known face in the staff and administration, she may not be as well-known to many parents and students. This is ironic in that the students at St. John Bosco are the primary beneficiaries of her many efforts and the results her events provide.

I had the privilege of being able to sit and really get to know who “Miss Amy” – as she is affectionately known – is and how important her position is to us at St. John Bosco.

Ms. Krisch’s road to St. John Bosco has been equally lengthy and interesting. She was born one of three daughters, in a town outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her early childhood there. FULL STORY

Deep Web Poses Virtual Threat To Students

by Joshua Lucero and Elijah Ramos

What is the Dark Web? The Dark Web is part of the world wide web that can only be accessed by a special software, allowing participants to be anonymous whilst participating in illegal activities.

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The Dark Web is more than just a label that has been given by the feeble minds of those who do not understand the magnitude of this creation.

The “Dark Web” and “Deep Web”  can be seen as separate online resources. However, the Deep and Dark Webs are virtual seas where users can access information that they cannot in regular search engines such as Safari, Yahoo and Google.

The dark web is purposely hidden and encrypted from others. These encryptions include sites that distribute drugs, guns and other illegal products. FULL STORY

SJB Unsung Heroes: Ms. Margie Woods

by Elliston Ospina and Jake Newman

“Through my husband, I was able to see the eyes of Bosco,” said Ms. Woods.

Ms. Woods is one of the most beloved members of our school’s faculty. IMG_1109She represents the light and kindness of Don Bosco in her everyday routine.

The legend herself – Ms. Margie Woods – has a very dynamic role at Bosco. She is responsible for attendance control and messages, absences and notes, an everyday, all-day type of task.

Administration requests that she remains in a static position in terms of the tasks that she does, but that doesn’t sit well with her. FULL STORY

SJB Unsung Heroes: Bobby Bernado

by Jacob Jornadal and Jake Bailey

In any well-functioning community, there are always certain IMG_1918individuals that keep everything running smoothly, like the oil that keeps the engine running in an automobile.

Within the St. John Bosco High School community, there are many stars – academic and athletic – that shine very bright in all aspects of life, but without the unsung heroes doing the blue-collar work that they do, those “stars” at Bosco would struggle to succeed as much as they do.

Bobby Bernardo is Bosco’s “Mr Everything.” From maintenance to organizing sporting events, Bobby does just about anything he is asked to do and more with a smile on his face at all times. FULL STORY

Depression In Youth At An All-Time High

by Joshua Lucero

Depression and anxiety are common issues that have infected the youth especially in recent history.

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Many believe that depression is simply a choice and young teens overreact to their problems. Depression is a disease that can be caused from a variety of problems. Young teens have transformed from a group of children to mature young adults in this day and age.

Studies show that mature teens care and worry about adult problems such as financial issues, helping siblings, future careers, with this often leading to depression. A popular coping method of depression includes the taking of drugs and alcohol. FULL STORY

A Letter To Eugene

by Eddie Torre, contributing writer

Dear Eugene,

A week ago today when I visited, you and Karin were together for Valentine’s Day—not DzbBiISVAAAZIu5.jpg-largein the most romantic place but rather in a place of healing called Cedars-Sinai hospital.

A week ago today your eyes teared up when you saw the get-well card your Bosco students and band members signed for you.

A week ago today we were making plans for when you got better to go to Gerry’s Grill in Cerritos—and, break bread together with other Bosco colleagues on the condition that you would not eat any Filipino food. Ha! FULL STORY

Remembering The Life Of Mr. Eugene Fabiero

by Ethan Piechota

“His memory of you was joy, you brought him joy.”

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On Thursday, February 21st, 2019 at 1:25 PM, the St. John Bosco community lost a man who embodied the true spirit of a “Brave.”

The life of Mr. Eugene Fabiero won’t be remembered just through his love for instruments and music.

He won’t just be remembered for his love for traveling and venturing around the world, and exploring new places.

He won’t just be remembered for his iconic motorcycle that he rode to school from 90 minutes away every morning.

And he won’t just be remembered for his incredible impact on the St. John Bosco High School band program in such a short amount of time. FULL STORY

Vaping Poses New Health Risks In High Schools

by Matthew Ruiz, George Holani, Elliston Ospina, and Jake Newman

“Vaping in general is a major health risk to teens and young adults for brain development, addiction, and behavioral risks.”

Teenage vaping of nicotine and marijuana can have long-term effects on the brain. When teens and young adults expose their brain to these substances, they are susceptible to side effects that include addiction, mood changes, and permanent lowering of impulse control.

Nicotine can also lead to addictions with more advanced tobacco products. Some evidence suggests that E-Cigarette use is linked to alcohol use and other substance use, such as marijuana. FULL STORY

Alumni Update: Alberto Gonzalez ’16

by Gabriel Botello

Bosco alumnus Alberto Gonzalez and his team dominated the internship competition at Facebook University and got to meet the famous Mark Zuckerberg recently._E5mh9pW_400x400.jpg

Alberto Gonzalez is an alumnus of St. John Bosco High School and was a part of the graduating class of 2016. For two years, Berto has been bouncing around with different majors such as neuroscience and PPE (philosophy, politics, and economics).

As he was still trying to find what he truly wanted to major in, Berto landed an internship in Washington, DC during the summer where he decided to minor in computer science. With this decision, Gonzalez worked on getting an internship for the class the summer after. FULL STORY

Kairos 46 Reflection: Live The 4th

by Joshua AdohDpmgsLHVAAANAF5

Out of all the retreats that St. John Bosco holds throughout a traditional Braves’ four-year experience, Kairos takes the cake.

Going on this retreat is a guaranteed eye-opening experience. I learned many messages, such as how to treat people the right way and how to spread love to others. One major thing I took away however is that you must first love yourself in order to love others. That will stick with me forever.

I have learned the importance of self-love and how it plays a big part in my life as a young man. Ms. (Mama) Valerie Shields opened my mind to the idea of going on this retreat, which helped me understand that I am never alone in this world as long as I have God, my family, and my close-knit friends. FULL STORY

Nnamdi Chugbo Breaks the Mold

by RJ Johnson

Nnamdi1Traditionally, the Brave of the Issue has been awarded to exceptional Bosco athletes and scholars, such as Jaiden Woodbey and Colby Bowman. However, even these illustrious awardees haven’t achieved some of what class of 2019 senior Nnamdi Chugbo has in his own time at St. John Bosco.

On December 24, 2017, Nnamdi launched his clothing brand ‘Saint’ with the release of his “The World is Yours” t-shirt. His inspiration behind  “The World is Yours” design came from his feelings toward life.

Nnamdi has always grown up not only believing, but knowing that he was destined for more in life than just traditional standards in which to conform. FULL STORY

Long Hair Not Cutting It

by Joshua Lucerobest-student-learning-commons

On August 21st, sixth grader Faith Fennidy arrived to school at Christ the King Parish School in Terrytown, Louisiana and received a notice about being in violation of dress code. The Archdiocese of New Orleans stated she was not expelled, but rather “withdrawn” from Christ the King. But what school administration didn’t bargain that day was this being the beginning of a problem for the school’s haircut policy.

Faith and her family were sidetracked and shaken by the news. Faith left her campus in tears after her natural hair didn’t meet her school’s standards. However, this was not the first time Faith received notice regarding her hair being in violation of dress code. FULL STORY

Test-Taking Advice

by Na’im Rodman

_DSC9584It’s that time of year again, and by time of year, I mean Midterms. This time of year can be very stressful especially for athletes that are being checked for eligibility or just for students that want to get their grades right heading into the second half of the semester.

This is the time of the year where you want to establish habits that will be successful during Finals Week in December. Tests can be dreadful for some students who are not the best test takers, struggle in their study skills and preparation, or don’t have all the best grades going into the tests. So here’s some advice on how to prepare for and ace your exams in the future! FULL STORY

New Black Student Union on Campus

by RJ Johnson

Discussion of a Black Student Union on St. John Bosco’s campus has been up for several years, on and off with no one truly taking initiation to get the club started.

With St. John Bosco being such a diverse community and rich in cultural clubs such as Filipino Club, Spanish Culture Club and more, a club to represent African-American culture and pride seemed to be missing.

St. John Bosco senior students Parker Grey and Cole Grey have taken the role of getting a BSU started here on campus. FULL STORY

Mama Shields: Surviving Hurricane Katrina

by Gabriel Botello

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“It changed my whole life, I became homeless and jobless. I had possessions in my home that could never be replaced.”

With Hurricane Florence affecting residents of North and South Carolina, Bosco religion teacher Ms. Valerie “Mama” Shields reflected on her own story of being a victim of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Going through a hurricane is extremely tragic, and many people living in California are fortunate enough to have avoided the experience. Residents must leave their belongings, their money and most importantly their homes while evacuating. For some people, it’s the home they grew up in. FULL STORY

Standford-Bound Colby Bowman Helps Lead Bosco’s National Title Run

by Caleb Wiley

DjDf8-NVAAAQQPr.jpg-largeColby Bowman transferred to St. John Bosco High School after his freshman year and immediately fit into the winning culture at Bosco on and off the field.

Bowman heard about the Brave football powerhouse not only from all the friends he had going to the school, but also through playing against (and getting beat by) Bosco during his freshman year at JSerra.

“After playing against Bosco my freshman year, I knew right away what school I was going to next year. The way they played like a team and with passion really caught my attention,” said Bowman. FULL STORY

New Students Welcomed to Bosco Brotherhood

By Naim Rodman & Jacob Jornadal

Every year young men come from all over to join the Bosco community, whether it’s from a different country, a public school, a private school, or even home school. Three weeks have gone by since these students have begun their journey as Bosco Braves.

As new transfers or freshmen, it can be hard to adjust to dress code, Mass, new academic and athletic standards and just Salesianity on the whole.

Students coming from private school are used to uniform rules because of their last schools policies. FULL STORY

Life of a Brave: Dress Code Crackdown

by Joshua Lucero & Lucas Garrison

By attending St. John Bosco High School, students have to comply with the school dress code. The past few years these rules have been overlooked. So far in the 2018 school year, there has been a clear reinforcement to these rules.

School Vice Principal of Student Affairs Mr. Jaramillo has been tasked with the job to have the structure of the school run fluidly. A former dean on campus, Jaramillo is familiar with the rules and regulations on campus.

“My job is holding up the stage and making sure the lights work on the stage,” says Mr. Jaramillo.

These school requirements of clean shaving, tucked in shirts and belts are all major cultural changes on campus. Mr. Jaramillo is not trying to make the lives of students difficult, as he tries to bring equity and unification to the school community. FULL STORY

Life of a Brave: The makings of a great liturgical choir

by Kyle Moats and Victor Curie

Calling all Braves! To all interested in acquiring a new skill, joining a tight-knit campus community, or just looking to have an all-around good time with classmates, Bosco’s music department is the right fit for you!

When people hear of St. John Bosco High School, the words that are often automatically associated are sports, academics, and the Salesians. However, while each of these aspects is an integral part of the Bosco experience and community, one component that does not receive as large of a spotlight is our school’s marching band and liturgical choir. 

Due to many of the music program’s members being in last year’s graduating class, the department has been left shorthanded this year. In an interview with Bosco’s music drector Mr. Eugene Fabiero, he expressed his thoughts over his department’s current predicament. FULL STORY

Brave of the Issue: Jaiden Woodbey

by Ethan Piechota

Every day, Jaiden Woodbey drives to school here at St. John Bosco high school from his home in Fontana, California.

The one-hour drive every morning is tough for the star football player and track-and-field standout, but represents the commitment and dedication Woodbey has as a Bosco Brave and member of the community. 

“It’s tough, but then again I have a goal, so it’s not really that hard,” said Woodbey about the drive. “I have a reason why I’m doing it, so it makes it that much easier.”

It’s not easy to be a 5-star recruit and one of the top defensive backs in his class, while in the process exemplifying what it means to be a Bosco Brave. Woodbey graces the campus every day as a role model for everyone. On and off the field, he’s a true 5-star recruit. FULL STORY

Sports: Bosco Basketball Season Update And Preview

by Caleb Wiley

After coming off a very successful season one game away from the Division One State Championship game in California, the top-ranked St. John Bosco basketball team comes in with the highest expectations this program has had in years.

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Credit – Parker Gray

This team is the deepest team Bosco has had in a while. They have players like forward Jordan Brown and guard Gabe Campos, who can get on the court and do other things than scoring, like defending and hustling. They understand winning.

“We have have a lot of guys who do the little things very well. They can come into the game and be impactful right away,” said senior starting point guard Chris James.

Along with scrappy players, this team is filled with experience, as there are eight seniors on this roster who are all returning from last year. When you have a lot of returning seniors, it can set you up for a deep run in the playoffs.

“In my time here, this is the first time we have a real seniors class. All these guys were freshman when I started here. The most seniors I have ever had on a team was three. So, having that senior leadership and guys that have been through the ups and downs, which we never really had before, is big,” said varsity Head Coach Matt Dunn.

Every one of those seniors are doing their job in leading this team and the younger guys, which this team needs since they do play many sophomores and juniors on the court as well.

“I think what makes this team special is that we have a lot of leaders. I think Chris James and Gabe Campos are consistently good leaders. Jalen Manson and Fernie Gomez have been great verbal leaders leading with their voice. Then, Josh Adoh always does an amazing job with just how hard he plays,” said coach Dunn.

The team had their first games in the El Monte tournament in November and had their way throughout. The teams they played were not the best competition, but Bosco did their thing regardless as they went on to this tourney’s championship, going 4-0 and winning by an average of 40 points per game.

The last game they played was against St. Anthony, and this was a close game. It went down to the wire, however St. Anthony did not pull the upset as Bosco won this game 67-64. It was a scare, but the team stayed resilient and found a way to win this game.

Bosco currently stands at 5-0 and have a big road trip tournament coming up as they travel to Sacramento for their second tournament of the year. There are gonna be some top-notch opponents this time around. This is a great opportunity for Bosco to show that basketball is for real this year.

“Everybody is going to be good this tournament, there are gonna be eight catholic schools participating. Five of them are from Northern California and a couple are from Arizona. We start off with St. Mary’s, which is the number 20 team in the state,” said coach Dunn.

There are a lot of expectations that come with this season for the Bosco basketball team. According to the Los Angeles Times, Bosco is ranked #3 in all of Southern California.

This ranking could soon be on the rise, as the team looks to have a great tournament in Sacramento and a great rest of the season.

 

 

Bosco Water Polo: 2017 Season Recap

by Caleb Wiley

The 2017 water polo season was a tough season to say the least. Finishing up with an overall record of 11-13 and going winless in league, along with a no-show in CIF, the season was somewhat disappointing. The team faced a lot of obstacles but nonetheless fought through and played with their best effort in every game. 

The 11-13 record along with no wins in league was not completely shocking: “Sure, the outcome is not what we hoped for, but there were many factors to having that record,” said Varsity head coach Jeff Powers. The team had injuries and a lack of experience that ultimately factored in the outcome of the team’s record.

“With only two returning seniors on the team, we really missed the leadership and experience out there late in the season,” said Coach Powers. Leadership is really a necessity in team sports such as water polo. Senior captain Gabe Chaine really helped the underclassmen learn and grow in the sport. Unfortunately, Gabe suffered an injury in the middle of the season: “We had our best defender Gabe Chaine out for a while and we really struggled during that time,” said junior captain Pat Burke. With only two seniors on the team, it was easy to observe that without Chaine, water polo did not have the benefit of more leadership and experience. Burke says, “We really came together despite all the obstacles and showed perseverance while Gabe was out.”

Senior Gabe Chaine says that he has no regrets and enjoyed the time he got to play during the season. “I had fun this season…a little sadness does come to me knowing that this is my last year (at Bosco) and we didn’t make a big CIF run.” His last year was not what he hoped for but he is satisfied with what he left at Bosco, especially knowing that the team next is due to have a solid season.

The 2018 season is looking more promising than this year, with everybody returning but two players. The team will have the needed experience that was sorely missed this year. Coach Powers explains, “This was definitely a learning season for next year for the returning players which is basically our whole team.” He goes on and adds, “The players next year will now know what is needed to compete in this league.” The Trinity league is one of the best leagues in the nation and Coach Powers feels confident about his player’s abilities to compete in this league.

This means that the current juniors and sophomores will have more important roles and make a bigger impact than they did this year. The 2017 season was not a complete disappointment, because this season really prepared the returning players. The team can now reflect and learn from the mistakes they made this year and correct them for the better. Therefore the team is optimistic about next year and there chances to win league and ultimately make a big CIF run in the 2018 season.   

  

Bosco Basketball: 2017-2018 Season Recap

by Caleb Wiley

The past season for the St. John Bosco basketball team was its best in a while. This team had many accolades and achievements that not many thought were possible coming into the year. Even though they had their ups and downs, the season was not a let down as they overcame many obstacles. 

When this team was at its peak, it was really fun to watch. The team had a great record of 25-8 and had the most wins against open division teams in California. The league record of 6-4 was not the greatest, but getting 3rd in the very tough Trinity League is not something to be ignored.

The feather in the teams’ cap was of course beating our rival school Mater Dei for the first time ever in the sport with a 60-51 win. This really had a big impact on the students as well as the Bosco community in general. People now began to obtain an idea of just how good this team could be.

Another huge highlight of the season was making it into the CIF Open Division. Making it into the Open Division meant this team was now part of an elite stash of just 8 teams in Southern California. Varsity head coach Matt Dunn had a high point of his own exclaiming, “One highlight of our year that made me very proud of our players was beating Rancho Christian 3 times because they only have 5 losses all year long so 3 of them were from us.”

With highs, come the lows. There was a point in the season where the team went on a 4 game losing streak in the middle of league. The lull included a loss to an 11-17 Orange Lutheran team. Junior point guard Gabe Campos explains, “We kind of had our streak of losing but we picked it back up afterwards.” The team went through much adversity but kept fighting through until the end of the season.

In the Division 1 CIF State Southern regional Finals, Bosco lost to Chino Hills 67-51 in a heart-wrenching end to a historic season for the Braves. Bosco was in control until the 4th quarter, when they couldn’t seem to buy a bucket. The team went 1-23 from the floor in the whole 4th quarter. It’s tough to beat a talented team like Chino Hills when shots are not falling. However, the team still stuck together through all the tough times.

The players were having fun and a good time. During the losing streak, their chemistry was really getting battled tested, but the team actually grew because of it. Returning players from last year can all say the team was in a much better place than the years past. Senior forward Sandy Ryan said it best:

“Last year our chemistry as a team wasn’t that great but this year it’s really changed.” 

It was very evident that they became more of a family throughout the year. The season was very much a season to remember but hopefully the team does not get complacent. Next year, with most of the team returning, they have a great chance to be even better. 

Coach Dunn explains, “I’m really excited to see how much better each individual guy can get.” He knows how good this team can be and I feel there is no limit to how much better this group of players can get. St. John Bosco will have the chance to win league for the first time in a long time next season in the wintertime.