Author Archives: The Brave News

Life of a Brave: Seniors’ Ryan Gutierrez and Tyler Baligad named Valedictorian and Salutatorian for the Class of 2023

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor & Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

Montebello natives Tyler Baligad and Ryan Gutierrez, who have been involved in the St. John Bosco High School community since their freshman years, will be speaking at the 68th Commencement Ceremony for the Class of 2023.

Photo by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

On April 28, 2023, Principal Dr. Kris Anderson announced in front of the Brave community that Co-Executive Board President, Ryan Gutierrez was selected as Valedictorian to speak during the graduation ceremony due to all the hard work in having the highest academic achievements and GPA within the Class of 2023. 

Ryan was born and raised in Montebello, California in a family of four with parents who are both educators. Since a young age, Ryan has attended private Catholic schools and is an alumnus of St. Benedict School in Montebello. 

Ever since Ryan stepped foot onto the Bosco campus in the Fall of 2019, he has left an impacting legacy on the future legacy of the Brave community. 

“I came into Bosco having a competitive mindset and a desire to achieve my academic goals. I think that the work that I have put in over the past four years is a great representation of how badly I wanted to become valedictorian,” said Ryan. 

During his time at Bosco, Ryan has served on multiple honors societies including Onori Society, Spanish Honors Society and Math Honors Society. He has also had the privilege of serving on the ASB Executive Board, Student Ambassador Program and Campus Ministry, while also participating in Academic Decathlon and graduating in the Biomedical Pathway.

Over his four years, one of his biggest accomplishments would be getting an ALS research internship at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. With the guidance and support from the Biomedical Pathway, he was selected as just one out of ten California high school students to participate in the prestigious stem cell research internship. Through this experience, it inspired him to plan to continue his private educational journey and major in Neuroscience and Behavior with a minor in Science and Patient Advocacy at the University of Notre Dame.

“It made me realize the beauties of neuroscience and the nervous system. This field called me, and I felt I could study it for the next four years,” said Ryan.

Ryan credits all his achievements to the rigorous and organizational skills he has developed the last four years in order to reach his dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon. 

“To be honest, it wasn’t easy keeping up with the work that I had for my courses. But when I established my own study habits and work schedules, planning and prioritizing were key elements in getting assignments submitted on time and studying for upcoming exams,” said Ryan. 

As Ryan embarks on the next four years of his college experience, he plans to take a gap year following his undergraduate studies to gain some more research experience and strengthen his medical school application. He then plans on attending medical school, completing his residency and, hopefully, settling back in Los Angeles as a neurosurgeon.

On May 5, 2023, Co-Executive Board President Tyler Baligad was selected as the Salutatorian for the Class of 2023. Tyler would be recognized for this prestigious award due to his high academic achievement over the years and his overall representation to the Bosco experience.

Tyler Baligad is also a Montebello native who lives in a family of four including his twin brother and fellow graduate, Brett. Tyler has always been surrounded by faith all his life as he attended Alhambra Catholic School, St. Thomas More leading up to his freshman year.

As a Brave, Tyler shared membership in the Onori Society and Math Honors Society with Ryan. Along with this, Tyler has given his time to the ASB Executive Board, Campus Ministry, Academic Decathlon, the Student Ambassador Program and the Engineering Pathway. Tyler is also an Eagle Scout, earning his Eagle Rank in July 2022. 

Most notably, Tyler co-founded the Brothers of Bosco with his twin brother, Brett. The nonprofit was founded in 2022 as it successfully raised over $2,000 worth of goods during his senior school year. Tyler led three campaigns that sent school supplies and other essential items to Parroquia María Auxiliadora, a Mexican church in Ensenada, Mexico.

“Knowing how strong our Bosco community is, my brother and I knew doing successful work like this was achievable,” said Tyler. “I am very proud of all the work we have done and this could not have been done without our donors.”

When Tyler is not in class or doing community work, he can be found in Bosco’s pool. The three year Varsity Scholar Athlete played a key role for the varsity water polo and swim teams over the past few seasons. Most recently, Tyler was a CIF Finalist for the 50m Freestyle.

“Reaching CIF Finals is something that I wanted to achieve throughout my entire high school career. Reaching this point is something that I have built up to since freshman year,” said Tyler. “Considering the tough competition in the Trinity League, I am happy to say I went toe to toe with some of the best swimmers in the country.”

Through his success in the Engineering Pathway, Tyler has continued to foster his passion for math and science at Bosco. With notable acceptances to UCLA, Tulane University and University of Michigan, Tyler will major in Mechanical Engineering in the Fall.

“I always pushed myself to be the best I can be,” said Tyler. “That is my biggest advice to underclassmen: never be satisfied. Always strive for more.”

Ryan and Tyler proudly sit at the top of their class as true representatives to the Bosco experience. Following the Oratory Model of home, school, church and playground, the Notre Dame and UCLA commits, respectively will proudly lead the way for the class of ‘23.

Life Of A Brave: Senior Class Celebrates Grad Nite At ‘The Happiest Place On Earth’

by Brett Baligad

On Friday, seniors bussed down to Anaheim to celebrate their Grad Nite at Disneyland and California Adventure. The day was filled with excitement, as the class got to roam the parks and make final memories with their friends.

To keep up with class tradition, the class of ‘23’s official ditch day was this past Friday. To celebrate, the senior class left school at 10:00am and went to Disneyland and California Adventure for the day. Upon entering, the class had access to visit both parks and do what they pleased. 

To many, the parks had looked very different from their last time visiting. In 2019, Star Wars Galaxy Edge opened in Disneyland, and in 2021, the Avengers Campus opened in California Adventure.

“Galaxy Edge was one of my favorite parts of the day. As a Star Wars nerd, I took a picture with storm troopers,” said senior Sam Hentges.

Even with new additions to the park, iconic landmarks still stood present with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Hyperspace Mountain and The Haunted Mansion still proved to be favorites amongst the senior class.

By 9:00pm, Grad Nite officially started at California Adventure with a water light show and live music. At this time, only high school seniors would have access to the park. Schools, such as sister school St. Joseph’s, were in attendance for the night. With only high school students in attendance, lines became shorter and the atmosphere became younger. Across all of the schools in attendance, the common theme was apt culmination of the high school experience, as it felt like a private party across the iconic theme park.

“Grad Nite was a lot of fun. I like that they closed the park for all of the seniors. The music, rides and atmosphere made it a really fun night,” said senior Ryan Gutierrez.

A majority of the rides in California Adventure continued to stay open during Grad Nite including the newly renovated Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT and Incredicoaster. Many seniors also got to visit the Avengers Campus for the first time, as it recently opened in 2021.

If rides were not up to speed for the seniors, Pixar Pier and Radiator Springs each hosted a DJ set for seniors to dance. Both DJs played music predominantly from the last five years, or during the class of ‘23’s high school experience. The energy continued to be evident, with the dance floor staying active until the end of the night.

“I had a lot of fun dancing to the music. The Radiator Springs DJ set was really popping, so my friends and I turned up,” said senior Christopher Facio.

Grad Nite stands to be one of the highlights of a Brave’s senior year experience. Being eight days before graduation, this was the last time the senior class was together leading up to the graduation. With finals wrapping up today, the Braves look in anticipation of the much deserved Summer vacation.

Life Of A Brave: The Brave And Jester Community Celebrate Prom 2023

by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

Hosted at The Loft On Pine, the “Evening of Enchanted” symbolized the final chapter for the Class of 2023. With dinner provided and live music swelling, the senior classes of St. John Bosco and St. Joseph High Schools crowned prom royalty as they danced the night away.

Photo by @sjbstudentlife

The much anticipated prom is a formal senior class event that demonstrates a culmination of the high school experience as a Brave.

The Class of ‘23 and their dates began to flood in as the doors opened at 7:00pm in the evening. Plenty of students showed up in style, whether coming as a group in a party bus with their friends or driving in with iconic sports cars. Immediately upon entering, students had access to the second floor, which included tables, a buffet style dinner, refreshments and a dance floor. On the third floor, there was more seating available and photo booths. This three story set up is what gives the venue its namesake, “The Loft On Pine.” 

Food was served at 7:30pm and included a buffet style Italian dinner with a selection of pasta dishes and refreshments. Seniors gathered around tables to celebrate their final month together and caught up with each other.

“The food was really good, and my favorite dish was the ravioli. It was a good time hanging out and eating with my friends,” said senior Christopher Facio.

By 8:00pm, the dance floor became lively with a wide variety of music. 

“I really enjoyed the music. The music kept us turned up,” said senior Cameron Walker.

At the end of the night, the Prom King and Queen were announced. The senior classes of St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s went through a voting process to decide the court prior to the dance. On the final prom ballot, seniors Rafael Perea, Tyler Baligad, Paxton Allison and Aidan Gallagher were announced Prom Princes. The 2023 Prom King was senior Carter Daley. St. Joseph’s would go on to elect senior Emma Persi as their 2023 Prom Queen. The two would embrace, then lead the class of 2023 in their final slow dance.

“Winning Prom King was kind of a surprise. I knew I had a chance and when they called my name I went into a shock, but I was just overall super excited and honored,” Carter said. “It was even more special to have my date and all of my best friends around who I have known for all four years at Bosco along with my friends at St. Joseph’s there to share the moment.”

Carter is a member of the Entrepreneurship Pathway, the varsity golf Captain and a writer for this publication. He will be attending Indiana University, Bloomington and intends to study business in the Fall.

Prom came just after the senior’s retreat, where they reflected on their favorite memories at Bosco and got to say goodbye to underclassmen at the Senior Farewell ceremony in the gym. Science teacher Mr. Ruben Solorza led the Senior Farewell speech, giving inspiration to the Class of ’23. After, each senior got to ring the victory bell. Mr. Solorza was also in attendance at Prom, chaperoning the dance.

“I really enjoyed chaperoning at prom. I’m proud of all of the guys and it was a good way to cap off a great school year. Everyone seemed like they had a really good time,” Mr. Solorza said.

Overall, the seniors look forward to their final week and a half of school. With AP tests concluding and finals coming up, seniors are eagerly anticipating Grad Nite on Friday, May 12 at Disneyland, their last hurrah prior to Graduation.

Around Bosco: Campus Ministry Celebrates Cinco De Mayo With May Crowning

by William Reynolds

Last week, the Brave community came together during Cinco de Mayo to celebrate the life of our Blessed Mother Mary during Marian Day and the many gifts that she has given our school.

Photo by Austin Hughes, Class of 2023

Originally, Cinco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a day of Mexican pride and heritage. Cinco de Mayo celebrates Mexico’s victory over the Second French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, which is mistakenly considered to be Mexico’s equivalent to their Independence Day. 

This year Cinco de Mayo at St. John Bosco started with attending mass as a school community to celebrate a Marian Day Mass and the life of our Blessed Mary, Help of Christians. 

During the Mass Fr. Ted talked about how “Mary, Help of Christians guides us throughout our lives and that we should be grateful to her teachings and trust her to give the wisdom that we desperately need in our lives.”

Photo by Megan Nash, Director of Social Media and Marketing

Another celebration that the Bosco community was a part of during Mass was during the homily when the Archdiocese of Los Angeles congratulated two seniors, Christian Angel (far left) and Ricardo Rodriguez (second from the right) as well as two faculty members, Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt (far right) and Ms. Edna Ramirez (second from the left) for their service and dedication to our school and the community with one of their most prestigious awards, The Christian Service Award. 

The mission and message of Mary, Help of Christians has influenced people all over the world, but it has dramatically affected our fellow students and faculty, like Ricardo, who has been part of the campus ministry team for all four years of his high school career.

“Taking the time out of my day to celebrate Mary and her impact at this moment serves as an opportunity to gather together and remember. Remember who we are, remember that we are not alone and remember the mission we are made for,” Ricardo said.

To end the 2022-2023 school year, the Brave community came together following Mass with our Faith Families and participated in Olympiad Day, where the Braves played many games including basketball, tug-o-war, ultimate frisbee, soccer, volleyball, football, Super Smash Brothers, Pool and Ping Pong as well as board games.

Sports: Bosco Athletics Boasts Another Year Of Excellence In 2022-2023

by Marcelles Williams

This year was another historic year for St. John Bosco’s athletics programs, which featured many highs, accolades and championships. The Braves won a National Championship, a CIF State Championship, Trinity League Championships and are still on the hunt for more.

The Braves Football team was crowned National Champions this year for the third time in ten years and finished the year with their fourth state title. The Braves dominated their regular season schedule this year, but most notably won at the Rose Bowl over the “Team in Red.” The 24-22 victory sealed another well-deserved CIF-SS Championship. To cap off a CIF State title run, Bosco defeated Serra (San Mateo) in dominant fashion with a 49-0 victory. 

The Bosco Football 2024 class is looking to make history next year and be the first team to win back-to-back National Championships. With one of the toughest schedules in the nation, including trips to Florida’s St. Thomas Aquinas and Hawaii’s Kahuku, the Braves have a high bar to hit.

”We’re coming for it again next year. We aren’t satisfied yet,” said two year starter and incoming senior safety Peyton Woodyard, who’s committed to the University of Georgia.

The Bosco Wrestling team also boasted a very impressive year with two players winning individual CIF State Championships, Nicco Ruiz and Nicholas Sahakian. Nicco will graduate this Spring with his second state title in a row. They both heavily contributed to the Braves winning the 2022 CIF-SS Team and Masters Championships. All this on top of yet another Trinity League.

They finished as the fourth best team in the state this year and with Nicholas Sahakian returning for two more seasons as he’s only a sophomore, expect for the Braves to have continued success in the near future.

“We put in the work and it paid off,” Nicholas said.

The Bosco Basketball team also won a Trinity League Championship, the program’s first outright Trinity League title. Undefeated at home in the regular season, they had a very successful year finishing 26-7 and making the CIF-SS Open Division Championship game. The Braves also had some big wins this year, like over Harvard Westlake, a top ten team in the nation, during their run in the CIF-SS playoffs. 

They also came back from a 21-point deficit at home against the “Team in Red” to help secure the top spot in the Trinity League. This coming after what was perhaps their most historic win of the season, which came on the “Team in Red’s” home court. It was the “Team in Red’s” first home loss since 1998.

“We didn’t finish the year the way we wanted to, but we’ll be back,” said sophomore guard Elzie Harrington, who is one of the top ranked players in his class in both the state of California and nationally.

A lot of the key braves from this year’s Bosco Basketball team are returning, so look for them to have an even more successful year next year. The top three scorers all return next season.

Bosco Esports team was another program that secured National and State Championships in multiple games. Their seven-player team made a historic run to become the 2022 HSEL National Champions. The Esports team also won two more State Championships in Rocket League and Valorant. The Bosco Rocket League team swept Novato High School 4-0 to capture their title, and the Valorant team swept Arcadia High 2-0 to capture theirs.

The Braves aren’t done competing for gold, though. Bosco Lacrosse takes on Aliso Niguel tonight at 6pm on the road in the CIF-SS Semi-Finals. The team is making a Cinderella run after qualifying for the Division II playoffs in a wild card game.

A+E: May The Fourth Be With You

by Ed Crowe

The space opera film series Star Wars was created by writer and director George Lucas, who was also responsible for writing and directing the classic film American Graffiti. Since the the first theatrical release in 1977, the Star Wars franchise has become one of the most successful and influential motion picture series in the history of filmmaking. 

Beginning in the late 1970s and early 1980s, along with rising from the ashes in the 21st century, this film franchise has touched so many generations. What is also significant about Star Wars is that it actually took four years to film and release it to the public. The reasoning behind this was due to the multiple locations of filming such as Tunisia and Death Valley, as well as soundstages in England. 

Nevertheless, when it was released on May 25, 1977, it took the world by surprise. While the film was only released in 42 different theaters, the film earned almost $3 million in the first week. The movie also grossed $100 million by the end of that summer, which is truly remarkable. The film was also retitled and later renamed, Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977)

Mr. Tommy Johnson, a visual art teacher here at St. John Bosco, actually experienced the original theatrical release of Episode IV and realized then what a great movie it was. Ever since, Mr. Johnson has watched the other movies as well as television series and considers himself a huge fan of the entire franchise.

“I sat through that movie three times because the father that took us did not come back in time, but I remember the introduction because I can never finish reading the abstract at the beginning of the film,” said Tommy Johnson. 

Mr. Johnson can also recall the space guns and the sound effects in film, which was another component that made him so interested in the film at a young age, so much so that he watched it multiple times in one sitting without being bored. 

However, the most influential as well as recognizable piece of the film that stuck with Mr. Johnson as well as other future fans was the soundtrack at the moment the screen read, “Star Wars.” Years later, the Star Wars main theme is recognizable to people who aren’t even fans of the films. 

Since the first Star Wars movie was so successful, Lucas decided to follow up with two sequels, Star Wars: Episode V-The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Episode VI-Return of the Jedi (1983), which were once again highly successful films. By then, the Star Wars franchise began to thrive in the late 80s and early 90s through the release of videos and a merchandise line. 

However, 20 years after the first Star Wars was released, Lucasfilm relaunched the film series with a string of prequels, which gave the backstory of Luke Skywalkers’ father and the events leading to the creation of the sinister Darth Vader. Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith (2005) additionally became great successes under the franchise. 

Furthermore, with an incredible film like Star Wars, comes the fans who admire the characters and every part of it. Senior Maximus Stober considers himself a die hard fan and describes his passion for these films and the new concepts they present.

“[It is] Endless. everything you see can be new. The sci-fi concepts and the art styles are what truly make me a true fan of this franchise,” said Maximus.

Maximus has been a huge fan of Star Wars for a long time and has been keeping up with the recent television shows related to the Star Wars story. While many people have not watched the entire series, there are more young people who enjoy watching the Star Wars series The Mandalorian as well as Andor

Another major fan of this saga who took a different approach to becoming a so-called Star Wars “nerd” is Mr. Ruben Solorza. His introduction to the Star Wars universe started through the old video games, which later gave him the interest to watch the films and later in his life the television series as well. 

“The old Playstation 2 video games, specifically Battlefront I and II. And then I watched all the movies, and my parents were fans as well, so my dad would always have them on the TV,” said Mr. Solorza. 

He also says that his brother would play the popular video game, Lego Star Wars, which he remembers as one of the best memories he has with his brother. It is through these memories that this franchise has provided many people with a sense of happiness. 

Recently, movie theaters have brought back, Return of the Jedi in preparation for the 40-year anniversary of the release, which will be celebrated on May 25th 2023. These films bring people closer together and the more recent shows present new insight into our world. Ultimately, one has to ask: where would we be without Star Wars?

Around Bosco: Environmental Club Celebrates Inaugural Earth Day Celebration

by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Some of our readers may know that Saturday, April 22nd was Earth Day, a national holiday created in 1970 to spread awareness for the environment and endangered species. The success of this 53 year old environmental movement has educated millions, and here at Bosco, the Environmental Club continued that tradition by hosting an inaugural farmers market with produce from Bosco’s Agricultural Science Community Garden, which was established in January 2021.

Photo by @sjbcommunitygarden

The goal of the day was community building and sustainability education. Even Bosco’s neighbors around campus, some of whom had never been to Bosco before, introduced themselves and shared in harvesting the garden.

“The best part for me was that the neighborhood came. A lot of non-Bosco people got to be a part of the community and for the first time step on campus and see the garden from the inside,” said Mr. Corkhill, Bosco’s Agricultural Science teacher and of of the orchestrators of the event, along with Environmental Club President Vince Mahar.

There were many events for guests to enjoy, including a peach tree planting ceremony, home gardening and sustainability demonstrations as well as the blessing of the garden by the school’s Spiritual Director, Fr. Ted Montemayor.

Children from the neighborhood enjoyed pulling up carrots, eating watermelon and, for the first time, making the connection between soil and store, accomplishing one of Earth Day’s goals of connecting consumers with the source of their food.

The most visible impact of Earth Day and the Environmental Club around campus will be the conspicuous four color trash receptacles that will encourage Bosco students and faculty to properly recycle waste and contribute to cleaning our campus.

Photo by @sjbcommunitygarden

“We’re gonna have new recycle bins, new ways to separate your trash in order to really educate students on where our trash is going and reduce our waste stream to landfills,” said Mr. Corkhill, who has been instrumental in pioneering the new trash cans.

“We want to change a lot about our waste consumption here,” he said. “So I think it was a good way to kickstart that campaign. As students, you can see after break and lunch there’s trash on the ground, so we need to not only stop littering, but start sorting our trash. It’s a big cultural shift that has to happen in our school to maintain a green campus and to live responsibly.”

All in all, the first Bosco Earth Day Farmers Market was a huge success. Over 100 community members stopped by to enjoy the produce and learn a little about our environment. But Mr. Corkhill believes the education must turn into individual and collective action.

“On a personal level, most people can change their diet. Not eating as much meat is the quickest way for an individual to make an impact on their carbon emissions. Culturally, we need to be more open minded to change as a whole because change is necessary for us to be more sustainable as a community and a country.”

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Mr. Omar Delgado, Helps Braves Realize Their Dreams

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

Mr. Omar Delgado has served the St. John Bosco High School community the past 29 years with the goal of helping every Bosco Brave attend a four-year university through academics and athletics, shining a bright light on the dreams of students. 

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

Mr. Delgado was born in Boyle Heights, East Los Angeles and grew up in a family of three brothers and three sisters in El Monte. Although he may not have attended St. John Bosco, he was always involved in wrestling, football and track and field. He admits that he may not have been a really good student throughout his first three years of high school, but starting his senior year, he improved and evolved in his effort and intellect. 

He attended Rio Hondo Community College, later transferring to California State University, Fullerton to receive his Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Years later, he went to study and receive his Masters in Education, with an emphasis in Guidance and Counseling, along with a Pupil Personnel Services credential from Point Loma Nazarene University.

Mr. Delgado’s story of joining the Bosco family stems all the way back to the Fall of 1995,

“It was like a phone call from God,” Mr. Delgado said.

Originally, he was working with the California Highway Patrol and ultimately decided that he wanted to resign because he wanted to go back to school. 

The “phone call from God” was from former Athletic Director, Mr. Jack Hastert. Mr. Hastert asked Mr. Delgado if he wanted to be a teacher, along with being the Wrestling Coach for the Bosco Braves. Mr. Delgado said that once he stepped foot on campus, the rest was history. 

During his reign as Wrestling Coach, the Braves won back-to-back CIF Championships in 1999 and 2000 as well as in 2012 and 2013. In 2017 under his leadership, Bosco also won the Masters Championship. With so much success in the wrestling program throughout his over 20 year tenure, he credits Coach Anderson, the current St. John Bosco Head Wrestling Coach, who won a CIF title wrestling for Mr. Delgado.

“Coach Anderson has continued the winning tradition of the St. John Bosco High School wrestling program to the better,” said Mr. Delgado.

Mr. Delgado set a high standard for every wrestler to set a goal for themselves to achieve something they would have never thought of before. His motto for his wrestlers was: “A Dream, A Goal, and A Promise.” This continues to be his motto as a counselor. 

In his time at Bosco, Mr. Delgado has served in various capacities as a dean, coach, teacher and counselor. In his current role as a counselor, when a student comes into his office with a dream of attending a certain university, he works with them by creating a goal in order to achieve these results. 

“When I became counselor, it was like a natural transition, and I think that makes me a really good counselor – to understand the young men and what they’ve been through, what they are going through in their teenage years to advise them well,” said Delgado. 

Many of his former students, come and thank him for all the work he has put in throughout their four years at Bosco advising them and guiding them.

“If you walk into my counseling office, you see my ‘Hall of Fame’ where students have attended or currently attend universities, such as Notre Dame, USC, UCLA, West Point, Air Force Academy, and my ultimate payment is seeing them succeed and contribute to society,” said Delgado. 

Mr. Delgado is the father of two former Bosco Braves, Class of 2019 and 2022, who are now at UCLA and Stanford, and he advises the Class of 2023 to not give up on their dreams – to create a goal and to make their dreams a reality. 

Sports: Valorant Team Wins League, Finishing Undefeated And Advancing To Nationals

By Carter Daley

Winning is a term that has become familiar term to the St. John Bosco varsity Valorant team. In just three years of having an official Valorant team, Bosco has won two High School Esports League (HSEL) titles.

The team is full of young talent, made up of two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. Captain Max Abrahamson, ranked as the 17th best Valorant player in North America, is only a junior and will get another chance to repeat and become a three-time champion.

“[Winning the HSEL championship] feels like last time: great. But the job isn’t finished. We have to go to Kansas City in May to actually compete for a National Championship,” said Max.

The talent does not just stop at Max, however, as the most highlighted player of the Bosco team is freshman Alex Banyasz, who ranked as the number one player in North America across all Valorant servers in the past month. 

“It’s great playing with Alex. I definitely feel like he can go pro,” Max said.

The Braves had the challenging task of bouncing back in their HSEL league after failing to beat Arcadia High School in the same championship game the previous semester. This emphasized the importance of this rematch, as they had that chip weighing on their shoulders.

This chip carried onto the start of their season this semester, where they held a perfect 8-0 record in the regular season, being the only team that maintained a perfect record. 

With momentum, the Braves would only drop one map during their entire playoff run and cruise into the finals. They would be competing against Quartz Hill High School, a team they lost to the previous season. 

In dominating fashion, this talented squad of youngsters would beat Quartz Hill by a score of 2-0, completing their perfect season, the second championship this team captured in just two years.

“It was mixed feelings of excitement and relief. We’ve been trying to make nationals for three years, and every year, I felt like we had a good team but always seemed to fall short in the playoffs,” said Coach and 2020 Bosco Alum Eli Giangualano. “To have a near-perfect playoff season and end it in such a dominant fashion was rewarding to not only me, but also our captain Max Abrahamson who’s been a part of this team every year.”  

On top of the Valorant team’s recent success, the Rainbow Six Siege team is captained by senior Ezekiel Tejeda. The team that finished their regular season with a record of 4-4 barely clinched a playoff berth, but earning that spot in the playoffs has brought great momentum to the squad. 

With back-to-back upset wins over opponents, the Rainbow Six Siege team will have the opportunity to shock everyone and claim the first championship in program history for the specific game. 

“This team means so much to me,” said Ezekiel. “This is the second time we’ve made it to playoffs, both being this academic year. Even though most of the time was a complete headache for me, I’m still so proud of the young men who will be taking the reins of this team when I graduate”.

With big games on the horizon for Bosco’s Esports program, there will surely be a lot of noteworthy action. The Bosco Valorant team will head to Kansas City on May 20th, and the Rainbow Six Siege team will continue their playoff run tonight.

Life of a Brave: Top Ten Study Tips for AP and Final Exams

by Mark Lutke

With AP exams and finals approaching, St. John Bosco students may feel stressed or unprepared, but by staying calm and using these well-known study tips, anyone can be prepared to ace all of their tests.

10. Study for tests weeks in advance and avoid cramming.

This is the only way to truly feel comfortable when preparing for any exam. Allotting even just ten minutes a night to review study materials and starting a week or two before a test can be extremely beneficial. Longer review sessions can still be helpful in the days leading up to an exam, but don’t overload yourself because it will more than likely harm your final score.

9. Use flash cards.

As cliché as it sounds, using flashcards whether they be paper-made or digital is undeniably beneficial for many students, especially those studying for exams that involve vocabulary, true or false and multiple-choice questions. Flashcards are most useful in shorter study sessions or as a warmup for longer review.

Some teachers may also allow students to write a select amount of notes on a flashcard of a given size before a test. While reminders can be helpful, it is best not to rely on outside information, except necessary formulas for math or science courses, and instead feel comfortable enough in the content to only require sparse hints or none at all.

8. Study during free time, like at break and lunch or in classes where you might have downtime.

Studying alone or with a group of friends is a productive way to use free time in the upcoming weeks at break, lunch or during Academic Support. Although extracurriculars may clog many students’ after school schedules, there are many opportunities throughout the school day to squeeze in a bit of review.

7. Study where it’s comfortable and quiet.

If you find the sounds of everyday life to be noisy and distracting at times, you may want to study in a secluded or quiet place. Removing distractions is a necessary part of this because technology will overstimulate the brain and make focusing more difficult. For those who do not have access to a quiet or secluded area, it is recommended to study in Bosco’s Learning Commons or a teacher’s classroom.

6. Practice breathing techniques to help center and calm yourself.

Breathing techniques can help you clear your mind and deeply focus on whatever it is you need to do, including studying for finals. Inhaling through your nose for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds and exhaling for eight seconds has been shown to be an effective method. By exhaling for longer periods than you inhale, you are telling your body and mind to relax but also stay alert. This calm and collected mindset is one that is perfect for test taking.

5. Teach the material to others.

Teaching others what you have learned proves to be one of the best ways to truly master content. Along with summarizing what you have learned, teaching others can also help foster a positive mindset. This is because sometimes it is easy to forget that what we learn in school isn’t always common knowledge to others. By giving mock-lectures and talking about course material, one may surprise themselves with how much they actually know. This method can also serve as a much needed break from writing and reading during longer study sessions.

4. Maintain healthy lifestyle by focusing on diet and exercise.

Many people forget that it is hard for your brain to function if your body is lagging behind. When we exercise and eat healthy, blood flow increases in the brain, which improves mental capacity and learning ability. This can be especially helpful for one’s test taking ability. By maintaining an exercise schedule or healthy diet, one can ensure that their brain is firing on all cylinders come test day.

3. Join a study group or start one.

Joining or starting a study group can be a great way to review course content while still being social. It is best to not study with people you are good friends with, but instead with new people or acquaintances. While studying with friends can work for some, many may find themselves becoming distracted and getting sidetracked. Study groups can be especially helpful because you can both learn from and teach to others. While you might take a test alone, studying doesn’t have to be the same.

2. Pay more attention in class.

Many teachers will review material and recap old lectures in the coming weeks. Taking advantage of anything that can help you study includes applying yourself while in the classroom. While it might not be what some want to hear, paying attention in class is crucial to success academically all the time, not just during finals.

1. Most importantly, get eight to ten hours of sleep a night.

Many students often find themselves with distorted sleep schedules due to extracurriculars and homework. But toward the end of the school year, both of these tend to cool down significantly. Take advantage of the extra time and fix your sleep schedule. Go to bed earlier and try to get 8-10 hours of sleep a night in order to be at your best for finals week. Many don’t realize that sleep deprivation is actively harming them and making their lives significantly harder. People who do not get sufficient sleep will have impaired decision-making skills, which could be detrimental for students in need of a grade-boost.

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