Author Archives: The Brave News

Sports: Soccer Caps Off Historic CIF-SS and State Playoff Run

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

In the history of sports at St. John Bosco, the school has known to be competitive regardless of what sport is playing or who the Braves are playing against. In the recent years, the Bosco soccer program has struggled but nonetheless has tried to find its stride in the ranks of Bosco athletics. 

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In 2016, the Braves made the playoffs and found some success. However, in the last two years, the Braves have missed the playoffs and edged out at the bottom of the Trinity League. In 2017, the Braves went 6-14-3 (2-6-1 in league) and missed the playoffs; last year, the Braves went 12-12-2 (3-6-1 in league) and missed the postseason again. The team came together and decided that this year had to be different.

“I would say the difference was the chemistry of the team,” senior defender Christian Brueggeman said. “We were in unison all year, and we had the talent to contribute to the overall team. Chemistry definitely was a difference maker.”

This year, the Braves took off guns blazing. They started the year 11-2-1 before entering league play, with wins over Arizona powerhouses: Hamilton High School (Chandler, Ariz.) and Brophy College Preparatory (Phoenix, Ariz.).

When the Trinity League schedule began, the Braves started off with a 3-0-2 record. However, the Braves lost their mark, dropped four of the last five league games, and finished fifth in league.

Despite the rocky finish to the regular season, the Braves would receive an at-large bid in the Division 2 CIF-SS Playoffs.

The Braves rediscovered their early-season form and stunned some of Southern California’s most powerful teams. The Braves went on a four-game run and upset Dos Pueblos High School (Goleta, Calif.), Pacifica High School (Garden Grove, Calif.), Hueneme High School (Oxnard, Calif.) and Tesoro High School (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.), which avenged their 2016 playoff loss.

The most impressive point about the Braves’ run was their intense travel schedule. They traveled over 305 miles within 10 days and four games to upset these powerhouse teams.

“It was a great experience,” senior center back David Veloz said. “We would’ve rather played home, but nonetheless, it was still a great experience for us.”

Everyone on the team seemed to enjoy the experience of the opposing fans and long bus rides.

“We got to bond with each other,” senior outside back/outside midfielder Emilio Ceja said. “I got to experience the whole playoff environment with all the fans from every team that we played.”

In reward of these wins, Bosco made it to the CIF-SS Playoff Championship game, playing another SoCal power: Channel Islands High School (Oxnard, Calif.).

After a long-fought battle, the Braves fell to the Raiders 2-1 in overtime by the golden goal rule (sudden death).

“I feel like we tired out at the end,” Veloz said. “We came out too light, and we didn’t apply enough pressure. That was the difference maker.”

The Braves would then get an automatic bid to the CIF Southern Regional State Playoff Bracket. The Braves, again, would take off, beating Rancho Bernardo High School (San Diego, Calif.) in penalty kicks. Redemption time would come.

On March 5th, the Braves would get another chance at Channel Islands on their own home turf. This time, the Braves would take advantage and defeat the Raiders 1-0.

“We knew what it felt like losing to them,” Veloz said. “We didn’t want to lose to them again and have them take away another opportunity.”

The Braves would get, yet again, another opportunity in a championship game. This time, against a familiar foe in La Habra High School (La Habra, Calif.).

Previously, La Habra routed the Braves 5-2, in a blow out. The Braves would get another chance at the Highlanders, at Bosco’s house.

The Braves fought hard and gave it their all, but still came up short 4-2, in a heartbreaker.

“I would say we got caught up in the fact that we beat Channel Islands,” Brueggemen said. “We didn’t understand the significance of the CIF State Final until halfway through the game.”

The Braves had a great season and a successful journey.

A lot of hard work was put into the success of this year’s team, and a lot of excellent players are looking to return, to get the Braves back to the championship.

“We’re heartbroken for our seniors,” head coach Dave Sabet said. “However, we’re excited about our future and the young players we have coming back.”

The Braves have a host of underclassmen looking to return.

Tony Negrete, Christian Briseño, Joeo Trejo, and Mikel Villarreal are just a few of the names looking to bring the Braves back to championship games next season.

Bosco ended the year 22-8-3 (4-4-2 in league); CIF SS D2 Runner-Up and CIF SS D2 State Regional Runner-Up.

Sports: Bosco Basketball Looks To Take State Title As Number One Seed

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

The 2020 CIF Division 1 State Playoff Bracket is one of the most competitive playoff brackets in state history. The bracket features teams venturing from the Trinity League, to the Los Angeles City Section, all the way south to the San Diego Section. All 32 teams are looking to get hot right now as a state championship is on the line.

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The St. John Bosco Braves received the No. 8 seed in the CIF Southern Section Open Division Playoffs — the third season in a row the Braves earned this seeding. Bosco struggled in its portion of the bracket, as it went 1-2 in pool play with the two defeats being greater than 20 points. However, the Braves managed to pull out a four-point victory against cross-town rival St. Anthony.

The Braves did have some bright spots, however, while playing in the Open Division. In their first game against the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, Jeremiah Nyarko scored 13 points while grabbing two rebounds and a steal.

In the second game of pool play, Bosco faced the Etiwanda Eagles, and junior Lamaj Lewis and senior Josh Camper both scored in double figures. Camper made two 3-pointers en route to 11 points, while Lewis had 10 points along with seven rebounds and four assists.

In the last Open Division game, which ended in a Braves’ victory, senior Wynton Brown and Camper both scored in the double digits. Brown earned a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds while Camper scored 14 points, nine of which came from beyond the 3-point line.

The win proved to be critical for the Braves, as they were awarded the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the CIF State Division 1 Playoffs. However, the bracket holds a complex group of teams, all of which have a great chance of winning regionals and going up north for a chance at a state title.

In the first round, Ribet Academy (Los Angeles, CA) won decisively over Los Angeles City Section Champion Westchester. The Braves will host Ribet Academy on Thursday, March 5th in the Thunderdome.

“We have to come out strong, especially in the 1st quarter,” senior forward Wynton Brown said. “Keeping the intensity throughout the game will be key.”

In the other parts of the bracket, Windward and Torrey Pines — who were favorites — both ended the seasons of Fairfax and Chaminade. However, upsets had the upperhand in the first round: Lower seeds JSerra Catholic, Damien, Long Beach Poly, and Renaissance Academy ended defeated Santa Clarita Christian, St. Anthony’s, St. Augustine, and Cathedral Catholic, respectively.

“We can’t play down to the competition,” Camper said. “The biggest thing for us is not getting comfortable. I felt like teams that get upset are super comfortable, and if we get comfortable, we will lose.”

The upsets in this bracket just show the true nature of March Madness around the basketball world.

The Braves look to go on a run and go 4-0 for a state championship. But first, Ribet Academy is on the clock. Braves tip off tonight at 7 pm in the Thunderdome.

News/OP-ED: Biden Sweeps on Super Tuesday, Sanders Takes Home Biggest Prize of The Night

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the majority of Super Tuesday results being accounted for, Joe Biden had the biggest night with a dominant performance that saw him win ten of the 14 states, Bernie Sanders won the delegate prize of California and Bloomberg disappointed winning zero states and suspending his campaign.

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Following the suspension of both Buttigieg and Klobuchar’s campaigns and their endorsements of Joe Biden, it appeared that Biden would get a strong boost from moderate supporters who would rally behind him. This prediction turned out to be true, as Biden exceeded polling expectations and dominated in the states he won, winning big in the south and stealing Minnesota and Maine that went to Bernie in 2016.

Biden’s victories were not only significant in vote percentage but delegates as well. Many of the states he won, he swept in delegates and now has the delegate lead with 564 delegates. This comes from a huge surge of votes in the south and a big surprise victory in Texas, a state that polls had leaning towards Sanders before Super Tuesday. Following his rocky start, it appears that the party has found a new frontrunner in Biden and one that will have a lot of momentum heading into the final parts of this nomination race.

While Biden was the winner of the night, it was not the worst possible performance for Sanders. Coming into Super Tuesday, Sanders appeared to be unstoppable, looking to seal the nomination with dominant showings throughout the states except for the south. However, Sanders was left with just four wins in the states of Colorado, Utah, Vermont, and the biggest delegate state of California. California was still a big win for Sanders, but the race was closer than anticipated and one that Sanders needed an immense lead to garner a large majority of the delegates.

Elizabeth Warren had a very poor performance, winning zero states include Massachusets where she is a Senator for. Warren will have to reassess her campaign and suspension seems imminent as there is no clear path forward to a nomination. If Warren was to suspend her campaign, Bernie Sanders may get a boost in support, as they both share the progressive wing of the party. However, some of the older voters may rally behind Biden when considering electability and defeating Trump.

Bloomberg had the worst night of the candidates and suspended his campaign as well this morning. Spending over 200 million dollars on his campaign, Bloomberg is left in fourth place with only 53 delegates. His suspension will most likely give Biden another surge and lead to an insurmountable lead that pushes him to the nomination.

With the majority of the states still without their primary election, anything could happen, however with the momentum that Biden has and the rallying of the moderate lane behind him, it is now Biden’s race to loose heading to the convention.

News/Op-Ed: People the World Over Pay Tribute to Kobe and Gianna Bryant

by R.J. Johnson

Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna Bryant’s death has slowly begun to set in for several people across the world that felt a special connection to Kobe whether they knew him personally or not. 

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Kobe set a standard for those who looked up to him, a drive that required consistency and work ethic. The “Mamba Mentality” is what Kobe gave to the world before he passed. His mentality was fierce, and many have decided to show recognition and give thanks for what he did for them.

Los Angeles is leading the charge in showing remembrance for Kobe. Not only with the memorial service they hosted for him, but with the constant love being shown around the city. There have been several sightings of vehicles sporting Los Angeles Laker colors, with designs relating to Kobe. Notable vehicles have been Joe Carbonara’s Lamborghini Huracan and an i8 BMW which both have designs of Kobe and Gianna Bryant along with their jersey numbers as well. Even the Los Angeles Metro busses have also given tribute, with “RIP KOBE” being placed at the head of all of them.

Plenty of Kobe Bryant murals have also gone up all over LA County, giving fans from everywhere a place to go and honor the legend. Kobe’s influence didn’t just stop in LA, it made its way across the world as well.

In Berlin, Germany on January 27th, there was a minute long moment of silence for Bryant before a game between Alba Berlin and HAKRO Merlins Crailsheim Bundesliga Basketball teams.

Not only basketball, but soccer also recognized the legend and his daughter.  AC Milan, one of the best teams in Italy, had fans hold a banner in honor of Kobe and Giana Bryant during the Coppa Italia Quarter Final match.

“Rest in peace. Kobe and Gianna forever together!”, the banner read.

Another sport that you wouldn’t expect Kobe’s impact to stretch into has been tennis. Nick Kyrgios from Australia warmed up wearing a number eight Kobe Bryant jersey prior to his Men’s Singles fourth round match on day eight of the 2020 Australian Open.

The NHL also had teams remember Kobe, especially the Nashville Predators, who held a moment of silence for Bryant and the 8 others who tragically lost their lives.

Kobe Bryant was definitely bigger than basketball, and there are some people that wanted a bigger reminder of that every day. From high school and college students, to professional athletes, many have been seen getting some new Mamba ink. Players such as Shareef O’Neal, Lebron James, Anthony Davis, and Odell Beckham Jr. have all gotten tattoos to honor Bryant.

People didn’t just look up to Kobe as an athlete but as a professional as well. By being at the pro level for so long, Bryant also learned to be a great father to all four of his children.

Kobe’s mentality was not something that just stopped and started on the hardwood, it exceeded all expectations with his mindset being a key contributing factor to everything off the court. A prime example of this mentality is when Kobe ruptured his Achilles tendon, then shooting and draining two free throws instead of being carried off the court. Bryant was a warrior. One that did not back down from anything.

The time and dedication that he put into every single thing he did made it seem like he was obsessed, but Kobe was just focused. The world misses Kobe and will continue to do so.

The biggest way that the world will continue to commemorate the legend of Kobe Bryant is by yelling “Kobe!” either while shooting a crumpled piece of paper into a trash can or a ball into a basket.

Kobe Bryant was born August 23rd, 1978, and was drafted into the NBA in 1996 at seventeen years old meaning that he spent half of his life as a professional basketball player. His legacy as a man is what was important to the spirit of Los Angeles alive. Kobe’s hunger to be great and second to none is what propelled him into stardom throughout his career. If there was ever a tough shot, Kobe Bryant was going to take and make it.

Sports: Bosco Soccer Takes Second Crack at Historic Title

by Matthew Ruiz

History is in the making for our Bosco soccer team, who has been steamrolling in playoffs on their way to being CIF-SS Finalists. The Braves now set their sights on a CIF-State Title run.

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A three-year playoff drought has been lifted with the 2019-2020 Braves soccer team smoking everyone on the road. The Braves first made playoffs by going 16-6-4, and tied fourth in the Trinity League, the Braves made the playoffs as an “at large” team, which is the result of a winning record, defeating teams who are nationally ranked in a tournament in Arizona and having one of the hardest schedules in CIF.

This team has been led by senior captains Diego Camacho, Diego Galvan, Christian Brueggeman and David Veloz. Even in CIF playoffs, the Braves have been successful on the road, traveling to Oxnard and Santa Barbara to get to the championship on Saturday. The Braves went on the road to defeat Hueneme 2-1,  Tesoro 3-0,  Dos Pueblos 3-1 and Pacifica in the semi-finals 1-0 before finally facing Channel Islands in the CIF-SS championship match, where they fell short by a score of 2-1 in a “Golden Goal” overtime period.

The Braves competed tough on Saturday, knowing this would be the hardest challenge yet. Channel Islands had also been defeating teams left and right and have been averaging over 3 goals a game. One thing that the Braves and Channel Island have in common is that Channel Islands head coach is a Bosco alumni.

“Channel Island [was] a very touch and go team. They are very physical and scrappy. We also [had] to make sure we play[ed] quick and watch[ed] out for there counter-attacks,” said assistant coach Sal Perez.

The Braves’ run is a large team effort, not only to make it to the CIF-SS Championship, but also to look to go on and win a CIF-State Championship.

“The team is very well rounded, and we have been through a lot to get to this point. Everybody on the team has played a huge role in getting to this point, and with great leadership and hard work from the seniors and coaches, we have this great opportunity,” said senior David Veloz

The Braves have been chasing a dream that was only a dream up until the win versus Pacifica. The boys have had some ups and downs like losing their last couple of game against Trinity League opponents. Our 18 seniors, continue to go out on the field every practice and every game and grind. For them, success has been built for the past three years, and after coming up short in the 2018-2019 season by missing the playoffs and falling short in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday, the Braves are locked in on a State Championship. It seems that the Braves “revenge tour” has come and that dream is a reality.

The Braves the entire season have been viewed as nothing more than an afterthought. Saturday afternoon, they were going shot for shot against Channel Islands, scoring late in the first half to take the lead 1-0. However, a defensive collapse resulted in a goal for Channel Islands, which result in a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation. They headed to overtime, and Channel Islands was able to score and take home the championship.

The Braves looked crushed, however, all was not lost. The Braves were able to qualify for CIF-State playoffs, and now have their sights set on that. The Braves will continue their strategy to work as one cohesive unit.

“This team has one heart, a heart that beats for each other,” said senior Diego Galvan.

This team has shaped up to be one unit and has turned into a family bond that will never be broken. This team has also tied the school record for most wins in a regular season at 16-wins.

“This team’s Morale has been great. It is great to remind them of the past but not live in the past,” said head coach Dave Sabet.

This afternoon the Braves will take on Rancho Bernardo (San Diego). The Braves want to complete the “Revenge Tour” by bringing home some hardware for the Brave community. It all starts today at 4 pm at Saint John Bosco High School.

NEWS/OP-ED: Biden and Sanders in Two-Horse Race Ahead of Super Tuesday

by Timothy Levine, Executive Editor

With the results of both Nevada and South Carolina, the field has narrowed down and it appears to be all Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden heading into Super Tuesday.

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The Nevada Democratic caucus took place on February 22 and saw Senator Bernie Sanders surge to victory, amassing nearly 50 percent of the votes. This caucus was followed by South Carolina’s primary election that took place this past Saturday where Joe Biden had a similar performance that saw him gain 48 percent of the vote in a dominant showing. These are both vital in building momentum for the upcoming Super Tuesday.

The Nevada Caucus awarded 36 delegates, of which frontrunner Sanders was able to get 24 with his 46.8 percent of the votes. This was a huge win for Sanders and one he was hoping would build momentum for South Carolina, but more importantly Super Tuesday. Sanders was followed by Biden in Nevada who received nine delegates of the strength of his 20.2 percent of the votes. The only other candidate to receive delegates was Mayor Pete Buttigieg who got three delegates and 14.3 percent of the votes.

This was a very disappointing night for Senator Elizabeth Warren who failed to receive any delegates and only nine percent of the votes. She will need to strongly exceed expectations on Super Tuesday to have a viable path forward.

This Saturday featured another primary race in South Carolina, one that sees greater Super Tuesday implications in terms of momentum. Biden was able to dominate here, giving himself 39 delegates and 48.4 percent of the votes. The reverse of the Nevada results saw Sanders come in second with 20 percent of the vote and 15 delegates. These two were the only candidates to gain delegates with Tom Steyer coming in third with eleven percent of the vote.

This was a very poor performance for Steyer who was polling as high as twenty percent in the state earlier in the week and one that led him to suspend his campaign entirely. He was also not the only candidate to suspend their campaign, as both Buttigieg and Klobuchar have suspended their campaigns as well. This is a very surprising drop out for Buttigieg, as he had won Iowa earlier in the race and seemed to be a top tier candidate going forward. However, with poor polling in Super Tuesday states and his momentum being halted with Nevada and South Carolina results, it would be difficult to see a path forward to the nomination. Klobuchar’s suspension was a bit more predictable, as she has been polling even worse in Super Tuesday states and has little momentum left from her early results.

With all three of these candidates dropping out and Klobuchar and Buttigieg planning to endorse Biden, this gives Biden a strong wave of momentum heading into tomorrow’s primary elections. Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Biden were all the more moderate of the remaining candidates, so it would be safe to assume the majority of their supporters would go to Biden now in a race that sees Sanders completely taking over.

Sanders has a double-digit lead in California in terms of polling, consistently above thirty percent. California is the single most important state in the Democratic primary race and Super Tuesday with 415 delegates up for grabs. He is followed by Biden, who is polling between 15 and 20 percent, but if Sanders can win big here, the race will be all but over.

Another candidate who is polling fairly well in Super Tuesday states is Mike Bloomberg, however, in the majority of these states including California and Texas, he is only polling in third place. Bloomberg will need to win at least one of these states to have a chance for the nomination, but if looking for a more moderate lane, he may want to put his resources in endorsing Biden.

At this point, it is Sander’s race to lose, but if moderate voters join together under Biden, he has a chance to win big on Super Tuesday and allow for a contested convention that could hurt Sanders if he does not outright win the nomination.

Around Bosco: 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.

“Let’s face it, relationships can be tough. To be a good friend requires our willingness to be vulnerable and let someone really see us as we are with our gifts, our talents, and our unique weirdness. Yet, in the end, friendship is worth it,” said Perron.

Perron talked to the youth for a little over an hour explaining the key details that make up a relationship and how God makes every one of us in his own way to have an impact on the relationships we construct throughout our lives.

As for Perron he was a man of emotion and displayed how he felt at all times while on stage. Perron spoke clearly and with perspicacity, all in all, the workshop was a very enjoyable experience for all involved.

After Perron’s workshop students were led to the main building where mass was being held. Students were greeted with sweet air conditioning, comfortable seats and beautiful art made by Bosco’s very own Mrs. Macrae. Other students rushed onto the stage and explained the theme for Youth Day  “Through God’s eyes,” which emphasized youth seeing themselves through God’s eyes, rather than through the shallow gaze of social media and other forms of peer pressure.

Shortly after Doug Tooke walked onto the stage where he shared his story to 7,000 young people. Tooke drove home the fact that “Holiness is hard,” in his 40-minute speech, Tooke continued to explain the problem between young people and their faith.

“There’s a generation of people who have no idea of what this mystery even is they don’t know the beauty they don’t know it’s about their story and the churches story they don’t know about surrounding to be a vessel for the eucharist because you and I don’t tell them,” said Tooke.

Following Tooke’s powerful speech, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, stepped onto the stage to begin mass. The mass was filled with music and bright lights, but the most important was the liturgy, which effectively invites us into prayer that deepens our relationship with Christ.

The mass ended with an explosion of music, lights, singing, and cheering. Youth day ended with Students feeling enlightened and open-minded.

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