Author Archives: The Brave News

Around Bosco: Bosco E-Sports Unveils Brand New, State-of-the-Art Gaming Room

By Ethan Gibbs

In partnership with the technology giant Razer, St. John Bosco invested in its growing E-sports program with a pristine gaming room, equaling several thousands of dollars.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

The brand new E-sports room is filled with top-of-the-line equipment, including 20 personal computers (PCs), three Xboxes, three PlayStations and three Nintendo Switches.

This new room, located on the third floor of the 200 building, is a significant improvement over the previous E-sports facility. Previously, E-sports was based in the 300 building computer lab, and their computers were too weak to run most video games, leading them to only be able to compete in one video game, League of Legends.

However, the new, stronger computers, can run any game that is currently on the market. For example, the games that are now offered for the E-sports team in addition to League of Legends are Valorant, Overwatch, Fortnite, Smite, Rocket League and Splatoon.

The new E-sports room has helped increase the interest in E-sports from Bosco students. Since last fall, the Esports team has gained at least 15 new members.

“I believe E-sports is growing. The gaming industry is about four billion dollars in the world, and with so many different games and growth, there are so many jobs. There is a lot of opportunity there,” said Coach Giangualano, the head coach of the E-sports team.

Joining the Esports team is easy. In order to try out, all one has to do is find one of the many QR codes that are distributed throughout the school.

This recent growth of E-sports and the gaming industry has sparked an increased interest in E-sports at high schools. Some schools are now starting to follow Bosco’s lead and take it seriously, but one thing is for sure: the Braves will be unrivaled in terms of the equipment and facilities at their disposal.

Sports: The Braves Take On The “Team in Red” at Panish Family Stadium In Epic Match-Up

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

St. John Bosco football opens up league play tonight at Panish Family Stadium against their biggest rival, the “Team in Red,” as the Braves look to continue their perfect season.

Video by MaxPreps

The Braves come in ranked third in the nation, coming off dominating performances against five highly ranked teams throughout the state and country in Miami Central (FL), Bishop Alemany, Bishop Amat, East St. Louis (IL), and flying to Virginia to take on Oscar Smith.

Tonight will open league play for the Braves in the most highly anticipated Trinity League opener in recent memory. The Braves will then play three consecutive away games at JSerra, Orange Lutheran, and Santa Margarita before they will return home for their final league game against Servite, which is another contest with a ton of hype.

This will be the first meeting with the Team in Red this year, and the match-up has proven to be one of the biggest and best rivalries in all of high school sports. Last year, the two teams met at the end of their seasons where the Team in Red were victorious over our Braves to close out Trinity League competition in an abridged season absent of any CIF playoffs. This year, the Braves seek vengeance.

The excitement is at an all time high coming off the COVID-19 season, and this game will most likely decide seeding for this year’s upcoming CIF playoffs. If there was any doubt about the anticipation surrounding this match-up, tickets for the game sold out in just four minutes on the GoFan website.

Per usual, both teams come in evenhanded, which have made for instant classics in years past. The Team in Red comes in as the nation’s top ranked team, according to MaxPreps, but Coach Jason Negro’s squad looks to make its case as top dog.

If the Braves win this game, it will not only give them the edge in playoff seeding, but also potentially catapult them to the number one spot in the MaxPreps national rankings.

Tonight the Braves will also be debuting their Jordan Brand jerseys for the first time since revealing them last year, the new look jerseys will be a navy blue with a gold Jordan logo on the upper left peck of the jersey and the SJB logo will be on the other side also in gold. The jerseys will be complemented with a shimmering gold helmet with the traditional “B” logo on the side. The new-look Jordan uniforms mark yet another big step in Bosco football’s relationship with Nike.

If you can’t be in attendance, the game will also be aired on Bally Sports tonight starting at 7:30 PM

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Head Athletic Trainer Ms. Melody Mohebbi

by Matthew Parsons

A guardian angel for all at St. John Bosco, Ms. Melody Mohebbi, known by many student-athletes simply as “Ms. Mel,” serves as both the Head Athletic Trainer as well as the Pathway Coordinator for Sports Medicine.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Born in Tehran, Iran, Ms. Mel and her family weren’t tethered to any single place, constantly moving across the country. She grew up in a relatively average sized household, and it was only her, her parents and brother. Like those she treats now, she was an athlete in her youth. Coming from an athletic family, she went down the path of being a gymnast and a swimmer as a child.  

“I grew up in an athletic family. My mom was actually a gold medalist in diving. And my dad was a basketball coach,” said Ms. Mel.

However, her athletic career was cut short after an injury to her arm. Although she had to give up her competitive career in sports, this injury actually gave her inspiration to later become an athletic trainer.

Since she was constantly moving across Iran, she wasn’t able to stay at a singular school. Somewhat similar to St. John Bosco, the schools in Iran are single-sex, rather than co-ed. She eventually went on to attend university after her high school years and studied geology. Although Ms. Mel never struggled with grades, she regrets that she did not try harder in school.

“I really didn’t care about grades, never did growing up. I wasn’t a bad student, but I wasn’t getting straight A’s. I’m being honest; I was a very procrastinating person. I would always, always – I’m not even kidding you when I say – I would study the night before,” said Ms. Mel.

She originally attended university in Iran, obtaining a degree in geology. She always wanted to work in the medical field, dating back to when she was just a child. Her dream profession was actually to be a doctor, but due to the harsh medical field in Iran, she opted for geology.

“I always wanted to do stuff in the medical field but in Iran, but it is very, very difficult to get into, so that’s why I went with the second best thing that I liked,” said Ms. Mel.

At the age of 24, Ms. Mel made the huge decision to leave her home country to the completely foreign place of England. She claimed asylum in England in order to escape the country, which opened up her horizons and gave her more opportunities for work. 

Working at St. John Bosco was not Ms. Mel’s first working experience. In England, she worked with the women’s Manchester City soccer team and the Manchester Sharks rugby team. She also owned two of her own training clinics over the course of two years.

However, this is the first and only job she has had in the United States, and getting the position of Head Athletic Trainer at Bosco was by chance. Before she was recommended to take the position, she had never even heard of the school. Being desperate for a full-time job for her work visa, she decided to take up the position, and by no means was it an easy road after that. Bosco was her first experience working with kids, as opposed to her other jobs with just adults and professionals.

Being the only athletic trainer at a school like St. John Bosco was extremely difficult for Ms. Mel. She was constantly working alone and, for many years, was under a huge amount of pressure to make sure things were always going well. She had to work to make sure that in each sport the athletes were safe and always getting the proper care and treatment that they needed.

It got to the point where she was dealing with a severe burnout, and she didn’t know if she would be able to continue working at Bosco. Thus, she requested an assistant, leading the way for Mr. Coreyon Edwards to join the athletic training staff. 

Through all of the trials and tribulations of being the head Athletic Trainer, Ms. Mel has still kept good relationships with the students at Bosco.

“She’s really nice and very easy to work with whenever you need help,” said senior Nate Burrell, a defensive end on the football team.

Funnily enough, Ms. Mel never imagined that she would end up as a teacher. She imagined that it wouldn’t be a good fit for her, even though both of her parents were professors. Yet, here at Bosco, she’s ended up teaching many Bosco students in the Sports Medicine Pathway. 

“I never, ever thought I would be a teacher. I never liked it, even though both of my parents are professors,” said Ms. Mel.

Despite not ever thinking that she would end up as a teacher, she has still done a great job.

“She really keeps the class engaged through her practical and hands-on teaching style,” said senior Michael Carbone, a member of the Sports Medicine pathway for all four of his years at Bosco.

Ms. Mel really does love the Bosco community, believing in the family-oriented mission of the school. And even though most Bosco students only know Ms. Mel as a teacher or an athletic trainer, she also enjoys spending time with her friends and has recently picked up the hobby of designing and handcrafts.

Life of a Brave: Bosco Football Brothers Make Lifelong Memories In Virginia

by Jeremiah Davis

With league play fast approaching, the Bosco Braves took a trip to Virginia to dominate in football and to experience everything the state had to offer, from BBQ food to American history.

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Bosco Football has been known throughout the past decade as being one of the top football teams in the state as well as the nation. This was proven once again when the Braves took a trip to Virginia to play Oscar F. Smith High School.

The game ended up being a lopsided contest with Bosco dominating Oscar Smith by a score of 49-0. However, there was more than just practice in the lead up to the game, as the Braves were able to spend quality time in Virginia.

The Braves departed from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday night, September 14th, and arrived in Virginia on Wednesday, September 15. Immediately after landing in Virginia, they were transported to Catholic High School in Virginia Beach where they conducted their first practice.

“The practice overall was a good experience. Before the trip, I had never even thought about visiting Virginia, let alone playing football there,” said senior Zion Austin, a strong safety for Bosco.

After practice, the Braves ended up going to one of Virginia’s finer food establishments, Mission BBQ.  With a slogan, “The American Way,” the folks at Mission BBQ were appreciative of Bosco and happy that the mighty Braves from Southern California were supporting their business. Afterward, the team headed to their hotel, The Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront, for some much needed rest.

The following day, the team was able to see a minor league baseball game between the Norfolk Tides and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.  

“The game was a great experience for us to bond not only with our Bosco brothers, but with our St. Joseph sisters as well,” said senior safety Logan Polk.  

Come Friday night, all of the game preparation, practice and film studying was put to test as the Braves took the field. Chedon James, a receiver for the Braves, led the way on offense with two receiving touchdowns, and Matayo Uiagalelei, a tight-end and defensive end, also added his name to the scoring ledger with two receiving touchdowns of his own.

Once the game ended, the Braves were transported back to their hotel to complete their schoolwork. The overall mission of every student-athlete at Bosco is to not only excel on the field, but in the classroom.

The next day was a special and surreal moment for the Braves, as they took a trip to the Virginia State Capitol. During their visit to the Capitol, the Braves were able to visit the American Civil War Museum, where they learned about the history and the obstacles that black Americans had to face leading up to the 20th century.  

“I was able to learn so much about my people that I barely knew anything about before.  It was a very interesting place that I will for sure go back and visit again with my family,” Jaden Smith, a senior cornerback, said.  

The Braves returned safely to California on September 19th. The whole trip was a major success for the program as a whole. The learning experiences gathered on the trip will pay huge dividends for each and every player. Now, the Braves will turn their attention to the “Team in Red” who come to Panish Family Stadium this Friday, October 1st, for what promises to be an exciting contest.

Around Bosco: Students Learn Horticulture In Bosco’s New Community Garden

by Dominic Ramirez

Following the construction of a 6,000 square foot garden, St. John Bosco is getting students more involved in the food-making process with agriculture classes and a Horticulture Club.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

The garden is located beyond the left field fence of the baseball field. Construction of the garden, which consists of eight planter beds, one vineyard and one citrus orchard, broke ground in January and was completed over the Summer.

In the wake of the new garden’s construction, students founded the Horticulture Club, which is open to anyone on campus who is passionate about plants and gardening. In addition, agriculture classes are available to juniors and seniors.

Prominent figures involved with the horticulture program at St. John Bosco include Mr. Nathan Corkhill, moderator of the Horticulture Club, Mrs. Diaz, a master chef and leader of the Bosco Bread Company, and Ms. Aleshire, a master gardener who helps with gardens in schools across Los Angeles.

The food grown in the garden is sold in the student store in menu items such as breakfast burritos or zucchini bowls, which can be bought and eaten by the entire student body.

“The original design is built for growing food on campus that students can have for lunch and snack, which gives students a farm-to-table experience,” said Mr. Corkhill.

Students in the agriculture class learn about plants and get hands-on experience in the garden as well as the kitchen. The experience of growing and cooking their own food prompts healthy eating among the student body and teaches valuable life skills.

The garden was also recently sponsored by Whole Kids, which is a non-profit organization established by Whole Foods. The Whole Kids foundation is dedicated to helping kids eat healthier, nutrient-rich food.

Even though agricultural classes are only for upperclassmen, students can still participate in activities through the Horticulture Club.

“The [agriculture] class and the [horticulture] club are very similar, but if you are into it [the club] can be as an extension of the class. There is a lot more cooking and planting in the club,” said Kaimana Storch, president of the Horticulture Club.

If any students are interested in joining the Horticulture Club, contact Mr. Corkhill at ncorkhill@bosco.org.

Sports: Is Shohei Ohtani’s Record-Breaking Year Enough to Bring the MVP Trophy Back to Anaheim?

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

The Angels’ two-way superstar, Shohei Ohtani of Japan, leads the Most Valuable Player (MVP) race following a historic year on the mound and in the batter’s box, establishing himself as a modern-day Babe Ruth.

Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

With the baseball season coming to an end, baseball fans look to the MVP race, which is shaping to be one for the ages. The Angels’ Ohtani, who has made history numerous times this year as both a pitcher and a hitter, is the frontrunner in a tight race against prodigy son Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Angels, coming off yet another disappointing year filled with injuries and much more, had light in the performance of Ohtani, as Shohei became “Shotime.” There’s no doubt that Ohtani is doing something that has never been seen before, but does it do enough to overtake Guerrero’s extremely impressive season?

The simple answer is yes, as the name of the award is Most Valuable Player, and even with Toronto being a team that is still fighting for a playoff spot, Shohei Ohtani is much more important to his team. 

Even with Guerrero’s offensive stats being higher than Ohtani’s, he doesn’t provide enough as a hitter only to help his team win as many games. Shohei is coming off a 9-2 season on the bump, with many of his 23 starts being quality starts that ended in no decisions.

Ohtani also had an astonishing 3.18 earned run average (ERA) and went undefeated in his starts at home. He became almost unhittable towards the end of the season, fixing his command issue and making batters swing and miss more frequently.

He was no doubt dominant on the mound, but was also arguably just as dominant with the bat. Many people’s arguments for Guerrero to win MVP is that he will win the offensive triple crown, which consists of leading in home runs, batting average, and runs batted in, which has only happened a handful of times in Major League Baseball (MLB) history.

Although this may be a valid point, Ohtani is not far behind. As a matter of fact, he is right behind Guerrero. They have battled all season with each other and even with Ohtani slightly falling behind offensively, it is not enough to make anybody besides Shohei the MVP.

Even with a lackluster August and early September at the plate, Ohtani currently holds a .258 batting average and a .371 on base percentage, while hitting 45 home runs and batting in 98 runners. 

Many people argue that due to the Blue Jays’ success, and another subpar year for the Angels, as they will miss the playoffs for a seventh straight season, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. should be the MVP. This is not a fair point however, because unlike other team sports, such as basketball, it is much harder for one player to “carry” a team in baseball.

This year, the Blue Jays have had significantly better pitching overall and have had far less injuries, with Angels’ star players Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon missing most of the year. Thus, there is nothing Ohtani can do or could have done that would have helped the team more than he already has. Baseball is a team sport, making team success a largely invalid point regarding the MVP award.

Regardless, with everything that Shohei Ohtani has accomplished this year, the future is bright in Anaheim. There is no doubt that both Ohtani and Guerrero. are superstars and are important for the future of baseball, but, when this season does come to an end, it would not be a surprise to see Shohei Ohtani win a unanimous MVP.

Sports: Bosco Water Polo Set Sights On CIF Playoff Berth

by Aydn Morris

Although they don’t have the experience of many other teams, Bosco water polo is working hard to reach the top of their division.

Photo by Alex Diaz/Photo Editor

The young and inexperienced Bosco water polo team has had a hot start to their new season – their first full season since the start of the pandemic. The Braves have been excited for this season, given their last season was continuously delayed. 

“Last year water polo was getting dragged on forever for the initial start of their season, from being told they would start in October to December all the way back to March. And their ended up being not much hype to the season,” said Head Coach Jeff Powers.

The push back of the season made it tough for the Braves to be consistently prepared as well as motivated for their season. This push back also remarkably shortened the season with water polo only being able to play 6 games in the two-to-three week schedule.

They went 2-4 overall in those six games that they played, but so far this year the Braves are 7-8 after winning their last game against Sage Hill by a score of 13-5. 

With the 7-8 record start for the Braves, they are still in contention for CIF playoffs hopes. As of now they are in Division Five, and if they are able to make it to the playoffs, they will work on a deep playoff run that would hopefully lead to a championship.

“There is a lot of potential in the team making the playoffs. We have beaten and also lost to many of the teams who are in the division, but we know that we can compete with them and have learned a lot from those competitive games,” Coach Powers said. 

Although inexperienced, the Braves feel that they are ready to make a playoff run. The team has a few experienced players on their team that are ready, but water polo is played with seven in the pool. As a result, the Braves have been trying to get their younger, more inexperienced players up to speed, so that they can be at their full potential during their playoff push. 

As more games are being played the improvement has shown. 

“The players get better by their gameday experiences and the practices. Practices usually include preparation for any upcoming games, but also improvement on previous in-game issues to work on,” Coach Powers said.

While the Braves are looking toward the rest of the season, they know that they have very high potential in upcoming years with their youthful roster. The attention may be focused on the varsity water polo team, but they also have a deep pool of 18 players on junior varsity, with 17 of them being underclassmen who are inexperienced at water polo. There is room for the development of the team into a championship contender. 

This season and the future of the Bosco water polo team continues to become brighter. As they continue to look forward, their focus is on keeping up their strong performances throughout the course of the season. They are working extremely hard in order to prepare for their upcoming match against the Team in Red next Thursday, the team’s first Trinity League match-up.

A+E: Top Five Hip Hop Albums Of 2021

by Aydn Morris & Jeremiah Davis

As 2021 slowly winds down, we take a look back into the world of hip-hop and rank the top five hip hop albums of the year.

5. The Melodic Blue – Baby Keem

With the anticipation of album releases from both Kanye West and Drake, the attention given to smaller artists was slim to none.  However, Carson native and cousin of Kendrick Lamar, Baby Keem was an exception to this rule.  Being related to the Pulitzer Prize-winning Lamar puts a lot of pressure on a performing artist, and Keem understood that and delivered.  

On the singles “Family Ties” and “Range Brothers,” both featuring Kendrick Lamar,  Keem undoubtedly held his own, while some listeners have even felt he had better verses than Kendrick.  Both of these songs were featured on his album, The Melodic Blue, which got the approval of NBA legend Lebron James, who played songs off the album on his Instagram story.

Keem also was able to attract fans on all social media platforms garnering a viral sound off his new song “Range Brothers.” One could also say that the help of Kendrick Lamar played a vital role in pushing his album out there for the world to hear.  

Whatever the case may be, one could not deny the amount of raw talent that Baby Keem possesses at young age.  At only 20 years old, Keem still has what it takes to continue growing as an artists, which is why his album stands at number five on our list.

4. Call Me If You Get Lost – Tyler, The Creator

Tyler, the Creator is a name that is familiar to many hip hop fans and indie music fans alike.  His sonic versatility, playful aesthetic and nonchalant attitude intrigues many listeners and has kept his music so in tune with popular audiences.  

In 2021, despite hype around Kanye and Drake’s beef, rap fans were distributed amongst all artists, both the mainstream and the underground.  Many artists have die-hard fan bases that will enjoy listening to whatever music the artist puts out.  This anticipation, however, comes with a lot of pressure involved as well.

Tyler the Creator released his seventh studio album, Call Me If You Get Lost, on June 25th, 2021, and fans were elated by the project. With mainstream features from the likes of Lil Uzi Vert, Pharell Williams, Lil Wayne, 42 Dugg, NBA Youngboy and Brent Faiyaz, the album showcased some of the industry’s best.  

The most streamed song came from Tyler, NBA Youngboy and Ty Dolla Sign’s collaboration titled, “WUSYANAME.” The song was an overall success as everyone did their part and was able to show how three completely different artists were able to come together and create a popular track.

The album did very well, selling 117,000 copies in its first week.  Many fans expected this from Tyler, as he is a well-established and respected artist within the industry. His longevity within the rap community is well noted to many people, and it will only continue to grow as he gets older.

In comparison to past Tyler, the Creator albums, one could infer that this album brought out a different version of Tyler in comparison to what we usually see from him.  These reasons made it easy to mark Call Me If You Get Lost at number four . 

3. The Off Season – J.Cole

After a three-year-long wait, J. Cole released his newest project The Off-Season, on May 14th.  After J. Cole’s previous album KOD, he announced this new project in 2018, which created much anticipation in the industry. 

On May 4th 2018, Cole announced his album release date on Instagram and then surprised his fans with a song called, “ i n t e r l u d e,” which gave his fans a taste of what was to come on the album. 

J Cole is known for being a lyricist and the album proved that even more. The project consisted of twelve tracks with features from 21 Savage, Lil Baby, Morray, Bas, 6Lack and also had a secret feature from NBA superstar Damian Lillard, who is known as one of the best rappers in the NBA.

When Cole made his post on Instagram announcing his songs, it only showed the twelve song names, but not the features, which led fans to believe that there would be no features on the album. 

However, the hashtag #NoFeatures was trending on Twitter, due to J. Cole’s 2014 Forrest Hills Drive album, which showcased just Cole on vocals and productions. That album cemented his place as one of the most influential popular hip hop artists of this generation along with Drake, Kanye, and Kendrick. 

The Off-Season’s most popular song is track seven, “p r i d e . i s . t h e . d e v i l,” which had a feature from famous artist Lil Baby. Lil Baby is a popular, young, talented artist who showed his potential on this feature with J.Cole.  

J. Cole was amazing on the song and set the tone, but what made the song so special was hearing Lil Baby’s verse after Cole, matching his wordplay and flow. 

The Off-Season sold a total of 282,000 first week album-equivalent units, which gave J. Cole his sixth number one album.

2. Certified Lover Boy, Drake

Drake is no stranger to dropping hits, whether that be from an album perspective or simply just a single. The man knows how to make pop music. 

The release of his sixth studio album garnered major media attention for several reasons. For one, it had been three whole years since the last release of a Drake album.  Fans were on pins and needles waiting for the next release from the Canadian superstar. 

The second reason was due to his rumored beef with Kanye West. The beef has been stirring up for quite some time now, only adding more fuel to the fire when West posted Drake’s address on his Instagram account before immediately taking it down. 

Drake later responded to what West did as he posted a video of him laughing at Kanye on his Instagram story.  Fans were eager to hear the diss track that Drake was preparing in order to combat Ye leaking his address, but that diss never came.

The album consisted of 21 songs, and overall, it was a feel good album.  Drake also showcased his versatility on this album ranging from storytelling on a song like “Champagne Poetry” to having fun on a song like “Way 2 Sexy.”

The features on the album did not disappoint either with guest appearances from the likes of Future, Young Thug, Lil Baby and 21 Savage.  The album also smashed several records, which didn’t come ax a surprise at all due to the amount of anticipation surrounding its release.  

The album sold 600,000 copies in first week sales and now occupies 9 out of the top 10 spots on the Billboard top 100.  

Drake would drop Certified Lover Boy just days after Kanye’s album to compete with the beefing artist. But either way, it is refreshing to see so many successful artists drop new music.  

1. DONDA – Kanye West

Kanye released his tenth studio album on August 29th, 2021 with a total of 27 tracks.  Kanye said that the album release date was never approved by him.  The album was initially set for release on July 24, 2020, but was delayed multiple times by Kanye.  

There was a huge build up and anticipation to this album since Kanye’s last album Jesus is King, which was released in October 2019.  After many setbacks, Kanye finally declared that the album was dropping and finished.  

This album was such a big deal that Kanye hosted listening parties at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta and Soldier Field in Chicago. He held three listening events, two in Atlanta and one in Chicago, all of which sold out. 

Kanye has taken an initiative to make gospel music which started in his previous album Jesus is King, which led into Donda being a primarily hip hop and gospel album. Since the album showcases strong gospel influences, it was aptly released on a Sunday morning.

This may have made sense because of religious ideals, but this may have hindered his first week album sales as well, because albums are usually set to drop on Friday or Thursday night depending on where you are, but he ended up releasing at a time no one would expect an album.

Although it may have seemed like a bad time to release an album, he still was able to sell 520,000 album-equivalent units in that week, which at the time was the biggest album debut of the year (later beaten by Drake’s Certified Lover Boy). 

Kanye also broke the most streamed album in a day record and placed second in the biggest opening days in Spotify history, even after dropping at eight in the morning on a Sunday. 

Kanye called on a whole gang of features, which included rappers Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, Fivio Foreign, The Weeknd, Roddy Ricch, Baby Keem, Lil Yachty, Jay Z, Da Baby, Chris Brown, Young Thug, Kid Cudi, Travis Scott, Pop Smoke, and many others. 

Donda‘s most popular song was track four, “Off the Grid,” which included Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign. Playboi Carti is a very controversial artist, but still held up to have one of the best songs on the album. Playboi Carti also featured on two other songs on the album. 

Playboi Carti and Kanye West have worked with each other and became friends in the past year when Kanye helped produce and feature on Carti’s album Whole Lotta Red.  Their friendship, connection and mix of fan bases are what made “Off the Grid” a highlight the album, along with Fivio’s amazing drill flow and verse. 

Another highlight on the album was track five, “Hurricane,” featuring The Weeknd and Lil Baby.  This song is what the album is all about, with the melodic, gospel singing and mix of rap by Lil Baby.

Donda and Certified Lover Boy can both make a case for being the number one album in 2021 so far. Off of album-equivalent units sold and streams Certified Lover Boy walks all over Donda, but from the perspective of quality and depth, Kanye gets the best Drake. 

Sports: Bosco Student-Athletes And Coaches “On Board” With CIF Regulations

by Ian Cook

After a chaotic year of athletics, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) released updated COVID-19 protocols so that high school athletes in California can return to the field as safely and with as much normality as possible.

In the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on many activities in California, one of them being high school sports. Since March 2021, a year after the initial shutdown, the CIF has been able to give all California high schools the opportunity to play sports, as long as they follow certain procedures and requirements. However, the CIF just released an updated set of protocols that schools must follow. These protocols and requirements have caused a dramatic change in the lives of many athletes and coaches at St. John Bosco High School. 

“We’re social distancing when we can, following the COVID guidelines and keeping our mask on as much as we can,” said senior Ryan Tuaolo, a defensive end and outside linebacker on the football team.

In addition, the CIF, particularly Executive Director Ron Nocetti, put into place mandatory COVID-19 testing for all unvaccinated athletes that play an outdoor sport. They also require mandatory testing for all athletes, vaccinated or not, who play an indoor sport, which starts this week. 

If an athlete or coach were to test positive for COVID-19, they would have to be quarantined for ten days and provide a negative COVID-19 test following their quarantine to return to campus. During the athlete’s quarantine, the school has to do contact tracing and issue a five-day quarantine for the unvaccinated student-athletes with whom the infected individual had close contact, while also being required to provide a negative COVID test and be asymptomatic in order to return to campus and athletics.  

If a vaccinated student-athlete or coach is in close contact with an infected individual, they can continue participation in school and sports so long as they exhibit no symptoms. This dynamic provides a lot of question marks week-to-week for Bosco athletic programs

“Not knowing if [players] are able to play and practice every day makes it frustrating, but it forces us to give it our all during practice and games every chance we get,” said senior Xavier Mangum, a defensive back on the football team. 

The CIF COVID-19 protocols for California high school sports are very simple. All unvaccinated outdoor sports athletes  must test once a week and at least three days before competition. Vaccinated players must show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination card in order to avoid testing.

The CIF’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused mixed reactions from the athletes and parents at Bosco and statewide. However, despite the challenges, Bosco student-athletes and coaches are more than grateful to be able to participate in athletics despite the pandemic.

“I think they handled the situation pretty well, despite us not being able to have a complete season due to the state guidelines last year. I know CIF wants us to have a regular and complete season, and I am on board with what they’re doing so that we can be as safe as possible,” said Nate Munson, the wide receiver coach for varsity football and the junior varsity head coach. 

Although the testing has put another obstacle in front of many athletes and coaches here at St. John Bosco, it has also caused the athletes to look out for each other off the field and during school.

“It’s going to be tough to have to test, but we have to do it if we want to be able to play,” said senior Niko Riera, a first baseman and pitcher on the baseball team. 

The consensus seems to be simple among student-athletes and coaches: they will happily adhere to CIF protocols if it means the continued joy of competition.

Sports: Bosco Caps Non-League Stretch With A Shutout In Virginia

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

After traveling to Virginia, St. John Bosco football obliterated Oscar Smith High School 49-0 for their final game before the start of league play.


Photo by Jonathon Gruenke/Daily Press

The notorious Bosco Braves got to travel to the East Coast to match up for their first road game of the year against Oscar Smith, a top ranked program in the state of Virginia. This was a great opportunity for the Braves as it was a chance to show their talent nationwide. The players, coaches, staff and cheerleaders all flew out in hopes to continue the perfect season. 

The game began with Oscar Smith starting with the ball, this was their first taste of what would be a long and disheartening night for their offense. They began with a solid drive down field, but ended up fumbling just before the end zone resulting in the Braves getting the ball.

Bosco wasted no time, scoring a 70-yard rushing touchdown from senior Rayshon “Speedy” Luke. Oscar Smith was then pressured again on offense and resorted to handing the Braves back the ball.

Michigan State commit Katin Houser came into the game at quarterback and quickly found his targets while moving up the field. The drive ended in a quick pass to junior Matayo Uiagalelei for his first of several touchdowns on the night.

Oscar Smith offensively got nothing going as they would continue to get smothered by the Braves stacked defense. Bosco’s other quarterback, Pierce Clarkson, followed up their last drive making two big passing plays, which resulted in finding Matayo again for his second touchdown of the game. This would put the Braves up 21-0.

Bosco’s defense would shine again, executing yet another scoreless drive and regaining possession of the ball for the offense. Houser followed with another impressive drive, ending in yet another touchdown making the score 28-0 in favor of the Braves.

Oscar Smith finally made a decent drive down field gaining yardage, but that was short-lived, as the Braves were able to push them back forcing them to turn the ball over yet again. Bosco tried to score again in the first half, but came up short, moving them into the second half of the game. 

The defense for Bosco continued to make an impact forcing another fumble that the Braves recovered. They swiftly took the ball down field and threw another touchdown extending the lead 35-0.

It would seem as though the offense and defense for Oscar Smith would check out early, with the Braves scoring two more times before the clock ran out. The final score was 49-0 in favor of the visiting Bosco Braves.

This will be the last game for Bosco before they head into league play. They have a bye this week, allowing players to rest and prepare the nation’s most anticipated match-up of the high school football season. The Braves open league play next Friday against the Team in Red.

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