Author Archives: The Brave News

Life Of A Brave: Unsung Hero, Bosco’s Spiritual Director Fr. Ted Montemayor, SDB

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

St. John Bosco High School’s well-known personality and Spiritual Director, Fr. Ted Montemayor, follows the model of Don Bosco in order to make our school feel like a “second home.”

Fr. Ted is one of the most prominent figures at St. John Bosco, where students have experienced Fr. Ted in the halls during the school day, through his famous “Good Mornings” when school starts or during his poignant homilies during monthly Masses. In his role as Spiritual Director, he ensures to make sure Bosco is a home to all our students, families and staff.

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

Born on December 13, 1952 in Laredo, Texas, a small border-town near San Antonio toward the Mexican border, Fr. Ted grew up within the Salesian community from a young age. Fr. Ted attended a grammar school under the leadership of the Salesian Sisters and later on decided to join a high school seminary in Watsonville, California to soon begin his ministry.

As a kid, Fr. Ted was inspired to be a priest through his strong family who was close to the Salesian Sisters and through missionary priests that would give them talks and worked with indigenous communities in Mexico. One notable person Fr. Ted credits in his life is his twin sister, who he sometimes mentions in his homilies or in his “Good Morning” messages and passed away when he moved out to California to become a priest.

“We were five kids, I was the youngest alongside my twin sister. My twin sister and I parted ways when I went to high school,” said Fr. Ted. “My family always supported me, although they thought I was still too young to leave…. But my twin sister makes me reflect, as we came from the same womb, as she was a very giving and receiving person and loved me very much.”

For six years from 2014-2020, prior to his return to Bellflower, California and St. John Bosco, Fr. Ted served as the Provincial for the United States Western Province, tasked with to progressing the Salesian community throughout the west. Through his work as Provincial, he traveled a lot meeting new people within the Salesian community, but now in his role as Spiritual Director, he enjoys staying home and within the Bellflower community, building bonds and inspiring change in his own backyard.

His current role is very important and often misunderstood. Often the role of the Spiritual Director is viewed by many as the “head” of the organization.

“For St. John Bosco, the Director role was the director of the mission, parish, school, boys and girls club. Whether he runs it or not, [the Director] becomes the symbol of Don Bosco in the presence to defend the charism to make sure the place is ‘Salesian’ and to spot things that are ‘not Salesian,’ as he is the center of unity, ” said Fr. Ted.

Fr. Ted is also still involved in the Salesian community outside of St. John Bosco High School. One role is being present and serving the other Salesian priests and brothers. As Fr. Ted may not be able to be everywhere, his time involves being with the elderly community and organizing events, such as buying food for a particular gathering, doing Baptisms and funerals for our former alumni and even evening Saturday masses for the military in Los Alamitos.

Fr. Ted embodies the mission of Salesianity by trying using the model of Don Bosco to focus on the youth and the community. One of the gifts of Don Bosco gave his students was being present with them, which is one of the key elements of the Salesian charism, and Fr. Ted hopes to inspire students through the words he speaks to be better people. 

“I really try to be that kind presence that Don Bosco wanted us to be,” Fr. Ted said. “To help people and to create an environment to make people feel like home.”

Around Bosco: The Brave Community Celebrates the Life of Don Bosco During Catholic School’s Week

by William Reynolds

Throughout the Feast Day of St. John Bosco and in honor of Catholic School’s Week, St. John Bosco High School highlighted the four models of the Oratory.

Don Bosco, was born August 16, 1815 in the city of Turin, Italy, where he had a famous dream at the age of nine. He dreamt that he was near his home in a playing field where a crowd of young children were having fun, laughing and playing.  But unfortunately, many started to curse and when he tried to stop them, Jesus appeared and told Bosco that he will have to lead the boys with kindness instead of hate.

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

The result of this dream was Don Bosco having the ambition saving the souls of many young men and helping them grow in life to become good strong men through the power of faith and brotherhood that unites us all for life through the Oratory.

Don Bosco explains through the Oratory that the four pillars of Salesian education are home, school, church and playground. These are the same pillars on which St. John Bosco High School was founded.

Our school represents the home aspect of the oratory, as a second home where the Braves learn, worship, laugh and play, and throughout the week, St. John Bosco High School honored and reflected on the Oratory mission.

Last Tuesday the Brave community came together to honor the church aspect of the Oratory at St. Dominic Savio Parish and to celebrate the Feast Day of Don Bosco as well as his life and accomplishments. The community celebrated Mass with the honor of having the Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Bishop Marc Trudeau, perform the Feast Day Mass of our patron saint. In his homily he talked about the importance of family and how “we have a very special thing with our brothers here.”

The mission and message of St. John Bosco has influenced people all over the world, but has greatly affected our fellow students and faculty, such as Ricardo Rodriguez, a senior who has been a part of the Campus Ministry Team for all four years of his high school career, as well as the leader of the campus ministry team, Mr. Kris Tran.

“Taking the time out of my day to celebrate St. John Bosco’s history and his 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,” said Ricardo.

“I have always liked Don Bosco, he has been my inspiration when it comes to working with good young men. And in the month of January when we celebrate a lot of our Salesian saints and leaders, and it’s a good reminder of the spirits, work and life of the man who’s name we take for our school,” said Mr. Tran.

On Wednesday, the Brave community celebrated the school aspect of the Oratory, as students, faculty, staff and parents came together at St. Dominic Savio Parish to honor all students based on their academic achievements.

As the week of celebrating came to an end, on Friday, the Faith Families came together to reflect the playground aspect of Don Bosco and had a field day where students had the opportunity to win points for their Faith Families from games such as basketball, tug-o-war, ultimate frisbee, soccer, volleyball and football. This was one final hurrah in a week where the entire student body shared in laughter and fun, just like Don Bosco wanted. 

Sports: Rugby Returns To Bosco

by Marcelles Williams

This is the first time the Braves threw on their rugby jerseys since Winter of 2019, in which they made their State Championship run. The squad is eager for their return, as they are no stranger to success on the rugby pitch.

Photo by SJB Student Life

A majority of the Rugby team were a part of this year’s 2022 Football’s National Championship team. Some of these players included sophomore Puka Moe, sophomore Epi Sitanilei and senior Gabriel Burch. This winning mindset has transfered over to the rugby field. Puka thinks that this winning attitude will be a big reason for the success of the team this year.

“Winning is winning, and I expect to do it at everything I do, including rugby and football,” said Puka.

The Braves are a part of the SoCal Interlastic Rugby Federation (SCRIF) league. The competition is fierce, as it includes Servite High School, Warren High School, Mira Costa High School and many more.

The Braves kicked off their season on January 12th at Bosco against the Servite Friars. It was a hard fought game but the Braves were not able to pull off a victory against their Trinity League foe, falling in a 19-12 loss. Even with the Braves coming up short, the team understood that this inaugural game was an indicator to the restart of a great program.

They are currently 2-2 and they believe that by the time the playoffs come, they will be ready to excel at the highest level. As one of the first squads following the pandemic, it is evident to see that the squad is still raw and will need to continue to use its upcoming regular season games to come into form.

Puka, who is one of the top players on the team, believes they will make the playoffs and have a chance to compete for a championship.

“We all believe we are talented and can really do something with rugby, but we do need a little more time because this was the first Bosco Rugby team in a few years.”

The Braves most impressive win took place at Bosco last Thursday. They played the Warren Bears and won in a game where Bosco scored a whopping 52 points against the bears and more than doubling their opponent in points, as Warren scored 21.

One of the senior leaders of the rugby team, Gabriel Burch, is really excited to finally be back on the field for the rugby team this year.

“I’m really excited for this year and can’t wait to see what this season has in store for us,” said Gabriel Burch. “I think people may be a bit surprised by us this year.”

Gabriel is passionate about this team and really embraces the Bosco Brotherhood. He is also super excited to have the program back for his last year at Bosco.

“These guys on the team are my brothers. I’ll do anything for these guys and I think they’ll do the same for me.”

The Rugby’s team’s latest match-up was the Cathedral Catholic Dons of San Diego. The back-to-back SCRIF league champions are top in the state. The Braves put up a fight but fell to the Dons with the final score 26-12 loss.

The Braves next match-up will be this Saturday at Fallbrook High School, as they look to get back into the winning column.

Sports: The Servite Friars Feared the Spear at Bosco Wrestling’s Senior Night 

by Ed Crowe 

On Tuesday, the Bosco Braves took on the Servite Friars and defeated them in a 71-6 blowout, making them Trinity League Champions. The favored Braves delivered a strong performance, claiming yet another league title.

It was also Senior Night. The seniors that were recognized included Nicco Ruiz, Mark Ayala, Michael Morales, Michael Barba, Julian Barajas and Nathan Boyce. 

Nathan, who has only been wrestling for one year, had a great match and contributed a decisive win for the Braves. Though brief, Nate cherished his wrestling experience at Bosco. 

“Since my junior year, I have felt welcomed by the other wrestlers as well as coaches and staff. It is a sport I highly recommend for students who want to experience the Bosco brotherhood,” said Nathan. 

With yet another accomplishment under the belt of the wrestling program, Head Coach Jeff Anderson, Class of ‘98, believes that the team showed significant improvement, but he also expressed the proverbial coach’s mantra.

“There is still room for improvement,” Anderson said.

The Bosco Wrestling program, which is now ranked fourteen in the nation per MatScouts rankings, performed fantastically in the Five Counties tournament. This tournament was highly competitive, with 84 teams competing for first place. The Bosco wrestling team scored a tournament high of 186.5 points, firmly securing the spot of first place.

Not only did the wrestlers take home first place, but ten wrestlers placed in the top ten individually. 

In the lower weight classes, freshman Sean Willcox placed second in the 106-pound weight division, freshman Issac Torres placed seventh in the 113-pound weight division, freshman Nathan Carillo placed second in the 120-pound weight division, freshman Tigran Greyan placed fifth in the 132-pound weight division and sophomore Joseph Antonio placed second in 145-pound weight class division. 

“Tigran Greyan has been developing very well. He has taken a couple of tough losses but seems to learn and improve each and every time,” said Coach Anderson.

In the higher weight classes, junior Yazir Tellez placed third in the 152-pound weight division, senior Julian Barajas placed fifth in the 170-pound weight division and senior Mark Ayala placed second in the 195-pound weight division. In addition to these eight wrestlers who placed in the top ten, senior Nicco Ruiz took first place in the 160-pound weight division, while also being named the Middle Weight MVP of the tournament. Sophomore Nicholas Sahakian also took first place in the 220-pound weight class division.

After winning the tournament, Coach Anderson was impressed by the performance each wrestler gave, but he also noticed areas of growth as the team looks ahead to CIF Team Duals. 

“Sometimes they start thinking too much on the mat wanting a more strategic match instead of letting the training take over,” said Coach Anderson.

The Braves have high hopes of showing further growth in upcoming CIF competition.  

Around Bosco: Historic Winter Formal King Crowned During Homecoming Basketball Game

by Isaac Mays, Sports Editor

At St. John Bosco High School’s very own Thunderdome, St. Joseph’s Associated Student Body (ASB) revealed the Winter Formal Dance King, Phansidilang “King” Dina, who is the first ever international student elected King.

Anticipation arose leading up to Friday, January 20th, where the court and King was celebrated. During halftime of the Bosco Basketball Homecoming Game, all nominees lined up for the reveal. Much of the study body gathered to watch the Braves face off against the Servite Friars, as they also cheered on their classmates in the race for Formal King. 

One senior would be crowned as the King, while the others would serve on the Winter Formal Court. The 2023 senior nominees included Alex Palmer, Ryan Gutierrez and King (Phansidilang) Dina. Additionally, junior princes Max Abrahamson and Grant Hidalgo-Villanueva were given the opportunity to serve on the court after winning their respective elections.

During halftime, candidates were escorted by Saint Joseph’s ASB onto the gym floor. Senior Grace Maxwell crowned King Dina as the official 2023 Winter Formal King. The crowd erupted into applause as the King, King, would now be supported by Ryan, Alex, Max and Grant as his Formal Court.

“I feel like I belong somewhere. I am also representing Asian communities out there, not just Saint John Bosco or Saint Joseph’s,” King said.

King is an international student from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and is a member of the Bosco’s International Exchange Program. King has become the first exchange student to win the title of Formal King in school history. King participates in extracurricular activities, such as Kairos, and also maintains a job as a barista at a local boba shop.

“I just want to say thank you to Bosco and Joseph’s for voting me on as Formal King.” 

Spectators were also very impressed with the overall preparation that the Bosco administration had put into the event. All of the pairs walking up to the gym floor were dressed in formal attire as they processed in perfect fashion.

“I think [the court] all looked very good…I think [Bosco Student Life] did a really good job planning,” said senior Ryan Cirrincione.

King Dina would later go on to perform his duties as the Formal King, the most significant of which being leading the slow dance Saturday evening at the Winter Formal Dance. King and his St. Joseph’s dance partner, Emma Persi, danced to “Take My Breath Away” by Berlin.

King and the rest of the formal court saw themselves as the stars of the evening, as this election played a significant role in the course of the evening. Held at The MODERN in Long Beach, near the Long Beach Airport, Winter Formal was a smashing success.

After the festivities, the Bosco Braves executed a dominating victory against the Friars, 73-45, solidifying the night for the Bosco community.

Life Of A Brave: Senior Privileges Are Awarded To The Class Of 2023

by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

As the class of 2023 begins their eigth semester, the Senior Board approves class privileges based on the behavior of the overall class. Through spirit wear on finals week, college sweatshirts and extended access to the Oratory, the class of 2023 reflects on their final months at Bosco.

With graduation in sight for the class of 2023, the much anticipated senior privileges have just been implemented. The privileges are conditional, as they represent the leadership and maturity of the school. Throughout their time at Bosco, the seniors had the opportunity to move up the ranks and learn how to lead by example. In turn, the decision to initiate the requested privileges was granted.

“By being role models in the first semester, the administration determines our worthiness of deserving senior privileges and how many,” said Associated Student Body Co-President Ryan Gutierrez.

In collaboration with the administration, the senior class board was able to come to terms with what would be appropriate class privileges.

The first privilege is to have the opportunity to wear college sweatshirts everyday. By April, a vast majority of the senior Braves will have all of their heard back about their college application. With many students already being accepted through early decision, early action and outright athletic scholarships, the past few weeks have already featured college sweatshirts from across the country.

“I think it’s a great privilege to wear our college gear,” said senior Sam Hentges, who will attend the Air Force Academy next year on a baseball scholarship. “All of us have worked really hard, and I am excited to see seniors representing top schools from across the country.”

In regards to uniform, during finals week, seniors are allowed to wear Bosco affiliated shorts, sweats, sweatshirts and t-shirts rather than a typical Bosco uniform. This promotes a relaxing environment during the final week of testing for the class of 2023. Many Braves are now able to represent the various sports teams, extracurriculars and other Bosco related affiliations they maintain that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to wear at school.

“It’s sad our time is coming to an end at Bosco, however, being able to wear spirit gear lets us worry about one less thing during finals week,” said senior Evan Chavez.

Lastly, the seniors are now able to have lunch in The Oratory. The Oratory is a lounge with food and games open to the student body before and after school. This concept of having hospitality on campus was inspired by St. John Bosco himself. 

On select days, the class of 2023 will have access to the room during lunchtime. The first time the Oratory became open was this past Friday. The senior board sold pizza, students played games and rested on the couches.

“I enjoyed hanging out in the oratory. My friends and I played pool and ping pong,” said senior Matthew Casas. “I hope the senior board makes this a more regular thing.”

These privileges represent a culmination of the hard work completed by the senior class. Being four months from ringing the Victory Bell for the last time, many seniors grow reminiscent of their time at Bosco.

“These privileges reflect all of our hard work as class. At the same time, it is bittersweet as it serves as a reminder of our little time left at Bosco,” said Associated Student Body Co-President Tyler Baligad.

Life Of A Brave: St. Joseph’s High School Host Winter Formal Dance

by Carter Daley

After a relaxing Christmas Break, St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s High Schools celebrated their Winter Formal Dance at The MODERN, a venue known for unparalleled views and private jet runways.

The MODERN is located on the top floor of the Sky Harbor Hanger giving a fantastic view of not only the city of Long Beach, but also the award-winning Long Beach Airport. The venue is most notably used for weddings.

The event began at 8pm on Saturday as students arrived in party buses and carpools. Upon entering, students were greeted by each school’s respective faculty as they checked in. Accompanied by two private elevators, the area also includes a lounge where students can dance, a center bar to serve food and beverages along with a terrace that overlooks the dance floor. The appearance of the venue allowed students to have a great time in a smaller environment. 

“Saint Joseph’s ASB Board wanted to take a more intimate and smaller approach to this year’s Winter Formal dance, as opposed to this year’s Homecoming Dance,” said Vice Principal of Student Affairs Ms. Jen Schnorr.

The Winter Formal Dance Planning Committee at Saint Joseph’s did an excellent job providing great food and beverages. Students were able to stay energized with iced coffee and blueberry grape lemonade. Sliders and fries were served as appetizers throughout the night. 

“We knew going into the dance the love of coffee St. Joseph’s and Bosco shared, so when we got the inspiration from the administration to bring in coffee. We decided on vanilla mocha. It was a way to keep people energized,” said St. Joseph’s Associated Student Body (ASB) President Xochitl Moreno.

Many St. John Bosco students brought dates to accompany them. Whether from St. Joseph’s or other schools around the area, many students had the opportunity to meet one another and enjoy a night of dancing.

A key highlight of the night came at the very end where students were offered milk and cookies. This was a sweet and savory treat to rap up a great night of excitement. 

“I didn’t have one but I saw a few teachers walking around with a big plate of cookies on top and a pitcher of milk under it. The whole thing made me laugh,” said senior Anthony Beyelia.

Chosen by St. Joseph’s ASB, DJ Brandon Wright kept the dance floor lively. Playing songs like the “Cupid Shuffle” and “Cha Cha Slide” kept students on their feet and happy to be around one another.

As St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s students approach the last few months of the school year, they will continue to enjoy memories like these together as sisters and brothers.

Around Bosco: Bosco’s 3 vs. 3 Intramural Basketball Tournament Catches Buzz Across Campus

By: Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

During Winter Homecoming week, the Braves hosted their second annual Intramural Basketball Tournament. The finals took place last Friday in St. John Bosco’s Thunderdome during the Winter Sports Rally.

Photo by SJB Student Life

Basketball is in full swing on St. John Bosco’s campus. Despite the excitement surrounding the Braves’ varsity basketball team’s eight-game winning streak, it seems that Bosco’s second annual intramural basketball tournament has garnered the focus of the entire student body, who were fixated about who would come out on top. Founded in 2022 as the proverbial successor to “Bosco NBA,” the inaugural tournament featured the teachers, “The L.B. Dawgs,” winning it all, as they knocked off “Wavy Navy” in the finals.

In order to join, teams registered their three person roster, an alternate and a team name. From there, the bracket and game schedule were created. Executive Board Co-President Tyler Baligad was a major contributor to organizing the rosters.

“I know the student body really well and I wanted to make sure there were exciting first round matchups. By doing so, it would attract a lot of viewership over the two weeks, and I believe that was achieved. I also [felt] like we [had] a pretty solid group of teams heading into the Final Four,” Tyler said.

The tournament has taken place over two weeks leading up to the finals this Friday. With four rounds, the finals will take place in front of the student body at the Winter Sports Rally. The games are single elimination with all baskets being worth one point up until the finals where three pointers are awarded two points. Lastly, games are played with a fifteen minute game clock.

The Final Four teams included “Chadwell (Linda),” “Top 2 Not 2,” “Fantastic 3” and “The Teachers.”

“There have been a lot of close matchups and upsets coming into the final days of the tournament,” Tyler said. “Gutta Ave. vs. Teachers was decided by a buzz beater.”

Video by SJB Student Life

Chadwell (Linda), an all senior team, included Joaquin Ramirez, Anthony Rodriguez and Lanson DeGuia. Formerly known as “Smoothmobile,” the team entered in the inaugural tournament last year and made it to the Elite 8. Coached by varsity basketball senior Victor “Smooth” Murillo, Chadwell (Linda) lived and died shooting from behind the arc. Even with their relative lack in size going into the Final Four, the senior squad put on a show.

“I’m really excited that we went to the Final Four,” said senior Anthony Rodriguez of Chadwell (Linda). “My team was in the tournament last year, and I am happy we came back for another run.”

Top 2 Not 2 was another upperclassmen team in the Final Four. Featuring Bosco Football varsity quarterback Caleb Sanchez, as well as Dillon Rickenbacker and Jack Nyman, size was a huge advantage for the squad. Top 2 Not 2 came in hot with an impressive victory over “Only Wins” and would defeat Chadwell (Linda) in the Final Four on Thursday.

The Teachers, the third team in the Final Four, went on a notable but heartbreaking run. Coming into the tournament as the reigning champions, the Teachers had a lot of pressure to go back-to-back. The squad featured Dean of Students Mr. Jon-Paul Masciel, Entrepreneurship Pathway Coordinator Mr. Shane Beatty and Religion Teacher Mr. Juan-Pedro Garcia-Esparza.

The Teachers were battle tested coming into the Final Four after defeating the notorious “Gutta Ave.” with a buzzer beater on Wednesday. Unfortunately, they fell short to the red hot Fantastic 3 in the Final Four, which some attributed to the injury Mr. Masciel sustained in Wednesday’s game against Gutta Ave.

The Fantastic 3 was the final team that was in the Final Four. The team was not one to take lightly, as they produced convincing wins against the “Chess Club” and the “Robotic’s Drive Team” coming into the semifinals. Fronted by juniors Will Mckissick, Corey McFarland and Xzavion Elder, The Fantastic 3 went on a deep run, but ultimately they fell short in the finals against Top 2 Not 2 after defeating the Teachers in the Final Four on Thursday.

Friday’s game did not disappoint. With a dominating interior performance by Caleb Sanchez and Top 2 Not 2, they routed The Fantastic 3. With a 15-8 victory for the squad, Dillon Rickenbacker felt that the tournament was “too easy for him.”

With plenty of action and highlights, the Oratory’s playground was in full effect with the competitive spirit of the tournament bringing the Brave community together.

Sports: 2022 CIF State And National Champions Sign National Letters Of Intent

by Christian Angel, Managing Editor

The CIF State and National Champion St. John Bosco Braves continue to excel as the number one team in the nation by MaxPreps, as twelve senior student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent over the Christmas break to compete and study at schools across the nation.

Photo by @boscofootball (Twitter)

The twelve student-athletes who signed on Wednesday, December 21 were:

DL Vaka Amasio-Hansen, San Jose State University
LB Deven Bryant, University of Washington (Early Enrollee)
QB Pierce Clarkson, University of Louisville (Early Enrollee)
CB Jshawn Frausto-Ramos, Stanford University
OL Sean Haney, Colgate
S RJ Jones, UCLA
S Ty Lee, UCLA
WR Jahlil McClain, University of Louisville
DB Hunter Nowell, San Jose State University
WR Israel Polk, University of Pittsburgh (Early Enrollee)
TE/DE Matayo Uiagalelei, University of Oregon (Early Enrollee)
CB Aaron Mikey Williams, University of Louisville

This signing day was special to Bosco Football, as many of the student-athletes who signed shared how this signing day was very heartfelt and special. Many thanked their parents, family members, coaches, trainers and all those who helped them get to where they are. Many of them shared their personal journeys.

For many of them and their families, it was a sacrifice coming to Bosco with the process of getting into their dream universities and making the ultimate decisions for the upcoming years. For many, it was not easy, but the student-athletes proved how hard they work on and off the field. This can be credited to the opportunities they have had at Bosco.

Safety Ty Lee, who signed to UCLA thanked all the Bosco Football coaches and staff. Notably, he gave thanks to Coach Chris King for being a mentor and friend while allowing him to be a leader for the defense. Ty also thanked Mrs. Jessie Christensen for being the backbone of the Bosco Football program and teaching him to be a great person on and off the field.

Defensive lineman Vaka Hansen thanked the two most important people in his life: his parents. He thanks his dad for being the reason he fell in love with football and inspiring him to be the best man he can be. He credits his mom, although she could not attend, for working hard everyday to put food on the table. Through this love and support, Vaka’s value of family within a team is what ultimately led him to San Jose State University.

“I really love the family environment. Coach Seumalo was a reason why I went there, as he coached NFL player Stephen Paea… and I think that is a great place for me to playing with Coach Brennan, he is a really good head coach and looks like a really good father figure for me,” said Vaka.

Unfortunately, tight end and defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei was not able to be present at the ceremony. Matayo had been hospitalized due to a blood transfusion and was recovering at home. In his place, Coach Jason Negro announced Matayo’s commitment to the University of Oregon.

“I have never had an opportunity to announce where I’m going… so I’m going to take full advantage of this and I’m going to do this right. Ready? The University of Oregon,” said Coach Negro.

Shortly after National Signing Day, WR Deandre Moore Jr. announced his commitment and officially signed to the University of Texas at Austin. Deandre picked the Longhorns over the University of Louisville and University of Georgia.

Many Bosco Football’s student-athletes will sign in early February for the second round of signees. For many St. John Bosco student-athletes who are still uncommitted in a variety of sports, many of them will continue to achieve their dreams and find places to continue their academic and athletic careers.

A+E: The Best Films of 2022, Cult Classics vs. Mainstream Masterpieces

by Mark Lutke

These films from 2022 reflect several elements of what makes film great – beautiful artistry, powerful messaging and, occasionally, satisfying blockbusters that serve as great eye candy.

  1. Cult Classic – Vortex – Gaspar Noé

This movie by French director Gaspar Noé focuses on an elderly couple suffering from dementia. They use various medications to cope with their crumbling reality, in which their son is the only family who they can remember. He tries to take care of them but is held back by drug-problems of his own.

Instead of the descent-into-madness thriller that Noé is known for, this movie serves more as a descent-into-madness drama. That is to say that it makes the viewer think about their own life, rather than just going along for the ride.

For some less-seasoned viewers, it may come across as slow, but for many, it will catalyze the existential crisis that serious film-goers crave.

  1. Mainstream Masterpiece – The Banshees of Inisherin – Martin McDonaugh

By all metrics, The Banshees of Inisherin is the most visually beautiful film on this list. Its story is solid, but its cinematography is where it truly shines. 

The film takes viewers on a trip to 1920’s Ireland in the midst of civil war. But this film isn’t about battle strategies or history, rather it’s about the relationships between its characters, who all live on an island.

When Colm (Brendan Gleeson) severs his lifelong friendship with Pádriac (Colin Farrell), each of these character’s worlds begin to change. Pádriac is understandably distraught and much of his character arc is about developing a backbone and learning to live without Colm’s approval.

Pádriac’s sister, Siobhán (Kerry Condon), also has her own plot line. Her story demonstrates the mental and emotional impact that living on an island can have on a person, as well as the effects of finding oneself in isolation.

The Banshees of Inisherin has something to offer for everybody.

Whether one wants a humanistic take on island life, or to be dazzled by beautiful cinematography, this film will undeniably sit well with the masses. Which is why it came as no surprise when it took home three Golden Globe awards (Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Actor (Farrell) Musical or Comedy, and Best Screenplay)

  1. Cult Classic – We’re All Going to the World’s Fair – Jane Shoenbrun

Jane Schoenbrun (Collective: Unconscious and The Eyeslicer) has already achieved cult status among fans and critics alike. This is all the more impressive when one considers that they have only released one full-length film. 

We’re All Going To The World’s Fair is a psychological horror-drama that showcases a descent into abstractions and surrealism. It explores themes of isolation, gender identity and existential dread, which Schoenbrun catalyzes with Black Mirror-esque social commentary primarily focused on the isolating effect of technology. 

Alongside these elements stands Anna Cobb’s unassuming yet jarring performance as Casey, a lonesome teenager whose primary motivation is human connection in a lonesome and unaccepting world. To achieve this Casey joins an online role-playing horror game in an attempt to find excitement and adventure. Instead, she is met by JLB (portrayed by Michael J. Rodgers of Beyond the Black Rainbow ). JLB is a sadistic predator who tries to take advantage of Casey’s isolated state. 

We’re All Going To The World’s Fair portrays the internet as a manipulative cesspit full of consumption-driven false promises. This depiction rings true to many who have praised the film’s brutally honest and realistic tone.

Herein lies the essence of We’re all Going to the World’s Fair, a cautionary tale about the dangers of being a disaffected youth with unrestricted internet access and living in a world that seeks to turn everyone and everything into a commodity.

  1. Mainstream Masterpiece – Nope – Jordan Peele  

Perhaps no modern American filmmaker is more misunderstood on a than Jordan Peele. His newest film, Nope, is no exception. Many have theorized about this movies’ meaning and many subplots, as there is no discernable connection between story threads on a first viewing.

However, if one looks at Nope as a critique of blockbusters and spectacle, interpreting it becomes a far easier task. In a world full of Superhero movies and shallow action flicks, like Top Gun: Maverick), Nope brings some much needed nuance to the modern blockbuster. The movie’s apparent lack of depth can be deceiving, but it is through this lack of depth that Jordan Peele is able to craft compelling themes. If the movie was less abstract, it wouldn’t be as fun to pick apart.

Furthermore, Daniel Kaluya’s performance as OJ is reminiscent of the stoic personalities often seen in many Western protagonists. This could be seen as Peele referencing the Westerns that shaped the spectacle of old. It could also be seen as a subversion of stereotypical racial dynamics by placing a black actor in a role similar to that of a John Wayne performance (performances that are often portrayed by white male actors, specifically).

Whatever one’s take on Nope is. It is undeniable that Jordan Peele is a master provocateur of serious and productive discussions through cinema.

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