Category Archives: Around Bosco

Life Of A Brave: Freshmen Are Excited To Begin Their Bosco Experience For The First Time On Campus

by Omar Cerezo

After a long first semester online, Bosco prepares to welcome the class of 2024 for the first time in the classroom.

Every upperclassmen at Bosco can remember their first experience spending time talking with friends, playing sports, being in clubs and spending time in the oratory as a Freshman. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the class of 2024 has yet to make any of those memories a reality.

After a successful reopening, Bosco has done an outstanding job in trying to get students to fully enjoy the end of their school year on campus. Primarily for freshmen, the opportunity to come back to campus with Bosco’s successful reopening plan has allowed them to experience everything the Bosco brotherhood and student life has to offer.  

Not only was it good for the freshmen who are returning back to campus and experience the excitement of any extracurricular activities they participate in, but it is also great for them to physically interact with their teachers and counselors for some extra help and guidance, while at the same time giving teachers and counselors time to interact and get to know the class before they enter their Sophomore year.

Lead Counselor Ms. Alyssa Skipper recognizes the hardships that the freshmen class will encounter as they transition into a new environment, however, Ms. Skipper hopes that the challenges the current freshmen class faces will prepare them for future adventures.

“On top of how tough these times have been, it will continue to build each and everyone one of your abilities to overcome things when hard things are thrown your way,” said Ms. Skipper

Still, while working in a hybrid learning system, as physical and online learning options are available for all students, many teachers feel the weight of preparing a new generation of Braves in what is an unusual situation. Freshman English Honors teacher Michelle Tracy has explained that this past school year, people have felt better and safer at home, where there isn’t that challenge of following these new imputed guidelines and being at risk at school.

“Paying attention to online and physical learning group is one of the things I’m currently working out right now. It’s hard trying to balance it so you’re paying enough attention to both groups,” said Mrs. Tracy.

Despite the difficulties that online learning and the quarter system has brought to the Bosco community, everyone feels happy to see people back in the classroom. Freshman Algebra 1 and Geometry Honors teacher, Edna Ramirez, feels thrilled to have students back in the classroom and have an experience close to what a “normal” semester would have felt like.

“I was definitely excited to be able to work with some of the students in person. It was joyful when they returned into the classroom and the students were also eager to have some interaction,” said Ms. Ramirez.

The strengths Mrs. Ramirez had from her students, especially with the online learning and the quarter system, provided her with the opportunity to have a smaller number of students in each period, which allowed her to meet with each student more on a one-on-one basis as well as hold conferences with parents and email updates of the progress of their sons.

Freshman student Joshua Pasillas said he expected his freshman year at Bosco to be a huge change and expected to have good communication with others.

“It was kind of hard since we’re on ZOOM and it’s going to be kind of weird knowing you’re not spending time during lunch speaking with each other,” Joshua said.

In a way, Joshua was feeling the Bosco Brotherhood through the breakout rooms on ZOOM with his classmates and friends where they can have some talking time with each other. He also explains that getting involved in groups, clubs, sports and school programs was a challenge for him, especially since that is the type of engagement you have to be physically present on campus for to fully enjoy and experience.

Freshman student David Martinez also considered his freshman year at Bosco to be weird because he is used to being in person at school than having classes online, but he is glad that he has returned back on the Bosco campus. 

“It’s definitely been a little bit of a struggle keeping myself focused and stop being distracted,” said David.

At-home distractions were a challenge for David throughout his freshman year at Bosco. David actually thought that the online learning at Bosco was pretty good. For some classes, though, he preferred in-person learning rather than online so it can make it easier for him to understand the materials. David has felt his Bosco Brotherhood mainly through his baseball practices after school with his teammates and coaches. He also includes that returning back to school actually made it easier for him to stay focused and turn in work then online school.   

While the transition from middle school to high school may be rough, the class of 2024 has done a great job trying to stay afloat in what has been one of the most unusual years of human history. But their years at Bosco are not set in stone, and they will encounter different experiences and challenges in the following years, gaining incredible memories and overcoming tough obstacles along the way, appropriate for a place such as Bosco.

Around Bosco: Bosco Veteran Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt Named First Dean of Academics

by Pedro Ochoa

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you sudden changes that call for certain measures, you have to reassign responsibilities. A Bosco veteran, the well respected Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt, will be stepping into a new role for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year. 

Bosco has been through so many obstacles this past year in regards with the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, Mrs. Hunt has risen to the challenge and has now settled in as the first ever Dean of Academics. The administration team formed a new position in Dean of Academics to collaborate with the Vice Principal of Academic Affairs, Mr. Edgar Salmingo. 

“My goal as Dean of Academics is to make the teachers happy. Whenever the teachers show their love and affection for the subject, the students tend to love the subject even more,” said Mrs. Hunt.

St. John Bosco High School welcomes everyone with open arms. Bosco’s community setting is unmatched, as teachers and staff choose to serve the school for many years. Mrs. Hunt is a prime example of this. 

Mrs. Hunt was referred to work at Bosco by Ms. Norma Aguilera, a Spanish teacher at St. John Bosco. Mrs. Hunt has had a handful of roles at Bosco, ranging from class moderator, to Spanish teacher, to Dean of Students and now to Dean of Academics. Mrs. Hunt has always had the willingness to help out wherever the school needs her. She was even once the Assistant Principal of Student Affairs because she was called to do it. It is challenging to take a new position, especially in these precarious times. Mrs. Hunt’s willingness and dedication to help the school is an example of why she is a true Salesian.

“If there is anything that this past year has taught us, it is that there are going to be many obstacles that come at us in life, and we need to learn how to be ready and be able to maneuver those obstacles to keep going on with our lives,” said Mrs. Hunt. 

She took this new step in her career because she is always open to help the school. She believes in the Salesian mission, and wants to continue to help the school be the best it can be. Even through the challenges of the pandemic, teachers stepped up to the challenge and Mrs. Hunt wants to continue to support teachers and continue to help them grow so they can be the best they can be for the students.   

“I think she took this position because she wanted to show us students that we need to be open to trying new things. She is trying to inspire us to find our courage within. I want to congratulate her and thank her for what she is doing for the school,” said senior Alfred Munoz

Mrs. Hunt has built connections with many students at Bosco, whether teaching them in her class, being on her class board or disciplining them in her office after breaking the rules. She has worked with students in so many capacities. The transition from Dean of Students to Dean of Academics means that Mrs. Hunt will still advocate for students and teachers to try to promote the conduct of the “Bosco Man,” but this time on the academic level. 

Mrs. Hunt’s main goal as Dean of Academics is to try to help the learning experience of students by supporting and working with the teachers. It has been noticed in the past that when the teachers are happy, the students are happy. She wants to try to find ways to make learning and teaching fun everyday so that Bosco’s young men are excited to arrive on campus for a great learning experience.

Around Bosco: Bosco Alumnus Mr. Fernando Avila Steps Into New Role As Dean of Students

by Pedro Ochoa

Bosco is a home, a school, a church and a playground.  One person who embodies all those elements on our campus is Bosco alumnus, Mr. Fernando Avila, who will be stepping into a new role for the rest of the 2020-2021 academic school year.

Mr. Avila, from the Bosco class of 2013, became the new interim Dean of Students last month for the rest of the academic school year. After graduating from St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila chose to come back to his Alma Mater to teach. Mr. Avila has had multiple roles in the short amount of time that he has been at Bosco. He has been an AP teacher multiple times, the Activities Director, an ASB moderator and now Dean of Students. After accumulating a ton of experience in just a short time, Mr. Avila stepped into the new role seamlessly.

With so many obstacles being thrown at St. John Bosco High School, Mr. Avila and the administration have found ways to get through it. One challenge beyond COVID-19 this school year has been the shifting of leadership within the school’s administration. 

With the easing of L.A. County Public Health restrictions, Bosco was able to offer all students a chance to come back on campus. With the shift of leaderships positions, such as Mrs. Elizabeth Hunt’s new role as Bosco’s Dean of Academics and Mr. Adan Jaramillo as interim Principal, Mr. Avila stepped into Mrs. Hunt’s previous role of Dean of Students, while also maintaining his teaching status. 

When one graduates from Bosco, it really isn’t a goodbye, but a “see you later.” Mr. Avila graduated from Bosco and came back to work right after high school in the summer program. He then came back to teach four years later after graduating from Cal State Long Beach.

The St. John Bosco High School administration has gone through multiple obstacles that called for specific measures. The global pandemic and the departure of former Principal, Dr. Christian De Larkin, left some pieces to be filled within the school. Mr. Avila took this new step in his career because he has always been open to trying to help the school to the best of his ability. Whenever there is a need, Mr. Avila is one to put himself out there to help Bosco be the best it can be. 

“This isn’t just a job. I want to be here everyday. A part of this vocation is putting myself in a position to help the Bosco boys out,” said Mr. Avila.

Despite already dealing with enough of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr. Avila took on his new responsibilities as Dean of Students. One of Mr. Avila’s main goals is to promote school conduct and show the Bosco Braves that it really is not a punishment to go to the Deans, but advice for the future. 

“The whole perception of a Dean is a little mixed up. We want guys to uphold the student handbook. If there is an issue that gets brought up multiple times, maybe the policy that is enacted needs to get a further review,” said Mr. Avila. 

The transition from Activities Director to Dean of Students is a very big change for not only the administration, but for the students. 

“I am really happy for him,” said senior Hector Andrade. “It just seems weird seeing him with the new title of Dean of Students. I am used to seeing him as [Activities Director].”

Mr. Avila is still the same Mr. Avila that everyone knows and loves, there is just a different title in front of his name now. 

“I’m a pretty laid back person. The change in position is all about the approach. It is not about coming down on guys and getting them in trouble, but about life lessons and growth,” said Mr. Avila.

Mr. Avila knows exactly what the dean’s office feels like, especially at St. John Bosco High School. During his four years at Bosco, Mr. Avila actually went to the dean’s office because he thought a small prank would be funny. He did not get a punishment, but a life lesson as to why he should become a better man. He definitely listened to his former dean, current assistant football coach and math teacher Jacob Negro.

Sports: Bosco Wrestling Returns At Last

by Andrew Fierro

Bosco Wrestling is back in a new format which has already affected the wrestlers and their seasons leaving an impact on the future of their wrestling careers.

Though the wrestling season for most of the wrestlers starts in the fall of every year, this year due to restrictions from Covid-19 the season isn’t getting underway until late April and into May.

With the restrictions from Covid-19 the seasons format will be updated with new schedules and different outlooks on duals. There will be no tournaments and instead will have duals and a will indeed have a CIF Dual Championship at the end of the season. This is different from the usual season with a variety of team duals and individual tournaments for the wrestlers.

The biggest update for the season is the unlikelihood of a state championship tournament. With no tournament at this scale it will have a major effect on the seniors wrestling who are scholarship hopefuls. Without this type of stage that will give the seniors the chance to make a name for themselves it will become more difficult for the wrestlers to get the notoriety of different colleges in hopes for scholarship opportunities.

Many seniors who are not looking to wrestle in college will also be heavily impacted because of the loss of a large portion of their last season. Many wrestlers from all over the state will be disappointed to not have the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

One senior who was hoping to have a standout performance in the 2021 wrestling season to help boost his scholarship opportunities was Bosco Wrestler Jasper Centeno.

“The season usually is able to provide us with exposure to college scouts, so with the season being dramatically reduced, it has a large effect on being scouted,” said Jasper.

Though he has had to deal with lots of issues with the season Jasper shows excitement towards the season and being able to wrestle.

“I’m just happy I will be able to participate in something in my final year,” said Jasper.

It’s been hard for wrestlers like him and many others who may have lost focus and motivation for the oncoming season which is something that Jasper spoke on. 

“It’s easy to stay lazy and not better yourself, you have to make that choice to get up and improve yourself,” said Jasper.

Many seniors like him are going through the exact same issue and are being hit hard with the chance of not being able to get offers to wrestle at a higher level college next year. Covid has had a drastic effect on the way colleges scout, though seniors are not the only ones going through tough times due to covid. 

Another wrestler having to fight through the adversity caused by covid this season is junior Bosco Wrestler Oscar Aranda. Oscar Aranda has also dealt with many challenges going into this season and is disappointed that the season is not as long as usual which doesn’t bring the same excitement as usual. His biggest disappointment is in the unlikelihood of a state tournament.

“The changes to the season are restraining and the possibility of no state tournament is bad because it is the highlight of many wrestlers’ high school careers,” said Oscar.

There are also limitations on practice and with all of the wrestlers being unable to practice up until now it will be hard for them to compete at the best of their abilities. There will be strict policies from each school in the CIF that will limit the amount of participants and what the criteria is to be able to participate.

Though one good thing that has come out of covid is the eagerness it has given the wrestlers to compete. The wrestlers have been starved from not only competition but even practice which has caused wrestlers like Oscar to become anxious to get back to it.

“Yes not being able to practice much has made me hungrier to get back on the mat which I believe is a good thing,” said Oscar.

As the season begins Bosco Wrestling looks to keep that high status in the wrestling community and continue their dominance throughout the year with hungry wrestlers who are eager to get back to sport. 

Sports: Bosco Looks To Stay Hot As They Take On Orange Lutheran Saturday Evening

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

The Braves look to head into Santa Ana next weekend with momentum as they look to stay undefeated in 2021.

Last Saturday afternoon, the home crowd was treated to a show as the Braves took yet another big step toward the season with a clinical 66-14 rout of the visiting JSerra.

Bosco (4-0, 3-0 Trinity) scored touchdowns on its first, third, seventh, 11th, 19th, 21st and 25th offensive plays, rolling up a 35-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter, pushing that to 49-0 after seven possessions and to 59-7 by halftime.

The Braves rolled up 419 total yards in the first half, 491 for the game and missed the end zone just twice all afternoon, settling for a Andre Meono field goal near the end of the first half and, with mostly reserves on the field, forced to punt in the third quarter.

They scored in special teams thanks to Rayshon Luke’s 85-yard punt return at the end of the first half and on defense after Zion Austin’s had a school-record 96-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter.

“We played really well, cleaned up a lot of the mistakes,” “We had just two penalties, we had no miss-tackles, and we executed. All the balls we threw were on time, we made our blocks, and we got so far ahead of them that we just overwhelmed them” Negro said in an interview with the Long Beach Press Telegram

The Braves will now turn their attention towards Orange Lutheran, who have just scored 20 points in its two games. Both resulted in losses to Servite (69-13) and Mater Dei (49-7). Lancers junior quarterback Logan Gonzalez threw for 197 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Servite.

The Braves have been using two quarterbacks, sophomore Pierce Clarkson and junior Katin Houser and both have had success.

Clarkson has passed for 406 yards and six TDs while completing 71.9% and has also rushed for 195 yards and a touchdown. Houser has thrown for 432 yards and six TDs and has completed 65.9% of his passes. Neither has thrown an interception.

The St. John Bosco running game — led by junior Rayshon Luke — is averaging 8.6 yards per carry. Luke has gone for 267 yards and four TDs on just 18 carries, a 14.8 average.

St. John Bosco’s first five games in this spring football season are all about preparing for the sixth and final outing, against Mater Dei to determine the Trinity League champion.

Negro knows his players are looking ahead to that game, even with Orange Lutheran headed to Bellflower on Saturday, and that’s totally okay. The eight meetings the past four seasons have decided the Trinity League or CIF Southern Section titles, and although there will be no playoffs this season, they see the April 17 faceoff at Santa Ana Stadium as a CIF final. Bosco was No. 1 in the nation in 2019, while Mater Dei had the title in 2017 and 2018.

“We mention it all the time,” Negro said. “You can’t hide from it. I mean, our kids know. We’re certainly not looking past our opponents, but it’s the elephant in the room, and we’re going to recognize it, because I think that’s the one thing we’ve done in our program the whole time, is we know what’s on the horizon, we know what we need to be successful in that game, and we’re going to use these opportunities before it to get there.”

Apart from Saturday’s game against Orange Lutheran, there will be a special Homecoming presentation taking place at half time where the first ever Homecoming King will be named! The nominees are Seniors Anthony Mejia, Andrew Cruz, and James Pearce.

Not only will there be a special presentation on halftime, but after the game there will be an afterparty taking place in the Quad. Students from Bosco and St. Jospehs are welcomed to attend as long as they show their wristband which will be available for pick up in front of the MPR from 6-7 PM.

The afterparty will be a nice little taste of what Homecoming could have been if the pandemic never struck and will conclude at 11:00 PM.

Life Of A Brave: Bosco Senior Pedro Ochoa Formally Recognized For His Christian Service

by John Udabe

On Tuesday, March 16th, St John Bosco High School senior Pedro Ochoa received the Christian Service Award, which was presented by Archbishop Jose Gomez of the Los Angeles Archdiocese. This award was just one indication of the impact that Pedro has had during his time at Bosco.

The Christian Service Award is awarded annually to high school seniors from all around the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Along with the precondition of attending a Catholic school in the LA Archdiocese, nominees must also show constant and exemplary service within and beyond their school communities. 

St. John Bosco’s Christian Service Coordinator, John Weinandy, elaborated on the award.

“[The award] is the diocese recognizing the importance of service and really trying to find a leader in the school who is both passionate about it, excited about it and wants to get his classmates involved as well,” said Mr. Weinandy.

When discussing the nomination process, he added, “It was pretty obviously Pedro because he cares deeply about other people and wants to share that caring with others.”

Pedro recalled the moment he found out he was going to be a recipient of the award.

“When I heard the news, I was amazed. It was a surreal moment, something hard to process. And it was a great feeling being able to have mass in the Cathedral,” said Pedro.

From the very beginning of his high school career, Pedro quickly became engaged with many different groups around Bosco. Since then, he has taken leadership roles in Youth Ministry, Campus Ministry, Christian Service and Associated Student Body. In addition to this, he has also been involved with Student Ambassadors and has competed in Shot Put and Discus on the Track and Field team.

Pedro never intended to become so involved at Bosco. Looking back at his start at Bosco, he said, “I came into Bosco saying I was not going to be involved in anything, but that didn’t last because I think I am called by God to serve others.”

Teachers and administrators alike remember Pedro’s engagement as an underclassmen. Mr Weinandy can remember Pedro’s start with Christian service his sophomore year.

“It was just great seeing a sophomore stepping up into a leadership role and getting involved with something he was so passionate about while working with the seniors to plan events around campus and get the student body involved,” said Mr. Weinandy.

During the past year in dealing with the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, Pedro especially has stepped up to help his community.

“We had to think of new innovative ways to make sure St. John Bosco High School still had the faith aspect,” Pedro said, and his focus remained on finding ways to create a stronger Bosco community.

In doing so, Pedro has helped coordinate multiple virtual events, including masses and prayer services, as well as a video series that teaches the Bosco students about Salesian landmarks around Bosco.

 “Ministry Mondays is a series of small episodes where we go around and talk about Salesian landmarks around campus. Our main goal is to spread awareness of our Salesian campus to the students,” said Pedro.

Pedro’s service is not only on the Bosco campus, but also reaches out into the larger community. Pedro organized a toy drive for his own city through Bosco.

“I have been attending the South Gate Toy drive for 8 years, and every year it’s special,” Pedro remarks, “We get to put smiles on children’s faces and I also got the honor to be able to score a partnership with the South Gate Water Department to give toys to more families in need last year.”

Pedro does not only do such a wide array of service, but he does it graciously and joyfully. To put it simply, Pedro says, “I do what I do because I love doing it,” and this outlook of Pedro’s is apparent to everyone who knows him.

Mr. Torre, a former teacher of Pedro’s and current Kairos coordinator, looked fondly on Pedro’s attitude inside and outside of the classroom.

“He’s a glass-half-full kind of guy,” Mr. Torre remarks, and in regards to why Pedro is so optimistic and positive, he said, “I think Pedro loves to come to Bosco, and I think Pedro really does what he does out of joy.”

When describing Pedro’s involvement with Kairos, Mr. Torre adds how Pedro “demonstrates his leadership with a laser beam kind of focus,” and continued, “If I had to use three words to describe him, it would be joyful, engaging, and as I’ve gotten to know him better, faithful.”

In the past four years, Pedro has worked closely with Mr. Jaramillo as a part of ASB and Youth Ministry. Mr. Jaramillo reflected on Pedro’s early involvement at Bosco.

“I’ve known Pedro since he started his freshman year. There was always something that Pedro wanted to be a part of, but not for him. I think he embodied what servant leadership is, by putting others before himself,” said Mr. Jaramillo.

This year Pedro is not only a member of ASB Executive Board, but also is the current Youth Ministry delegate. This position is unique to Salesian schools and Mr. Jaramillo elaborated on the importance of that role.

“It is one of the highest leadership opportunities in the Salesian world,” and when speaking on Pedro’s impact in that position, Mr Jaramillo said, “I always admire the fact that he always wanted to do more when he became delegate this year, from day one.”

Kyle Perera, from Bosco’s class of 2020, was last year’s Youth Ministry Delegate and Christian Service Award recipient. He reflected on last year’s youth ministry team’s ability to adapt to the unpredictable circumstances.

“The entire team did an amazing job. Pedro did an excellent job leading the Christian Service team. His leadership fit the role he played in the Youth Ministry Team,” said Kyle.

Kyle was happy to hear of Pedro’s accomplishment.

“I’m happy for Pedro,” Kyle remarks, “From what I saw while working with him last year, he was well qualified to earn such a prestigious award. He had that passion to serve others out of the goodness of his heart…that’s why he had such great work ethic.”

If there are any shared sentiments by those who know Pedro, it is that he is selfless and passionate about helping others. In the words of Mr. Jaramillo, Pedro “always had the mentality of ‘this is what my peers would want’, or  ‘what are my classmates asking?’ and that’s where Pedro fulfills the mission of the school, because he puts all of us before himself.”

Pedro Ochoa is one of the most active members of the Bosco community, whose countless hours of community involvement have helped to make Bosco even better. His tireless work in the last year alone was crucial to helping Bosco adapt to the new online environment. As the Youth Ministry Delegate, he has set a very high bar by going above and beyond for the school, and his absence from Bosco after he graduates will definitely be especially missed.

As of now, Pedro is hoping to attend one of his dream colleges and plans on continuing his service after he graduates from St. John Bosco.

“I really want to continue to help people in need, I want to help the less fortunate, and I want to try to inspire others to know that they can do the same,” said Pedro.

Sports: A Slow Start And A Brave Finish Last Week in Trinity League Opener Sets Stage for Battle Against Servite

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

Despite only leading by one at halftime, Bosco rolled over Santa Margarita in the second half and is now ready to take on Servite tonight.

The high school football spring season in California enters its third week of action with one of the biggest games of the year on tap, as the 2019 MaxPreps National Champion St. John Bosco Braves host the Servite Friars at Panish Family Stadium.

The Friars are 2-0 and ranked No. 2 in the Orange County top 25, behind only Mater Dei. The last two Friar victories have been against Damien, which ended 42-6 and Orange Lutheran, which ended 69-13.

The Friars will take on the current CIF Southern Section Division 1 and CIF State Open Division champions from last year in the Bosco Braves, who are currently 2-0 with wins of 42-21 over Sierra Canyon and 65-28 over Santa Margarita and are ranked No. 1 in the CalHiSports.com state rankings.

St. John Bosco showed why they are the reigning national champions, as they erupted for 37 points in the second half to defeat Santa Margarita 65-28 on Saturday in their Trinity League opener.

Santa Margarita (1-1, 0-1) and quarterback Colt Fulton showed their improvement by taking a 20-14 lead in the second quarter before the Braves (2-0, 1-0) started to roll. They scored 24 consecutive points to open a 38-20 lead and closed the game with a 27-0 run.

Fulton passed for 161 yards and three TDs in the first half to help the Eagles push the Braves. He tossed two scores to Murphy, including an 11-yarder that gave Santa Margarita a 20-14 lead with 8:37 left in the half. The 2-point conversion attempt failed and that was the last time the Eagles led.

Friday will be a totally different story as the Braves defense will have to handle the task of locking down Quarterback Noah Fifita of Servite. Fifita can do a lot at the quarterback position. Fifita is coming off a game in which he threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns on 17 of 19 passing and ran for two touchdowns during a 69-13 league victory over Orange Lutheran.

On Friday, he’ll be St. John Bosco’s problem when the ball is kickoff at 7:00 PM PT and coach Jason Negro knows what is team is up against.

“He’s probably one of the best quarterbacks, obviously, in the league without question. He’s extremely dynamic, he’s a playmaker, he’s got a lot of skill-set, very accurate passer with a strong arm”, Negro said in an interview with the Long Beach Press Telegram.

The quarterback duo of sophomore Pierce Clarkson and junior Katin Houser — the replacements for DJ Uiagalelei, who is now at Clemson — each had their moments connecting with wide receiver Jode McDuffie, who helped pace the offense with eight catches for 172 yards and three TDs against Santa Margarita.

Uiagalelei’s younger brother, Matayo, helped highlight the closing stretch by leaping from his defensive end spot for an interception that he returned about 15 yards for the score.

The Braves also rushed the ball well with the dual-threat Clarkson (101 yards) and the running back trio of Rayshon Luke (110), Jabari Bates (98) and Michael Hayes (38). St. John Bosco rushed for 208 yards and three scores in the first half behind its large offensive line and multiple options. Luke broke a tackle en route to his 82-yard TD run while Bates rushed for two touchdowns.

St. John Bosco led 28-20 at halftime on a late strike by Clarkson to McDuffie and timely stops on defense. Clarkson closed the half by rolling to his right and tossing a 32-yard TD pass to McDuffie with 23 seconds remaining. The Braves drove for the score after forcing Santa Margarita to give up the ball on downs at the St. John Bosco 41 with 58 seconds left.

The Braves’ defense also held on fourth down from its 35 with 4:58 left thanks to a sack by Ryan Tuaolo.

Panish Family Stadium will be seating limited fans tonight, as St. John Bosco and St. Joseph students now have the opportunity to win tickets for the upcoming remaining home games. Braves and Jesters both had the opportunity to win tickets for the upcoming game against Servite via raffle.

The instructions for the next home game are to check your student email and enter the raffle for an opportunity to secure a seat to see the action.

Around Bosco: Last Weekend The Bosco Community Celebrated The Life Of Mr. Ismael “Ish” Fernandez

by Pedro Ochoa

It has been six weeks since the departure of one St. John Bosco’s Bravest. On Friday, March 19 and March 20, 2021, the Bosco community celebrated the life of their fallen superhero, Ismael “Ish” Fernandez. Ish was a respected individual because he not only embodied what it meant to be a Bosco Brave, but also a Salesian man.

God needed one more security guard to protect the Gates of Heaven. 

Last Friday, Ish was brought onto campus for one final time. Family, friends, faculty and students gathered to receive him, as the Victory Bell was being rung for one of Bosco’s everyday protectors. Eight Bosco Braves rolled in the casket to be presented to his Bosco family. Spectators described this moment as unreal, as many people are still in shock of the unexpected passing. 

“Nobody wanted this to happen to anyone, and especially not to Ish. Ish meant a lot to not only the Bosco Braves, but for the whole community. You were able to feel the emotions when Ish entered the Quad,” said senior Hector Andrade.

Emotions were poured out by many on Friday, from veteran coworkers, to alumni, to current Bosco Braves. He treated everyone with the same integrity and with the same love. Everyone had a different story with Ish that they will remember forever.  

“Ish was the first person that greeted me when I arrived at Bosco everyday, and he was always the last person that I saw before going home. It was always a blessing to see him everyday, and when I didn’t, I was always on the lookout for him,” said senior Ryan Sheehan. 

Ish was the first and last person that people would see everyday in his golf cart when going to Bosco. He would brighten people’s days by just being there and asking how their day was. It was a tradition seeing Ish everyday in front of the campus since he worked at Bosco for over twenty years. 

Ish will be remembered by his famous Golf Cart. He was known for speeding around campus in the cart to ensure the safety of the Bosco Braves. He never failed to protect those he loved. Even though he had a tough stature and look, Ish was always caring. He was one of very few that cared for everyone that he came in contact with. 

“Even though I didn’t know Ish on a personal level, he always seemed to care about me,” said freshman Rafael Sanchez.

Very few Class of 2024 students made contact with Ish, but there are so many stories from many people that the freshman felt like they knew Ish on a personal level.  

On Saturday March 20, 2021, Ish was taken out of the Bosco campus for the last time. Family and friends attended the services for their beloved superhero. This mass was far from the ordinary. It took place in the Panish Family Football Stadium with family and friends wearing Raiders gear to support their fallen loved one. 

“Out of all the funerals that I have been to, this one was very different. This was not a mourning of Ish’s life, it was a celebration of everything he did, for everyone,” said senior and Campus Ministry Chair Jesus Jimenez.

Even though no one wants to have a funeral, especially as early as Ish’s, this is the type of funeral that Ish would have liked. He had Bosco students, Bosco alumni and his family as the Pallbearers for his casket, and it was a funeral like no other. It was informal while having the people that meant the most to him at his service.  

It was hard for everyone to say goodbye to their beloved friend, but Ish would want everyone to keep moving forward. There were some unique goodbyes from his family that Ish would have loved, from football stories to Raider’s chants. A very special way to say goodbye. A celebration of life it was, as there were more smiles than tears. Ish would have definitely loved the way his family put together his service. 

“When I die, I want Ish to be the security at the gate, because then I will have a better chance to make it into Heaven,” said Father Ted at Ish’s funeral service. 

As a Bosco community, Ish will be remembered as far more than just a security guard. He built relationships with everyone in the Bosco community that can not be replaced. Ish will be remembered for getting to know students by being willing to engage in conversations at various times throughout the school day. He also built certain bonds with staff that are unbreakable, as he was a groomsman in interim principal Mr. Jaramillo’s wedding. 

Ish will be remembered by putting others in front of himself. This is what it means to be a Salesian. He had an unmatched Salesian character. Ish was tough, resilient and selfless as he protected and defended Bosco to the best of his ability. Ish made an impact on the Bosco community that will never be forgotten.

Ish’s missing presence is already being seen around campus. It is seen in front of the Bosco campus with his famous cart and him not in the driver’s seat. It has especially been seen at the football games, where he is not there supporting the team like he would. 

Ish will always be remembered, especially by the little things. His toughness, his wisdom and the determination to serve God and his community. This is what it means to be a true Salesian. Ish is now protecting and being protected by the Lord. He will forever be watching over and protecting his family and his Bosco Braves. Even though he is gone, his spirit will live forever with the Bosco community. 

Ish would want the Bosco community to learn that there are sudden changes that happen, and through that, they need to learn how to move on, even if it might be hard. He would want the Bosco Braves to do what he did, which is caring for one another and finding the positive in everything they do. 

The Bosco community will forever miss you. Rest in peace, Ish.

Sports: The Braves Soccer Team Has High Expectations For The Upcoming Season

by: Ryan Tavera

Despite minor setbacks the Brave’s soccer team has set big goals for this year and are training their hardest to make them a reality.

In 2020, the Braves soccer team found much success becoming state and CIF finalists. The team hopes to repeat the success they had last year and go beyond what is expected from the team with the help of Head Coach David Sabet.  

“High expectations for this year, they really developed a lot in soccer and this year our goals are to finish top three in the trinity league,” said Coach Sabet.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions minor setbacks have plagued the team and the late notice of their upcoming season has hindered the team’s abilities. 

“Our expectations are always going to be high; it’s just the reality of where we are at. The thirteen years that I’ve been here we’ve always had a good four or five months to prepare. It’s been difficult, so in reality we can’t really prepare too much, we just have to maintain health,” said Coach Sabet. 

However, despite the setbacks and the fact that training has not been the easiest the soccer team has high expectations for the upcoming season. Every player is preparing themselves for the season both as a team and individually. Senior Andrew Olmos, feels the team has really developed and are ready for the new season. 

“Goal for the season was to work together as a team, we had trouble getting the team together, we were always just scared, this year we really matured and we just got to work together and push through those hard days and play for each other,” said Olmos.

The team still feels very confident about what they’re capable of. The team believes they have really tied everything together and are prepared for what lies ahead. Senior Mikel Villarreal, for instance, has noticed the team’s maturity and feels the team is ready to go. 

 “We’ve really matured last year and it was a big stepping stone for us and we are really putting the pieces together and I feel like we’re ready to roll,” said Villareal. 

The setbacks have only reinforced the team’s bond between each player not only as teammates but as friends. The team’s brotherhood is what will really take this team to the next level, every player pushing each other to be the best they can. Senior Joel Trejo that the sense of brotherhood among the team is their greatest strength.

“Our greatest strength is our brotherhood, whether it’s the last guy on the team we’re always just playing together and pushing ourselves to the best of our ability,” said Trejo. 

With expectations high and goals set to be the best, it is all up to the team to train as hard as they can and stay both physically and mentally strong for the upcoming season. Although the team is off to a rocky start Coach Sabet belvies the team still has what it takes to go above and beyond their expectations and repeat the success from last year. 

Sports: After Rolling Past Sierra Canyon, Bosco Has Their Sights Set On Santa Margarita, Looking To Stay Undefeated

by Diego Santizo, Sports Editor

After a statement win over Sierra Canyon last Saturday, St. John Bosco looks to make it two in a row as they take on Santa Margarita this Saturday in Orange County.

St. John Bosco running back Rayshon Luke breaks through the line for a touchdown run.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)

It had been 455 days since defending MaxPreps National Champion St. John Bosco took the field in a high school football game that counted. It proved to not be a problem at all as the Braves cruised to a 42-21 win Saturday night over Sierra Canyon to begin the 2021 spring season. 

Bosco sophomore Pierce Clarkson and junior Katin Houser were the ones responsible for filling the void DJ Uiagalelei left under center and they both did a great job alternating possessions. Replacing DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback was never going to be an easy job, but both showed why FBS offers are starting to pile up. 

“We’re going to see some very good quarterback play,” St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro said.

The second half would prove to be a stroll as St. John Bosco dominated the second half thanks to the help of running back Rayshon Luke as he rushed for a 67-yard score on the opening possession. Setting up the play was a connection between Clarkson and sophomore standout Matayo Uiagalelei came through clutch on a third-down conversion. DJ’s younger brother stood out on both sides of the ball and showed why he’s the fifth-rated recruit in California from the Class of 2023. 

Jason Negro’s squad dominated in the trenches as four-star junior Earnest Greene, USC signee Maximus Gibbs and senior Edward Riley created huge holes for the running game while also allowing Houser and Clarkson plenty of time in the pocket. St. John Bosco now heads into its five-game Trinity League schedule starting with Santa Margarita. 

The Eagles will be led under center by senior Colt Fulton who already has one year of trinity league experience as the Santa Margarita quarterback. Fulton threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers in the Eagles’ 54-16 win over Mayfair last week. The Eagles are currently under first-year coach Anthony Rouzier and are improved from last season when they finished 3-8 overall and 0-5 in the Trinity League. The game is set to take place at the Santa Ana Bowl with kickoff slated for 7:00 PM PT with Fox Sports West Prep Zone set to have coverage of the game.

The Braves will be playing at Mater Dei’s home turf as Servite and Orange Lutheran will battle in Bosco’s Panish Family Stadium in Bellflower. After the dust has settled in Santa Ana, one team will remain undefeated while one will be at a .500 record, with neither team being fond of the idea of heading back home with a loss already on their record so early in the short season.

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