Category Archives: Sports

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

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Braves had a great season and a successful journey.

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

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

The Braves have a host of underclassmen looking to return.

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

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

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

by Che Womack, Contributing Writer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sports: Bosco Soccer Takes Second Crack at Historic Title

by Matthew Ruiz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sports: Braves Swim Looks To Upperclassmen To Carry Load

by Joshua Lucero

Head coach Jeff Powers expects the best out of all his players on the 2020 Braves swim team in order to qualify for CIF. 

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In order to achieve the team’s goals they are at a disadvantage, they have been faced with a dilemma with a pool that has been shut down for two weeks. The pump that heats up the pool has broken, the new piece should be available on February 12, 2020, and they will be able to have a full practice by February 13, 2020. With this set back they have been doing dry practices, which are running, lifting, jumps, isometrics, and anything else relating to swimming. This can be a setback with their first swim meet in two weeks. Nevertheless, Coach Powers is optimistic.

“We will do well because of the quick swimmers we have and dominate in non-league. In the league, we have a shot to place in the top three but the top two will be a challenge,” said Coach Powers. 

The only real challenge is to get the swimmers back into shape, once the hard work pays off the team will be able to compete to their best ability.  This year Coach Powers will be depending on all of his top swimmers to compete in butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke, and freestyle. He then believes his team will excel in butterfly, backstroke, and backstroke. 

This new team consists of a handful of seniors, Ryan Mowl, Jack Peirce, Gabriel Garcia, and Luke Garrison, and a majority of younger classmen. The major difference from last year’s team and currently this 2020 year is experience. 

“The seniors who have graduated left big shoes to fill,” said Coach Powers. 

He is very confident in his new players, with the right coaching and dedication from his players this new team may be young but will have a fighting chance with the help of the seniors. 

Bosco swim has a small number of 23 participants on their team, compared to other schools such as Santa Margarita who have more than 80 swimmers and Mater Dei who have around 40.  Coach Powers knows that this disadvantage of numbers comes with a price, but is confident that his top players can compete. One player can not do it all and as Coach Powers looks to his 2nd and 3rd place swimmers.

 “Ours is a little bit behind compared to the other teams but they do have the potential to work hard and win meets,” said Coach Powers.

Players like Ryan Mowl, Joshua Joson, Jack Pearce and anyone else who is willing to put in the work will have a major role in leading the team throughout the season.  

Expectations are high for all the seniors, as they have been on the team for four years and know what meets they are going to qualify for. For Gabrial Garcia, he is a four-year veteran with the swim team and his favorite events are the 200 meter IM, 100m freestyle, and any of the relays. 

One of the younger players who have been working hard and staying in shape is Joshua Joson, a sophomore. Coach Powers believes his hard work and dedication can be a strength that the team will be able to feed off of. 

“We expect to place top three as long as we keep our head straight and work hard,” said senior Jack Pearce. Who swims in the 200 freestyle, 100 fly, 4 by 400 free relay, 2 by 50 IM relay. Jack is one of the seniors that coach Powers will be relying on in order to have a good season. 

This year Coach Powers is placed with the difficulty to create champions out of a young team but with hard work and dedication on both sides, this underdog team will have a shot to place in the top three in arguably the toughest high school league in the nation. 

Sports: Braves Wrestling Looks to Continue Dominance Heading into Individual Run to State

by Hunter Richardson

The Bosco Braves’ athletic domination continues with the wrestling squad who took the Trinity League and CIF Title in two massive wins over familiar championship contender Servite Friars. 

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Bosco wrestling has claimed the CIF and Trinity League Titles in stellar performances winning each match by a large margin. The Braves wrestling squad took the win over Servite in both championship matches to secure the big-time wins for this program and continue the dominance that Braves athletics has had across the board so far this year. The Trinity League title win gave the Braves a huge belief going into the CIF Duals that they would easily take care of business. 

The CIF Duals for the Braves began with an absolute dismantling of Norco in the Quarterfinals by a score of 72-6 followed by a 63-18 blowout win over Villa Park in the Semifinals. Then it was time for the Finals and as expected it was against the league rival Servite Friars. The Braves must have had supreme confidence going into the match knowing that they were better and that they could secure the victory. Some tricky tactics by Servite coaching gave them an early lead in the match. For the first time all season the Braves wrestling team had to face some adversity. But as expected, the Braves battled back and ran through the rest of the match securing the CIF title by a score of 50-26.

This year of accolades for Braves athletics continues to stockpile with football, soccer, basketball, and now wrestling. The wrestling team has been a staple for Bosco athletics over the years winning multiple championships and Trinity League titles. So this year is not off the trend for the Braves Wrestling Squad that continues to assert their dominance across California year after year in the Trinity League. 

The Braves have nationally recruited Wrestlers such as Senior Nathan Haas who is committed to Nebraska which is in arguably the best conference in college wrestling, the Big Ten. He is the headlining wrestler to watch for during Individuals. The Braves Wrestlers began their individual runs this past Friday in the Trinity League Individual Championships. The Braves sent thirteen wrestlers and all of them qualified for CIF with eight first-place Finishers, three second-place finishers, and two third-place finishers.  These wrestlers will have a chance to compete for themselves in the CIF Individuals and then the CIF Masters. If the Braves come through with victories at these events then Braves wrestling will be strongly in contention for an individual state team title.

Sports: Dodgers Place Their Betts On 2020 Season

by Luke Garrison, Sports Editor

Dodgers add a top 5 player in baseball to help an already star-studded roster. The real question is, can the addition of Betts help the Dodgers capture a World Series title?

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Last night, the news broke from ESPN that trades between the Los Angeles Dodgers, Boston Red Sox, and an undisclosed third team(later names the Minnesota Twins), had taken place that would send Mookie Betts and David Price to the Dodgers, and Alex Verdugo to the Boston Red Sox. 

Finally, after Dodger fans had been pleading with ownership, and the front office to make a blockbuster trade. Dodger fans finally had their wish granted. The Dodgers get arguably the BEST player in baseball, other than Mike Trout, on their roster. Betts has shown fans, what he can do over his very short career, in 2018 he was named AL MVP at the age of 24.

The Dodgers in the trade also get Pitcher David Price. Price over the last decade has been one of the better pitchers over that time. The only problem with Price coming over is the very large contract that he has. The 34-year-old is slated to make 32 million dollars this season. Which is a big hit to a franchise that already is struggling to stay under the luxury tax. However, the Dodgers were able to slate the trade so that the Red Sox will have to pay at least half of the remaining contract for David Price. 

The Dodgers send Alex Verdugo to the Red Sox, and the Minnesota Twins send their top pitching prospect, RHP Brusdar Graterol. Many people are wondering if the Red Sox were taken for a ride because the Dodgers were able to get the second-best player in baseball and get a solid role pitcher.

In the trade, the Minnesota Twins acquired Dodgers Pitcher Kenta Maeda.

On a separate note after the Betts trade went through the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim came knocking on the door to help the Dodgers remain underneath the luxury tax. The Dodgers and Angels agreed to terms that will send OF, Joc Peterson, and RHP Ross Stripling to the Angels for INF Luis Rengifo and two other prospects to be named later.

The Angels’ front office and Angels fans have to be very excited for this move as they add a pitcher who can both start or come out of the bullpen. This is huge for the Angels as we all know that the Angels lack pitching. The other is they get power hitter Joc Peterson which adds for yet another great bat in an already power-hitting roster.

The Dodgers, after last night, have moved past the Yankees for the best odds to win the World Series, but fans will ask for a World Series title immediately, especially since Betts, is expected to opt-out of his current deal to seek more money. Most experts expect Betts to resign with the Dodgers, but don’t be surprised if he moves onto a team that will pay him top dollar.

 

FINAL RESULTS OF TRADES:

Dodgers receive: OF Mookie Betts, LHP David Price, INF Luis Rengifo, two prospects to be named later, cash(Via Red Sox)

Red Sox receive: OF Alex Verdugo, RHP Brusdar Graterol

Twins receive: RHP Kenta Maeda

Angels receive: OF Joc Peterson, RHP Ross Stripling

 

Sports: Braves Basketball Looks To Follow Footsteps Of Football

by Luke Garrison, Sports Editor

Tuesday night in Santa Ana, California, the Braves and The Team in Red face off for the trinity league title. The Braves Basketball team just like their Football team looks to take the Trinity League title away from the Team In Red.

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Both teams sit with a record of 7-1, which is why no matter what happens after tonight the winner will take league, and the loser will be unable to make that single game up. Currently, the Braves are number one in the Trinity League, as their sole loss coming against the Lions of Jserra. 

The Team in Red has its sole loss coming against the Braves, in an absolute clinic put on by Bosco’s leaders. The Monarchs since that game have continued to have success against several other teams, however, there have been several games in which the Team in Red struggled to pull out victories. Most notably, was their last Trinity League game against the Friars of Servite. The Team in Red did win by a score of, 63-59, but their top recruit, Devin Askew, had to put the entire team on his back. If the Team in Red wants a chance to avenge their loss earlier in the year they will need to rely more so on their players instead of just Askew.

 The Team in Red will be looking to bounce back after sustaining a loss to the hand of Witney Young High School in which the Monarchs lost by a score of, 67-57.

The Braves will look to ride the hot hands of Seniors Josh Camper, Wynton Brown, and Isaiah Holm. Holm and Camper were the de facto leaders in their previous game against the Team in Red. Holm was on fire from all areas of the court as he was lights out from beyond the arc and was able to be pulling down rebounds, and could not be stopped. Holm in the last matchup was a constant force and was a walking highlight real as he put up monster dunks, insane blocks, and just hand an overall nose for the basket.

Camper, and Brown this season have shown that you can attempt to corral them both but will be unable to succeed. You may be able to keep one of them down for a short period of time, but once they find their groves they are unstoppable. Several Braves players have looked at this game, and think they can not over-hype it, but still need to come into it confident.

“They are good, very good, and we cannot psyche ourselves out. As long as we go out and do what we did last time, we should be good. Our leaders know what to do, and our role guys know what they have to do. But we are confident, and know that we must attack early,” Braves forward Jason Gagnon said. 

The Braves are coming into this game with a 7 game win streak and will look to extend it to 8 games and walk out with their second straight Trinity league title. 

FINAL SCORE PREDICTIONS: Braves, 65 – Team In Red, 62

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