Category Archives: Sports

SPORTS: UFC 249 Preview, Predictions, and Precautions

by Aharon Colon, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Although there is almost nothing to watch in the sports world right now, the UFC lives on with an exciting card on Saturday including two world title fights with a mixture of veteran and young fighters. 

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You might think that since this card is taking place at such a time that it would be boring with fighters no one really knows about, but you would be totally wrong. It is actually the exact opposite. The UFC packed this card with fighters crazy enough to take this chance at giving the people what they want. 

Starting at the bottom, the early prelims are filled with young exciting talent looking to make a name for themselves. There is no better time to get your name out there because every MMA fan will be watching this from start to finish. The fight to look out for here is 13th ranked welterweight in the world Vicente Luque taking on Niko Price. Here Vicente is looking to move up the rankings, so he can eventually earn a title shot. 

The prelims are a whole different story. Resembling a main card quality lineup, its main bout is between 15th ranked welterweight in the world Anthony “Showtime” Pettis and 6th ranked Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. Both fighters have great resumes, a great recond, huge fanbases, and are exciting to watch so expect sparks to fly when they meet in the cage. Other notable fighters on this card are veteran Fabricio Werdum, former world champion Carla Esparza, and Uriah Hall, all looking for upcoming title bouts. 

Now for the moneymaker, the main card. Headlining the entire event is Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson vs Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje and Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo vs Dominick Cruz. Personally, these four fighters are my favorite right now, so you could only imagine the excitement I felt when this card came out. Ferguson and Gaethje are vying for the interim lightweight title, while Cejudo and Cruz are vying for the undisputed bantamweight championship.

In the Ferguson vs Gaethje fight, look out for the conditioning of Ferguson. Although I expect him to get caught once or twice by Gathje’s right hand for which he is known for, it is his signature thing to always get back up. “El Cucuy” never gets tired and keeps the same pace the entire fight, which I believe will be too much for Gaethje. The only way I see Gaethje winning this fight is by his one-punch knockout power, but Ferguson has a strong chin and has been hit before. My prediction is that “El Cucuy” takes the interim title and extends his twelve fight win streak to 13, via submission in the 4th round. If I had to choose which submission, I’d say either rear-naked or triangle choke. 

In the other title bout, Cejudo is taking the world by storm. He is almost unstoppable right now holding two titles in two divisions simultaneously. Not only that but he is also a gold medalist in wrestling, taking the medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. 

Even after this impressive resume and with all the momentum in the world, it is going to be probably his toughest challenge yet facing Dominick Cruz. After multiple injury layoffs, Cruz is looking to pick up where he left off, which is taking his Bantamweight title back. He is the veteran here and has almost always been the champion in this division. With his fancy footwork and cage IQ off the charts, he is already on the lookout for being in the Hall of Fame. I say Cruz gets the upset in a razor-thin split decision, using his striking and footwork to his advantage. 

You might be wondering at this point, how are they even putting this whole event together? Well for Dana White, the president of the UFC, it wasn’t hard finding a place to hold it. Of course, it is going to be in Florida, and they are taking the utmost precautions heading into fight night. 

Testing everyone who is working that night, including fighters, coaches, and everyone in between, they are not letting anybody through the cracks. The UFC also has a whole hotel to themselves, checking everyone who comes in and out. At every checkpoint, fighters and associates alike are being kept in their respective camps, not being allowed to see anyone outside. They even have  24 different rooms for fighters to warm up in pre-fight, not letting any of them share a room like they usually would. 

All in all, I highly recommend you watch all these fights. Not only is it one of the only sporting events on right now, but it is actually action-packed with the best fighters of today. You can watch the prelims on ESPN, but the main card is only found on ESPN+. 

Here are my predictions for every single fight: 

Early Prelims:

Vicente Luque defeats Niko Price (decision) 

Charles Rosa defeats Bryce Mitchell (decision)

Ryan Spann defeats Sam Alvey (KO) 

Prelims: 

Uriah Hall defeats Ronaldo Souza (stoppage) 

Michelle Waterson defeats Carla Esparza (decision) 

Fabricio Werdum defeats Aleksei Oleinik (Submission) 

Donald Cerrone defeats Anthony Pettis (Stoppage) 

Main Card: 

Yorgan De Castro defeats Greg Hardy (KO)

Jeremy Stephens defeats Calvin Kattar (KO) 

Francis Ngannou defeats Jairzinho Rozenstruik (stoppage) 

Dominick Cruz defeats Henry Cejudo (decision) 

Tony Ferguson defeats Justin Gaethje (submission)

Sports: The NFL “Distance” Draft

by Lucas Garrison, Sports Editor

With a ton of build-up, the first-ever online NFL draft proved to be nothing short of interesting. The first ten picks in the draft went off without a single trade, then out of nowhere the Tampa Bay Buccaneers flipped spots with the San Francisco 49ers and selected Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs. The presumptive number one pick, Joe Burrow, went number one to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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As a matter of fact, the first three picks of the draft ended up exactly how all draft experts saw the selections going: number one overall former-LSU QB and national champion Joe Burrow (Bengals), number two overall DE Chase Young (Washington Redskins), Number three CB Jeff Okudah (Detroit Lions). The team with the most picks in this year’s NFL draft, the Dolphins, selected Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa will more than likely spend the majority of the season, if not all of the season, from the sidelines. Tagovailoa will be sidelined due to hip surgery, the result of a season ending injury that was the final chapter Tagovailoa’s storied career with the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Several teams seem to have more questions than answers post-first round. The New Orleans Saints selected C Cesar Ruiz (Michigan) whose projection for most experts was not until the 2nd or 3rd rounds. Arguably the biggest lock of the draft being S/LB Isaiah Simmons (Clemson), is now an Arizona Cardinal. No one in their right mind anticipated that happening.

Personally, I cannot believe the New York Giants end up selecting OT Andrew Thomas. Night one proved to be a success. Friday night at rounds 2-3 will begin at 4 P.M. PST. Be on the lookout for teams such as the Steelers and Texans to make a splash, both did not have a first-round pick.

DRAFT LOCKS

  1. Isaiah Simmons S/LB, Cardinals- Pick Number 8
  2. Chase Young DE, Redskins- Pick Number 2
  3. Joe Burrow QB, Bengals- Pick Number 1

DRAFT REACH

  1. Andrew Thomas OT, Giants-Pick Number 4

Better options at pick 4, Isaiah Simmons S/LB, Derrick Brown DT, Jerry Judy WR

  1. Cesar Ruiz C, Saints-Pick Number 24

Better options at 24, Patrick Queen LB, Jeff Gladney CB, A.J. Espensa DL

  1. Damon Arnette CB, Raiders Pick Number 19

Better options at 19, Kenneth Murray LB, Patrick Queen LB, Grant Delpit S

Sports: From The NBA to The Olympics, COVID-19 Will Make Fans Wait For Their Sports Events

by Hunter Richardson

COVID-19 has halted the regular lives of almost everyone in this country, especially when normally sports fills a void in times of crisis, this virus has ruined the best time of the year for sports fans across the country.

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Sports came to a halt when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus and sent a shockwave through the sports world as every league postponed play for an undetermined amount of time. These developments couldn’t have come at a worse time for sports fans with notable events such as March Madness, Opening Day, the Olympics, NBA, and NHL playoffs, and much more being postponed or canceled.

College sports fans are taking the biggest hit amongst other fans during this pandemic as all college sports are canceled for the rest of the year. This included the highly anticipated March Madness tournament which had several great teams, potentially making for an outstanding tournament. This abruptly ended the college careers of several players such as Obi Toppin, Onyeka Okongwu, and arguably the greatest female college basketball player of all time, Sabrina Ionescu. 

The COVID-19 pandemic sent a shock through the NBA as it became the first league in the country to postpone or cancel future games or events. This happened right as the home stretch of the playoff race was taking place. This season remains in jeopardy with nobody knowing whether it will be completed. For LA basketball fans this comes as a major disappointment leaving fans wondering if they will get the LA vs. LA matchup that has been talked about ever since Kawhi Leonard and Paul George joined the Clippers. Other storylines that fans may never see play out are Zion Williamson’s race for the fewest games played for the Rookie of the Year and Giannis’s back to back MVP push and his championship push. The future is very uncertain for how this season will continue if it does at all but fans can only pray for full completion of the season.

The MLB season is taking a major hit with spring training being canceled and Opening Day being postponed. All baseball fans have waited months for this season and will have to wait longer. Dodger fans will have to wait to see newly acquired All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts take the field and join the star-studded lineup that the front office of the Dodgers has put together. 

The most dramatic effect coming from the sports world of the COVID-19 pandemic is the postponing of the Summer Olympics to 2021. The world’s biggest event will have to wait much like every other sporting event. Most athletes, in general, are fine with this decision for their own personal safety but for sports fans this just piles onto the hit they are taking where they have no source of entertainment other than reruns of old games and events.   

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. 

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