News/Op-Ed: Chaos Ensues as Ten Die in Astroworld Catastrophe

by Matthew Parsons

On November 5th, tragedy struck at Astroworld Festival 2021 as ten people lost their lives and many more sustained injuries.

A crowd of 50,000 was live in Houston, Texas to watch rapper Travis Scott at his music festival, Astroworld. Throughout Travis’ set, a phenomenon known as “crowd surge” occurred, the tens of thousands who were there to witness the concert were jam packed together much too densely, leading many to lose their ability to breath. The inability to breathe is what ultimately caused these deaths.

Live Nation, the venue operator, stopped the show over a half hour after the mass casualty event began, around 30 minutes before it was planned to be over.

Scott continued to play his music and performing for the attendees, at times pausing mid-performance to acknowledge that there was something amiss in the crowd, but the show continued on.

More than 20 lawsuits have been filed that accuse organizers of failing to take crowd control more seriously and not staffing the event properly. The crowd surge was like an unstoppable wave, as although some were crowd surfed to safety, others collapsed in the crowd pleading for help and were left unable to be assisted, which led to hundreds of casualties.

Many fans in the crowd were pleading for help and the show to stop, but their cries were not answered. There were protocols for an event such as this taking place by the event organizers, but whether it was used can be called into question. According to the Houston Chronicle, there was a 56 page Event Operations Page that was there to ensure the safety of the 50,000 attendees. 

“Astroworld, as an organization, will be prepared to evaluate and respond appropriately to emergency situations, so as to prevent or minimize injury or illness to guests, event personnel and the general public,” said this document.

However, according to the Associated Press, the plan didn’t include crowd surges like the one that occurred. 

The event was severely understaffed, as the New York Times reported that 505 event security staffers, 91 armed private security officers and 76 uniformed Houston police officers were present at the festival.

Madeline Eskins, a concert goer and ICU nurse that the event asked for help, reported that the staff was missing Ambu bags, AEDs

Per Madeline Eskins’ post on Instagram, a concert goer and ICU nurse, the security staff asked for her help, the medical staff was missing Ambu bags, automated external defibrillators and experience with CPR.

“The medical staff didn’t have the tools to do their jobs, and despite the crowd around us trying to get someone to stop the concert, they just kept going, even though Travis acknowledged that someone in the crowed needed an ambulance,” said Eskins.

Travis Scott concerts have a history of injuries, and Scott himself has dealt with legal troubles concerning his performances. In 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to reckless conduct charges, in 2017, a fan who became paralyzed sued Scott and at the 2019 Astroworld Festival, a stampede left three people injured with leg injuries.

Sports: Bosco Basketball Looks To Continue Successful Run After CIF State Regional Title

by Jeremiah Davis

Coming off an undoubtedly successful season that resulted in a CIF Division 1-AA State Regional Championship, the St. John Bosco basketball team looks to keep it rolling this year with an assortment of new faces who have embraced their roles.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

With all the uncertainty last year surrounding the high school basketball season, Bosco basketball embraced the challenge and the team, led by a huge veteran presence, won a CIF championship against Ribet Academy.

However, following the loss of key seniors and transfers, the Braves have revamped their roster with the addition of new transfers, highly-touted freshmen and returners who are looking to increase their role on the team. Despite such heavy losses, the team remains optimistic that they can challenge for a Trinity League title following a couple years of coming up just short.

“I feel like in league, we should be able to win the Trinity League championship, but it won’t be easy at all. We have to take film very seriously and know player personnel, so that we can be really good when the time comes to play,” said senior forward Christian Estrada.

In addition, Coach Matt Dunn has high expectations for his players, and is ready to see what they can achieve.

“This season should be a good one.  We have a roster full of players that are ready to compete night in and night out.  In Trinity League play, we should be able to compete against other teams at an extremely high level.  Overall, it should be a great experience in all facets,” Coach Dunn said.

On another positive note, the Braves have some continuity coming into the year, as the returners know their role and how they can personally impact the game. Bosco has many players available that can do multiple things on the court, so when the time comes, they will be well prepared and ready to play. One such player is DJ Henry, a senior guard for the Braves, who has been on varsity since his sophomore year. 

“I believe that the season is going to be a great season once everyone gets to fully embrace their role on the team. If all of the new pieces that we have come together and learn our system of basketball, we should be a top team in the state easily,” said Henry.

With all of the positives the Braves have coming into the season, they still have some obstacles to climb, as there are multiple players that are recovering from nagging injuries. One such player is senior Marco Kenz, a four year veteran for the Braves who has had a tremendous impact for the Braves while continuously improving every single year. However, he expects to be out of competition for two weeks with a foot injury.

“It is unfortunate that I have to be out for two weeks, but I plan to impact the game by using my voice and being a leader. I will do as much as I can to help my team while I’m out,” said Kenz.  

Another player that has been affected by injuries is junior Ray King, a guard for the Braves. King suffered a leg injury following an impressive summer with the Compton Magic. Unfortunately, this injury has interrupted his positive momentum, as he is sidelined for a part of the season.

“I am sad that I have to miss some part of the season as I was looking forward to having a bigger role than last season.  However, I will use my voice to impact the game and be a great teammate for my guys,” King said.

Overall, the Braves season is filled with major upside. With the mix of great coaching and great players, the team has a recipe for success.

Tonight, the Braves play their first game of the season, against Jordan High School of Long Beach. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. at St. John Bosco.

The Braves will then take on Hesperia High School at home on Saturday at 6:00pm. During Thanksgiving break, they will travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Kevin Brown Memorial Tournament of Champions.

Life of a Brave: Alumni Spotlight with Anthony Fierro, Class of ’57

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

For many, high school is a stepping stone to college. But for Mr. Anthony Fierro, class of 57’, St. John Bosco changed his life, and the lessons he learned set him down the path to an incredible and eclectic career.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Anthony Fierro

Mr. Fierro was born and raised in Southern California, and although he ended up loving his time at St. John Bosco, coming to school here initially was not the plan. His mother, who had reached her limit with his antics as a child, actually sent Mr. Fierro to St. John Bosco.

“I was thrown into Bosco by my mother. I was kind of a troubled child and I was always getting into hot water. The last straw was when I was in the sixth grade, when I took the flag from the flagpole and was swinging it all over the place, and it was a mess,” said Mr. Fierro.

Though he may not have wanted to go to Bosco at first, the experiences he had at the school did nothing but good things for him and his future. Before going to Bosco, Mr. Fierro did not have his priorities straight, and the change that Bosco provided for him was something that had and continues to have a significant impact on his life.

“I think that it was the best thing that could have happened to me. It turned my whole life around, and I am so tickled to see youngsters whose parents make the sacrifice to bring them here. That is fantastic,” said Mr. Fierro.

However, when Mr. Fierro was a student, Bosco looked a lot different than it does today. There were far less teachers, with most of the instructors being brothers and priests. One of the biggest changes from his experience of being a student was the fact that he boarded on campus, living on the third floor of the 200 building.

“To wake us up, the brothers would open up all the windows and start clapping, and that’s how they would wake us up every morning,” said Mr. Fierro.

Not only did Mr. Fierro live on campus, but like many students today, he took part in some of the team sports that the school offered. One of these teams was the football team, which at the time was brand new and nothing like what it has evolved into today.

“When I was here in 1956 and 1957, I was on the very first football team for St. John Bosco. I played right tackle on offense and middle linebacker on defense,” said Mr. Fierro.

Mr. Fierro learned a lot from Bosco, and his experiences helped him to have a prestigious career. Following his time here, Mr. Fierro spent time in a multitude of fields, creating an impressive resume for himself.

“I was a scuba instructor. I am a pilot. I hold a commercial rating in instrument single engine land aircraft. I love to hunt and fish. I have had my picture published in various magazine and publications. I love to sail, and I was a wedding photographer for about 25 years,” said Mr. Fierro.

Mr. Fierro has had a wonderful career and life, and he believes that the things he was able to learn at Bosco played a vital role in preparing him to obtain such amazing accomplishments. Though all of these accomplishments in his career are noteworthy, what he feels is his greatest accomplishment was becoming a teacher himself.

“I became a school teacher at 58, and taught school at Pasadena Unified and was put in charge of the bilingual class of the 5th grade. It was so rewarding for me to feel those kids were learning because I felt like I helped those kids get across,” said Mr. Fierro.

Though many consider being a teacher of a bilingual class to be very difficult, he was not worried about the task. He felt that the students didn’t need to have a teacher that was bilingual, but rather someone who acted as a transitional teacher who could help them acclimate to English.

Not only was he a great teacher, but his impact was reflected in the students’ test scores, with many of his students receiving scores showing their comprehension levels being much higher than the average for that class. This led to many parents requesting Mr. Fierro as a teacher for their children, which was a doubly rewarding feeling for him.

“All the parents would come around and ask the principal to please put their child in Mr. Fierro’s class, and that to me was really gratifying and was my best moment in life. Even with all of my other accomplishments, that really sticks in my mind,” said Mr. Fierro.

Having a prestigious career in any field is admirable, but what makes people feel that they are truly making a difference is seeing their influence they have on others. For Mr. Fierro, this is what made his career special and why he feels so accomplished in his life.

Mr. Fierro knows none of that would’ve been possible without Bosco and the sacrifices each parent makes in order to send children to a Salesian Catholic school. Because of this, he believes that the opportunity students have here is extremely important and should not be wasted.

“[Students] have a wonderful opportunity; don’t let it go to waste. Appreciate what your parents are doing for you. It would be a loss for your future if you didn’t take advantage of this. Use this as a base to start,” said Mr. Fierro.

Bosco was the beginning for Mr. Fierro and provided him with a preview of what he could expect in the future. Even though he graduated in the 50s, Mr. Fierro still feels that it could be the same for each and every one of the current students.

“I am very happy that I started here. This was my initial start into real life,” said Mr. Fierro.

Today, Mr. Fierro is happily retired and enjoying his life after a fruitful career. He spends his time with his family and reflecting on his past accomplishments. All of these accomplishments would not have been possible if it had not been for the lessons he learned here at St. John Bosco High School.

Life Of A Brave: Bosco Alumnus and First-Year Teacher, Mr. Ruben Solorza ’13, Takes 14th In Impressive Showing At the Los Angeles Marathon

by Brett Baligad

Mirroring the ongoing success of Bosco Cross Country, Mr. Solorza represented the Braves very well in the Los Angeles Marathon.

Last weekend, Mr. Solorza, an environmental science teacher at Bosco, competed in the LA Marathon, as he took 14th place with a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes. This is a huge achievement, as he ran with over 8,000 runners at the event. 

Mr. Solorza stands confidently in the top 2% of runners who have broken the three-hour plane. Impressively, he ran at a pace of 6 minutes per mile for the whole event. 

This is not his first time running a marathon, however, as he also ran the Chicago Marathon only a month beforehand. His best run was in 2018, as he achieved a time of 2 hours and 38 minutes in the Sacramento Marathon. As a man who loves to travel, he hopes to run internationally or even possibly at the Olympic level over the next few years.

“My short-term goal is to break 2:30. That’s a big barrier I want to hit. One of my other big goals is to run the Berlin Marathon in 2023, so this is me asking for my days off early,” Mr. Solorza jokingly said.

One important aspect of Mr. Solorza’s attire was his Bosco cross country jersey from when he was a high school athlete, which he wore while running at the marathon. As an alumnus of the St. John Bosco class of 2013, he kept his jerseys in hopes of using them again. Bosco’s cross country team currently sports two jerseys of blue and gold.

“We usually bring out the gold (jerseys) for big events such as CIF, league finals and state finals. I brought it out since this marathon is one of the larger ones, and I wanted to represent Brave Nation locally,” said Mr. Solorza.

Originally, Mr. Solorza didn’t take the easiest route to find his passion for running. After experimenting with various sports and clubs his freshman year at Bosco, Coach Tim McIntosh of cross country offered him a spot on the team his sophomore year. With encouragement from his friends, he went out and began running with the team over the summer.

“In my first practice, I threw up. I was super dizzy and somehow I came back the next day,” said Mr. Solorza. 

Not long after, he slowly discovered his love and dedication to running. In his upperclassmen years, Mr. Solorza grew as a leader on the running squad. As a key member of the team, St. John Bosco won the state championship in 2012, his junior year. This high school success encouraged him to run at the collegiate level at local Whittier College.

Not long after completing his college career, Mr. Solorza found himself back at his alma mater, as a science teacher and assistant cross country coach. With his work with the cross country team and running frequent marathons, Mr. Solorza continues his passion for running.

Training for a twenty-six-mile marathon is no easy task. As an environmental science teacher, Mr. Solorza typically finds himself running by the beach or along the San Gabriel River. Leading up to a big race, Mr. Solorza gets himself mentally ready and prepares his diet.

“Two days out (from a marathon), I eat a lot of pasta and a lot of carbs. I’m sleeping a lot along with getting my mind right for the grind of twenty-six miles and grading some papers,” said Mr. Solorza.

To celebrate, like any typical successful run, Mr. Solorza enjoyed a classic burger, fries and soda. He enjoys being surrounded by all of his friends and family that come to support him.

Mr. Solorza plans to take a break from marathons for the rest of the year as he finishes out his first-semester teaching at Bosco. His next big race is the iconic Boston Marathon in April. In order to compete, Mr. Solorza’s division requires a time that is less than three hours, which he has already done, leaving him to try to set a new personal record in the spring.

In the meantime, he plans to run two half marathons in Phoenix and Las Vegas next year in order to prepare. Although he may be celebrating and resting after his hard work over the past few months, Mr. Solorza is eager to get back on the starting line and continue his running grind next year.

Sports: St. John Bosco Football Takes on Los Alamitos to Begin CIF Southern Section Playoffs

by Aeden Alexander, Sports Editor

After a fantastic year for the St. John Bosco Football team, this Friday night, they match up against high-ranked Los Alamitos in round one of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Southern Section playoffs.

Playoffs are back at Panish Family Stadium this Friday for the first time since 2019 and the expectations are at an all-time high for the Braves. After a great year finishing 9-1 overall and 4-1 in Trinity play, the Braves look to make a splash in the playoffs.

The Braves finished the season being ranked fourth nationally this year after what many doubters seemed to make it a down year for Bosco. Led by quarterbacks Katin Houser and Pierce Clarkson, they look to continue their great performances and now seek to add yet another National Championship.

They will face off against the Los Alamitos Griffins who finished 9-1 as well while winning the Sunset League and finishing league play undefeated. Led by five-star junior quarterback Malachi Nelson, the Griffins come in as the underdogs in this matchup.

Both Braves quarterbacks will look to continue their hot streak after an amazing year with Katin Houser throwing for 1,366 yards and twelve touchdowns. As well Pierce Clarkson finished the year having thrown 1,296 yards and 15 touchdowns.

This game won’t be easy for the Braves, as Los Alamitos will have a chip on their shoulder trying to knock off the nationally-ranked Bosco Braves. 

“Yeah it’s a big game, it’s going to take a lot of mid-game adjustments and the entire team just needs to be ready to ball. Obviously, with it being one game elimination in playoffs we have to play our best, we can’t worry about who they have or how many stars their players got, we just have to play our game and when we do that I think we are one of, if not the best team in the country,” said Senior Katin Houser.

This will be a great opportunity for the Braves to make a statement after having been doubted all year long. Just like everybody else, they are coming off a disappointing COVID-19 pandemic year where they only got the chance to play in six games last year, finishing 5-1 with the only loss being to the ‘Team in Red”.

But, this year means a lot to St. John Bosco, as they are also saying goodbye to an amazing class of 40 seniors on this year’s team. It seems as if it means a bit more to the Braves, as not many of the players had a chance like this to win a CIF title. 

“Obviously with covid, this year means a lot to us, seniors, we are a very senior-heavy team, and having the chance to win another national championship means everything to us so we just want to go out there and win” Said Earnest Greene.

Before finishing the regular season the Braves got the chance to prove the country wrong and take on league rivals, Servite Friars. This game would be one of, if not the biggest game of the year as it would decide seeding and national rankings.

Going into that game the Braves were ranked lower than the Friars as they were able to put up a solid performance against the Team in Red. But, Bosco quickly put a stop to that, as the defense stepped up big time in that game.

“Our defense is a big key to winning this game, their offense has a lot of weapons but that doesn’t concern us one bit, you saw what we did to Servite with the best wide receiver in the country, we locked him up and we just gotta stay locked in,” said Jshawn Frausto-Ramos.

The Friars had previously put up 37 points against the Team in Red who people thought had the best defense in the country. But, the Braves only gave up ten points in their matchup and stunned the country pulling off an impressive and dominant win.

The game tonight will begin at 7 P.M. and will be held at Panish Family Stadium home of the Braves. Tickets will be sold on the GoFan website where student tickets will be sold for five dollars and all other tickets will be sold for ten dollars. 

Life of a Brave: On this Veterans Day, St. John Bosco Commemorates Those who Served In the United States Military

by Oscar Aranda

With today being Veterans Day, citizens across the United States take time off to reflect on those who have served or are serving in the U.S. Military. St. John Bosco takes this day to remember those from the Bosco community who have served, as well as those who have served from all over the nation.

Veterans Day is the day that originally honored the end of World War 1, then was called Armistice Day until it was changed in 1954. Now Veterans Day has evolved into a day in which the U.S. citizens can also recognize those who have served and those who have fallen victim to any Wars throughout the country’s history. The country celebrates this honorable day on November 11th of every year, and the United states recognizes Veterans Day as a federal holiday.

Veterans day became a national holiday on May 13, 1938, though it was first observed by congress in 1926 as Armistice Day. Armistice Day was the celebration of the end of world war 1 and was correlated with the peace that came with the end of said war.

Within the St. John Bosco (Bosco) community, there are many men and women who have served, or are currently serving in the military. They do a significant amount and sacrifice a great deal in order to protect, serve and keep this country safe.

Marie James- Garcia, aunt of Carlos Garcia (Bosco 22’), served the country in the United States Army and was stationed in Ft Hunter Liggett, Ca. Her interest in serving came at an early age due to possibly watching too much M*A*S*H.  This was complemented by her fearless attitude that translated well into the rigors of the army. She ended her duties in 1984 and very much enjoyed her time in service.

“I shot expert with an M16, threw expert with the grenade… but I am not a speed runner,” Marie said.

Another veteran that has done his part in keeping the country safe is Hector Ayala, father of Mark Ayala (Bosco 23’). Hector Served the country in the United States Marine Corps as a Sergeant 0331- Machine- Gunner. He joined the Marine Corps to challenge himself and to be part of an institution with a great lineage and history. Though, it was his pride and appreciation for our country that compelled him to serve longer than his four years during war time. Mr. Ayala was able to find a sense of brotherhood in the Marine Corps, and was honorably discharged in 2009 after serving for eight years.

“Veterans day to me represents an opportunity for our nation to thank those who have served this country. Despite being a veteran we take the time to honor those who fought in previous wars,” said Mr. Ayala.

Francisco Javier Valles, uncle to Omar Sanchez (Bosco 22’), served in the United States Marine Corps from 2005 to 2013. The events that occurred on September 11, 2001 drove Mr. Valles to join the military as soon as he was of age, which allowed him to take part in fighting terrorism, which was a important issue to Mr. Valles. Mr. Valles was deployed two times during his service, once in Iraq and once in Afghanistan. He mentions that the military life is vigorous, though it is worth it in order to be among some of the greatest men and women in the USA. 

“Every time you leave it is hard, but it is worth it knowing that you are keeping your country safe,” said Mr. Valles.

As the years go by, and more alumni serve in the military, the Bosco community continues to celebrate the men and women who have served our country, both nation wide and those within the Bosco community. With everything that they have done, the least the citizens can do is thank all the men and women who have served this country.

Sports: St. John Bosco E-sports Continues to Impress On All Fronts

by Ian Cook

The Bosco E-sports team is in the midst of a very successful season as they seek to compete in the national championships.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

After concluding a match that was held a few days ago, the gaming teams in the E-sports program are on track to compete in the national championships in Arlington, Texas.  The Director of E-sports, Mr. Gabe Giangualano, expressed his desire for his program to be consistent in hopes of the program having the best season yet. 

As of now, the Rainbow Six Siege team has a record of 3-1. The Valorant Team is undefeated thus far, recently beating  Clayton Valley High School in Concord, California, while the Overwatch team has a record of 4-2 and is well ahead of the game. 

In addition, the Rocket League team has turned many heads during the last few months, being currently undefeated and ranked number one in the state. They hope to be ranked number one in the nation after the High School E-sports League (HCEL) decides where the Braves stand. 

“The reason we stand out so much is because we have so many talented players. Our Fortnite team has two phenomenal players, Gabriel Lopez and Isaiah Munoz who have been key factors that have made their team have a lot of success,” said Coach Gabe Giangualano. 

Over the weekend, the program’s Valorant Team had a match against an excellent Clayton Valley Cougar Program. Being up two games early, the Braves were taken by surprise as Clayton Valley made a 6-0 run. The Braves found themselves down 11-9. 

With four games to win, and having to win by two points the Braves went on a 4-0 run and sealed the game with junior JT Gates scoring a chest shot to win the match. 

“We were down early to start the game, but we kept our composure and didn’t let our emotions get the best of us, which is why we ended up winning,” said senior Brandon Suiter. 

With the season only getting more competitive, the program needs to stay consistent with their playstyle in hopes of earning a national title in May. 

“The competition is only heating up. Valorant, Rocket League and Fortnite need to stay consistent to be a contender in the national championships in Arlington, Texas, and we’re really happy to see Split Tune and Overwatch as well find great chemistry and becoming top finishers in their contest,” said Coach Giangualano. 

The E-sports program has taken an athletic approach to their program. This approach to a program has led to the success and has put them ahead of their competition in and out of the Trinity League. 

“We are one of the very few schools in the state that takes an athletic approach to a gaming team. We also have a lot of talent spread out in the program, which is ultimately why we have many team’s number during competitions,” said senior Kasen Herroz. 

With Mater Dei being their toughest competitor in league play, the Braves have been able to perform at a high level, defeating every Trinity League team thus far and being able to hold themselves to a much higher standard. The Braves created a lot of separation between themselves from other Trinity League teams. 

With the E-sports team consistently performing at a national level, the program’s teams hope to continue their success and ultimately win a national title at Esports Stadium Arlington in Arlington, Texas. 

The next Bosco E-sports team to play will be the Valorant team, competing on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. 

Around Bosco: St. John Bosco Hosts First Día de los Muertos Event in Two Years

By Nicholas Neoman

Last week, various Bosco clubs and organizations filled the quad in celebration of Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Beginning in the afternoon, pictures of deceased loved ones, candles, marigolds and other treasured paraphernalia packed the quad. These items, of course, made up an “ofrenda” in honor of people in the Saint John Bosco community that passed away. Students and teachers alike came together to assemble these altars and remember the loved ones that they miss.

In the evening, the celebration of life began. Vendors from Bosco sold Mexican food while people from all around the community gathered together. As always in the Salesian tradition, Father Ted and the Youth Ministry team began the event in prayer, asking God to remember those who have passed on. Father Ted passed by each “ofrenda,” raising incense in their honor and blessing their pictures with holy water.

After this prayer service, the festival of life began. Latin music filled the air as people from all around the community started to socialize and celebrate Día de los Muertos. Some students and faculty, who grew up in communities that celebrated Día de los Muertos, felt very at home during the event.

“My family used to take Día de los Muertos very seriously, especially in the factor of not being fearful in the face of death. The only thing that you should fear is God, and death is just a byproduct, and it is actually an entrance to a new world,” said faculty member Mr. Rummel Requerme.

Mr. Requerme described Día de los Muertos as a time when people should not be mourning the loss of loved ones but, rather, celebrate their life and the fact that they are now in the Kingdom of God. Death is not the, end but rather the entrance in which people move into new life. Thus, Día de los Muertos is purely a day to remember when loved ones were reunited with family in paradise.

Others viewed the event as more important in terms of the traditional aspect.

“Growing up, our grandparents, their parents, it’s kind of a way of showing us [our great-grandparents and] their legacy that they left for us and [use] this tradition as a way of remembering those who have passed. You have not known them, but we have their stories, their pictures, and the altar for seeing who they were,” said Mrs. Alejandra Diaz, a Bosco chef.

Mrs. Diaz believes that Día De Los Muertos is there to remind everyone of the people they lost. It is a holiday to remember and cherish the memories people have of loved ones that have passed away. This tradition is an event used to celebrate people’s lives and give them a sense of who they were. By putting their favorite things on the altars, spectators can envision who each person was and what made them so unique to each family.

As the celebration of life continued in the quad, the night roared on with a passionate zeal. Ballet Folklorico dancers filled the area and performed a customary Día De Los Muertos dance. Saint John Bosco was alive with Latin culture everywhere.

As the night started to digress, vendors beginning to pack up and passersby heading home, the “ofrendas” still remained, honoring all of the loved ones who have died. But for most, Día De Los Muertos is a year round event, constantly celebrating the lives of those who have passed on.

Sports: Young Running Braves Take Long Strides In An Outstanding Season

by Aydn Morris

The St. John Bosco cross country team heads into playoffs following a magnificent showing at Trinity League finals.

The Braves took second place in the Trinity League behind Santa Margarita, led by seniors Chris Chavez, Ian Sanchez and Ethan Beck. 

Some Braves’ runners set their best run times, as Chavez finished first in the race and ran one of the best ever times on the course at 14:58.9, earning the Trinity League Championship title. He finished about 20 seconds faster than the next best time.

Although this race may have been dedicated to the seniors for their senior day, sophomores Aiden Aldana and Andrew Perez put on a show as well. Aiden, who has been excellent this year, finished fourth with a time of 15:35.4, while Andrew finished ninth at 15:42.2 

Following a long break from competition due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Braves were excited to have a season without much restriction.

“We have enjoyed being able to travel again this year, being able to meet with a lot of runners and going back to invitationals again,” said Ruben Solorza, an assistant coach. 

Last season, the Braves were not able to do their normal meets because of the pandemic, instead competing league dual meets, which is racing against one opposing team at a time. 

Although the Braves were happy to be back on the regular schedule, they had adjustment issues, as many people nationwide have.

“Keep small problems small, fix them right away and continue to overcome other challenges,” said Coach Solorza, regarding overcoming the obstacles that the season presented.

In the Trinity League Championship race, the runners dealt with a slightly slippery course, which made a couple of the runners fall, including junior Harold Munoz, who still pushed through and finished the race. 

Having such a young team be so successful, while also having to fight through adversity, has shown the growth and maturity of the team. The junior and senior runners did an amazing job developing the underclassmen into outstanding team runners.

Although the Braves had many great accomplishments so far throughout the year, they still have one final push towards higher aspirations. They continue their season with CIF preliminaries as their next meet, followed by CIF Finals and then possibly a CIF State Championship appearance. 

The season for the Bosco cross country team looks to continue to shine bright, as the season comes to a close. The full focus for them will be on prelims, as they continue to work hard and perform strong.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with New Art Teacher Tommy Johnson

by Dominic Ramirez

This year, St. John Bosco welcomes Mr. Tommy Johnson, an accomplished artist and athlete, to the Brave community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. What classes do you teach?

A. I teach art classes and yearbook here at Bosco.

Q. What high school did you attend?

A. I went to Calvert Hall College High School, in Towson Maryland. I received the Princeton award for best high school artist in the country.

Q. Are you from California? If not, where are you from?

A. I am originally from Lutherville, Maryland. I had a fishing pond in my front yard, I miss that.

Q. What college did you attend?

A. I went to Loyola College in Maryland. The mascot is the Greyhounds.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. I majored in arts and teaching. I was the captain of a national championship lacrosse team, and I played professional lacrosse for the Baltimore Thunder. I have been teaching art and coaching lacrosse since I graduated.

Q. Where did you teach before Bosco?

A. Most recently, I taught at Realm Academy.

Q. Why do you want to teach art at Bosco?

A. I love teaching art and it never gets old. I would like to take Bosco’s art program to the next level. I would like for art to not be just a one and done class. I want the students who love art, are passionate about it and have what it takes to put in the hours, time and dedication, to be able to continue into intermediate art onto advanced art programs.

Q. What is your favorite part of teaching art?

A. I tell the boys in my class that this is their class, and that they picked art, so if they waste time, if they don’t work, if they don’t get involved, then they will miss out on an amazing world of art. Art can stimulate, make a statement and inspire others, with no limits. My class offers a bit more freedom, and a place to express yourself, reflect, use your imagination, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, ideas, dreams and your skills, in a visual form.

Q. What is some advice that you have for freshmen who just started at Bosco?

A. I know it can be scary at first, but everyone here at Bosco is here for you, including all the faculty and all of your new brothers, so reach out, join sports, join clubs and get involved. Time goes by too fast, and before you know it you will be a senior and getting ready to start the process all over again, so enjoy every second of every day.

Q. What is some advice that you have for seniors who are leaving Bosco?

A. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help, or to help others. Go for it, shoot for the stars, and if you land in the clouds or even the trees, its ok. Do what you love, take a leap of faith and follow your heart. Finally, never forget where you came from, because the most important thing in life is family and friends, so surround yourself with good people.

Q. How are you enjoying Bosco?

A. I really like the students, its a great class and group of young men.  I’m excited to join the community and to be part of the Brave Nation.

Q. Do you have any advice for any students trying to pursue a career in art?

A. It is not just paper and pencil with some paints, it’s expressing your ideas and your feelings, and creating a different view of the world.

Q. What kind of music do you listen to?

A. I enjoy classic rock, the Stones, U2, Floyd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Beatles but not so much country. I like Tupac and Drake but not music that has a lot of nasty words, it makes it hard for me to get into. It really isn’t so much who I listen to, but the song itself. I also enjoy Michael Jackson, The WHO, Frank Sinatra and JB.

Q. If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go?

A. I would like to travel back home where most of my family is, or back to Ireland, a place with a lot of land.

Q. Who are some of your favorite artists?

A. My favorite artists include Warhol, Frankenthaler, Posada and Pollack. Also, I like Stan Lee’s imagination, and the true story behind Spiderman. Again, everything starts with pencil, paper and a simple idea.

Q. What do you do in your free time?

A. I spend time with family, watch sports, go fishing and watch movies.

Q. Do you follow any sports or sports teams?

A. Yes, I like the Baltimore Ravens.

Q. What is your favorite holiday?

A. My favorite holiday is Christmas because I believe in Santa. I also love doing the tree, with all the trimmings.

Q. What is your favorite color and why?

A. My favorite color is aqua blue. I’ve spent a lot of time on the ocean and love the water.

Q. Red Vines or Twizzlers?

A. I like Sweet-Tarts, Swedish Fish and gummy anything, hold the red vines and the Twizzlers.

Q. What is your zodiac sign?

A. My zodiac sign is Cancer, or the crab.

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