Life Of A Brave: For Alumni Teachers, Bosco Is A Home Away From Home 

by William Reynolds and Ed Crowe

In the wake of Homecoming Week, alumni faculty reflect on the influence St. John Bosco High School had on their own academic career. With many alumni returning to teach at Bosco, the brotherhood continues to grow stronger within the Brave community.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Since St. John Bosco was established in 1940, the school has been constructed around four core values. These include the ideals of St. John Bosco being a home, school, church and playground. Homecoming made the students feel the pillar of home more than ever with all of the fun activities. This is especially true for the alumni faculty, as Bosco is much more than just a job.

Many great alumni teachers, such as Mr. Walter Wippler ’83, Mr. Joe Griffin ’75 and Mr. Derrick Fernando ’00, have found their way back to Bosco. All these teachers have truly been a major part of the Bosco community over the years as students, athletes, coaches and teachers. These experiences that they have attained from all these years is now shared to the community, which brings a sense of unity. Although the reasoning for returning differs amongst teachers, the concept of the second home is viable in each of their stories.

Mr. Wippler ’83 has been in the Bosco community for over 30 years. He is currently the head of the Engineering pathway as well as a physics instructor. Outside the classroom, he is the faculty moderator for Bosco’s Robotics Team 4123.

“I worked part-time for the youth program here at Bosco when I was in college and I really enjoyed teaching. And so Jim Cross, one of the English teachers at the time, and Brother Nold, one of the Salesians during this time, said, ‘Hey we have an opening in the science department.’ So I applied and both Brother Nold and Jim Cross were very happy that I took on this position,” said Mr. Wippler. 

However, there is still a reasoning behind why Mr. Wippler came back to his home at Bosco specifically and why he has stayed for all these years. 

“I came back because of the welcomeness of the Bosco home and I thought to myself, if I’m going to work anywhere I would want it to be here,” said Mr. Wippler.

As a student, he immediately picked soccer, which he enjoyed and played for a long time. Ultimately, he found his love for music, which prompted him to join the marching band. In his years in the marching band, they went on to have over 50 members. One of his favorite memories was being apart of the band when Bosco defeated the “Team in Red.” As a student, Bosco truly was a second home for Mr. Wippler.

“ I see the brotherhood of Bosco is the students that I have taught,” Mr. Wippler said. “For example, not too long ago, a student of mine graduated in 2017, who was in the first Engineering [Pathway] cohort, came back to visit to catch up on what has been going on in this student’s life, letting me know that he is finishing up a double master’s in Business and Systems Engineering”. 

Mr. Griffin of the class of ’75 is another one of the profound alumni teachers Bosco has had. Mr. Griffin has been part of the Salesian family for over 40 years. As of now, Mr. Griffin is a religion teacher as well as the freshmen football offensive line coach. When it comes to a classroom or on the field, Mr. Griffin is a teacher of experience. 

Much like Mr. Wippler, Mr. Griffin has a backstory as to why he became a teacher. 

“If you would have told me I was going to be a teacher when I was here, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. But I started to think about becoming a teacher when I started taking school seriously in my senior year of college,” said Mr. Griffin. “After ten years of teaching, I came back because there was a greater opportunity at Bosco for me as a teacher to be here and this is going to be my 33rd year here, coming in with Mr. [Bob] Linares and Mr. [Ernie] Antonelli.”

The brotherhood that has impacted all of us has impacted Mr. Griffin the most.

Many students have received great advice from Mr. Griffin given his many years of experience. One of his most notable quotes: “To work like a champion, not play like a champion.”

Mr. Griffin also believes that students should not wait until the end of their academic career to take their studies seriously. It is teachers like Mr. Griffin that contain a lot of wisdom that can be shared to newer generations. This is a key reason why having alumni teachers is crucial for the Bosco community. 

Mr. Fernando of the class of ’00 also has been an integral part of the community. Although Mr. Fernando has not been teaching as long as Mr. Wippler and Mr. Griffin, he still attains the wisdom that is beneficial for many students of Bosco. Today, Mr. Fernando teaches American Literature for juniors and British Literature for seniors. 

Like his alumni colleagues, there is a story as to why he decided to come home to Bosco. 

“The short answer is I was just good at it. But a couple of my professors from LMU made mention of a graduate degree and a teaching fellowship that would help pay for it. And while my grandmother and aunt were both teachers, I never considered being a teacher until that point in time,” said Mr. Fernando.

Bosco also includes great younger alumni teachers that are just as important to the home of Bosco as the more veteran ones. By having young and old alumni teachers, the community is brought closer together in the younger and older generations. 

Some other notable alumni teachers include Mr. Garcia-Esparza ’16, Mr. Nold ’08 and Mr. Solarza ’13. Even though these teachers have not been around as long as Mr. Wippler, Mr. Griffin and Mr. Fernando, they still have a tremendous impact with the younger students and making them good young men. 

Mr. Garcia-Esparza, has had an impact on the classroom and on the court since he graduated in ’16. When he was a student, he was the head football and basketball manager. Along with this, he was a student council member, student ambassador and played rugby. 

“I started looking into this path when I started coaching football and basketball at St. Raymond Catholic. I was very much into sports, the sports world and sports careers,” said Mr. Garcia-Esparza. “I worked for the Clippers and the Rams, but when I took that experience, I saw the little things. Then I got the call here that we needed somebody to fill in the role of a Spanish teacher and felt that I was well prepared for our Spanish courses. Great teachers like Mrs. Rayas and Mrs. Hunt helped me get through my college classes, and I was more than happy to answer the call back home.”

Another young alumni teacher is Mr. Nold ’08. Although he did not participate in as many extracurriculars as Mr. Garcia-Esparza, he found himself in the film and media world. In college, he took a film and media class and found his love in the visual arts. Later in college, he found calling in animation and soon after decided he would like to share his skills to other aspiring animators.

These skills he has attained were all self-taught, which shows his true passion behind the visual arts. As of now, Mr. Nold teaches Animation one, two, and three. Mr. Nold also has a major role in the production Brave Vision. 

Mr. Solorza ’13 is another example of a great young alumni teacher. He was in cross country as well as track in his time as a student. He also published a few articles for the Brave News. Mr. Solorza is now in his second year teaching Environmental Science, AP Environmental Science and Astronomy. 

“I started coaching back in 2017 and realized how much I enjoyed it. Andd I love being around the guys, which ultimately led me into teaching, and fortunately I got to teach what I learned in college, which was pretty cool, and now be with the guys on and off the field,” said Mr. Solorza.

From all these teachers, older and younger generations, there is one clear idea about their so-called second home, which is the idea that the Salesian family spirit will never die. It is vital that more alumni come back to Bosco because their experiences are too valuable to not be shared with future generations of Braves.

Sports: Bosco Football Dominates JSerra in Homecoming Game, Takes On Orange Lutheran At Home Tonight

by Michael Barba

The Braves pulled off an impressive 31-0 win against JeSerra to move to 2-1 in Trinity League play, and look to put on another show for the fans tonight against the Orange Lutheran Lancers.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Last Friday, the Braves added a seventh win to their collection in the Homecoming game against the JSerra Lions. This imposing win places the Braves second in the Trinity League, second in California and fourth in the nation, with their only loss coming to the “Team in Red.”

Entering the contest, the Braves were confident considering all of the work that went into this match up. Defensively, the Braves were dominant with 84 tackles in total, and senior defensive back Jshawn Frausto-Ramos secured two interceptions – one he returned for a touchdown.

“Heading into game day I was very confident because it was our Homecoming game,” said Jshawn. “The reason our defense was so on point was because of our defensive coordinators getting us ready for the game.”

Despite the lopsided final score, the first quarter of the game was very competitive with a score of 3-0, the only points being scored by junior kicker Marcus Lee.

Going into the second quarter the game’s score was 10-0, with a promising start for the Braves. Within the first minute of the second quarter, senior quarterback Pierce Clarkson completed a four-yard passing touchdown to junior wide receiver Tommy Maher.

The third quarter began with the Braves ahead 17-0. Two minutes into the quarter, senior defensive back Jshawn Frausto-Ramos caught one of his two interceptions. In the last two minutes senior quarterback Pierce Clarkson completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Israel Polk.

In the last quarter, the Braves sealed the deal with junior running back Cameron Jones completing a 13-yard rushing touchdown ending the game with a 31-0 win for the Braves

“It was a really productive week at practice. Coming off the loss to the “Team in Red,” we were energetic and excited to get back. We’re not where we want to be yet just because we do not want to peak that early. You know, we got playoffs coming up, so that is when we’re going to be at our best”, Israel said.

The Braves look sharper than ever heading into their match-up against Orange Lutheran. The game plan remains the same: go out and dominate.

“It’s going be the same thing as last week, like I said, we always go day in and day out and give it our all in practice, so it should be the same outcome. We don’t go into games underestimating anybody, but we do aim for blowouts and big wins,” said Israel.

The Braves are riding a 7-1 record while the Lancers are sporting a 6-2 record, which will be another competitive treat for the fans. This contest will take place at 7:00 pm at Bosco’s Panish Family Stadium.

Around Bosco: Bosco and St. Joseph’s Celebrate “A Dance For The Ages” For This Year’s Homecoming

by Isaac Mays, Sports Editor

Following a blowout victory during Friday night’s Homecoming Game against Orange Lutheran High School, the Homecoming Dance took place on Sunday afternoon, as the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County hosted St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s to provide a unique and exciting Homecoming experience. 

Photo by St. John Bosco Student Life

Bosco’s administration chose this venue because it allowed exhibits to be open and accessible, setting a Jurrassic age tone for the dance. Complete fossil structures and life sized dinosaurs were large centerpieces for the evening, and right as the doors opened, they were made clearly visible. 

Throughout the dance floor many prehistoric animal enclosures depicted and showcased many animals in their natural environment. The area known as “Mammal Hall” helped the students feel surrounded by the prehistoric setting. The venue played a major part in the awe-inspiring evening, with many feeling as if they traveled back in time.

“The theme was ‘Back to the Ages,’ so being in the Natural History Museum it kind of set the theme for itself,” said freshmen Associated Student Body (ASB) member and commissioner Kai Maldonado.

The Homecoming Dance Planning Committee more than did their part, providing food and refreshments for the evening. Ample drinks, such as punch, lemonade and refreshing water, were available throughout the entire night, while cheese displayed elegantly on charcuterie boards was readily available. 

“The Homecoming Planning Committee really went above and beyond this evening,” said senior and ASB Co-President Ryan Gutierrez. “I helped choose this venue, and it really stood out to me. I hope it made a really positive impact and a memorable experience on all the guests in attendance.”

Students felt that the dance also provided an experience that they could be proud of. Many Bosco Braves and St. Joseph’s Jesters alike brought dates from other schools. It allowed many new faces to have a great impression of our community.

“I thought the whole night was really cool,” said senior Pierce Watt. “I brought a date from a large public school in my area, and she told me how great the evening was.”

The music was able to accomplish the difficult task of living up the teenagers’ expectations. The DJ for the evening clearly did their best to appeal to the crowd, as the students felt they exceeded their hopes for the evening. The music seemed to be in touch with the listening habits of everyone in the audience.

Students look forward to the next formal dance of the year: Winter Formal hosted by St. Joseph’s. Seniors and their dates will also be able to attend Prom later in April of this year.

A+E: Bosco Theater Company Features Many New Faces In Peter and The Starcatcher

by Brett Baligad, Senior Editor

Last weekend, the St. John Bosco Theater Company presented their first play of the year. With many new faces on opening night, there is a lot to look forward to for the theater department.

Directed by Mr. Martin Lang, this year’s fall production, Peter and the Starcatcher, is an origin story to the iconic 1953 Disney film, Peter Pan. The production follows the orphan boy in green played by senior Alex Palmer along with the infamous Black Stache played by senior Connor Sheehan.

The play is filled with plenty of British accents, pirates and magic to keep all ages on the edge of their seat. Although the play is not considered a musical, there is still an enjoyable amount of choreography and live singing. Throughout the production, the cast was complimented by a live percussionist and pianist.

What made the play’s opening weekend stand out the most were all of the new faces in the cast. This production saw six new male cast members to join the St. John Bosco Theater Company, leaving only lead roles Alex Palmer and Connor Sheehan with prior experience. However, these actors did not fall short in talent nor chemistry.

One headline actor was freshmen Kai Maldonado. Kai has years of experience acting, and it showed. As a freshman, Kai still had to acclimate to the acting culture at Bosco leading up to opening night.

“I’ve had a lot of fun getting to know the rest of the cast. The upperclassmen really helped me get to know what theater is all about here at Bosco,” said Kai.

New faces came in all ages, as there were a few new upperclassmen additions as well. Most notably, senior Jack Scalas as well as juniors Daniel Cedillo and Grant Hildalgo-Villanueva made their high school theater debuts this past weekend.

“I used to do theater in middle school. I have always liked doing it,” said Grant. “Since COVID-19, I kind of strayed away from it. However, I am thankful for Alex [Palmer] and Mr. Lang, as they were a big part in why I came back to performing in theater.”

Saint Joseph High School has and will continue to be a large part in Bosco’s biannual productions. The lead female role, Molly, is played by senior Eva Sadler. With Peter and the Starcatcher being her sixth production between St. John Bosco and St. Joseph, Eva is no stranger to Bosco’s crowd. However, there are always learning curves to new roles and personas played by the cast.

“My biggest challenge was learning the lines in which I am speaking “Norse Code” [a fictional nautical language]. Those difficult words really messed with my head,” Eva said.

Even with many new faces, the cast had an exciting and successful opening weekend for their performance of Peter and The Starcatcher. The cast will finish shows this weekend with productions tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30pm and a closing Sunday show at 2:30pm.

The Bosco Theater Company will then take a much deserved break and pick it back up in the Spring. The Company invites you to get involved in the arts and try out next show.

“Try it out! Theater has been my absolute favorite experience throughout all of high school, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t also the hardest,” said Eva. “The work and dedication you put into a show will reward you on opening night. There’s no feeling like being on stage, especially when you adore the role you’re playing.”

Life Of A Brave: The Bosco Community Welcomes Geoff McArthur, New Dean Of Students And Wide Receivers Coach

By Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

Mr. Geoff McArthur arrives at St. John Bosco High School seeing his younger self in many of the Brave student body and with the hope to teach the Braves about how perspective as well as respect can better the world.

Photo By Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Mr. McArthur grew up in South Central Los Angeles and went to Palisades High School, where he was coached by Steve Clarkson, father of current Braves quarterback Pierce Clarkson. He attributes finding out about the opening at Bosco to Coach Clarkson.

Mr. McArthur holds the record for most receiving yards at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was recruited after having the most receiving yards in the country during his senior year at Palisades. He was Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ primary target during their shared time at Cal – and was a projected second round draft pick prior to his decision to walk away from playing football. Educationally, he received a Bachelor’s in Social Welfare from UC-Berkeley and went on to receive a Master’s in Education from Lindenwood University.

Prior to coming to Bosco, McArthur started Canada Prep Academy to provide Canadian student-athletes with the opportunity to achieve a football scholarship from American colleges. There, he was the head football coach and a philosophy teacher. McArthur served as the wide receivers coach at El Camino College from 2018 to 2019 and the head coach at St. Monica High School from July 2020 to January 2022.

Coming from another Catholic school, McArthur is no stranger to the impact that the presence of God and the Church at a school provides.

“It’s something I’m familiar with, especially coaching and teaching at St. Monica Catholic High School,” said Mr. McArthur. “I enjoy being Catholic. I enjoy trying to emulate people like St. John Bosco. Being Catholic really matters to me.”

After going to the doctor in the Spring of 2022 because he was feeling lethargic and sickly, Mr. McArthur was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin diffuse large b-cell lymphoma. He thought his exhaustion was due to his commute that encompassed over a hundred miles and multiple hours each day, as he was coaching Spring ball at Bosco and continuing to teach at St. Monica’s. Mr. McArthur received his last chemotherapy treatment this October.

“Anytime you have your life on the line, you start to reflect – I can get kind of emotional about it – because it’s one of those things where you don’t know where your time is meant to end, and when you have something looming over your head, you look back at your life and then decide how to move forward,” said Mr. McArthur. “The first thing I decided to do was to stay active and involved. I was definitely worn out.”

A true “Brave,” he continued to coach and teach throughout his treatment. He improved his diet, and now drinks a cup of tea every morning, which he sees as a testament to the lifestyle changes he made to attack his disease with as much strength as possible. In addition to personal changes, Mr. McArthur attributes a lot of the successes in his fight against cancer to the intangibles, rooted in the support and love of the Bosco community.

“I don’t think I would have done as well if I didn’t have the Bosco family. They have been super supportive throughout the entire process. At times, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. I thought I would be too weak, but Dr. Anderson and Coach Negro really came in and gave me the support I needed to go even harder,” Mr. McArthur said.

“Bosco has kept me proud and happy and purposeful, and I’m forever grateful for being here during that time.”

Coach Negro hired Mr. McArthur in early 2022, and the success of the move is already clear. On the field, the Braves receiving room has produced 1386 total receiving yards on 76 total receptions.

His wide receivers, the Bosco Football and students at Bosco on the whole are people he looks at with awe and admiration for their work ethic and brotherhood.

“Watching them mature and develop is really fun to watch. Our guys are bonding – went to Oregon and Texas, and the team bonding has been fulfilling to see,” said Mr. McArthur.

His happiness for the 6-1 Braves is palpable, but he admits that the more exciting thing is what the Braves have yet to accomplish.

“We’re playing at a really high level, but there’s room to improve,” Mr. McArthur said. “We haven’t peaked yet, and it’s like, ‘Oh my god! We can be better than we are right now?’”

There’s no doubt that Mr. McArthur will be instrumental in that improvement, helping not just Bosco Football but our entire community reach their peaks.

Around Bosco: Bosco Welcomes Back “Brave For A Day” Shadow Program

By Marcelles Williams

The “Brave For a Day” shadow program is one of Bosco’s top admissions resources. With a successful start to the application season, more prospective students are learning about Bosco’s Brotherhood.

Photo by Bosco Admissions

St. John Bosco hosted its first group of “shadows” on September 7th and have been going strong ever since. The school has hosted around 150 shadows so far and that number is going to grow with more future Braves shadowing over the upcoming months. There is expected to be over 500 shadows by the end of the application season. The shadow program is essential for our admissions as over 50% of shadows end up attending Bosco and joining the Brotherhood.

When students shadow, the parents of those prospective students are able to take a tour around campus. Spearheaded by Ms. Patty Lazcano, parents get to learn about the Bosco experience and the programs the school has to offer.

“We start in the 200 building, go over to the 300/400 buildings, then we crossover to the athletic side and show them the weight room and talk about the garden, then talk about our other soccer and lacrosse fields, then we come back with a Q and A at the end,” said Ms. Lazcano.

Ms. Lazcano as the Shadow Program Coordinator has a big role in the school’s admissions and getting new students into the Bosco Brotherhood. When asked how parents feel about shadowing at Bosco, she replied, “Really really good. The kids are no different, either; they always say they had a great day.”

Shadow Luca Liren is an eighth grader and hockey player from Long Beach. He shadowed Patrick Cech and enjoyed his time learning about the day-to-day life and programs on campus.

“[My experience has] actually been pretty good. The sports team, the people and the teachers are nice,” said Luca.

Luca enjoyed his time at Bosco and would is strongly considering coming back as a student next year. This is because he believes it would help prepare him for college and sports. If he attends, he will play hockey for the Braves and could be seen being a key contributor in a few years for the school’s team.

These kinds of experiences are a testament to what the Bosco community is all about. The Bosco Family welcomes anyone from anywhere from any background.

A lot of our current Braves were once shadows, and now, the roles are reversed, as they become role models by showing the next generation how to be a Brave. This is the case for Ignacio Fonseca. He shadowed as an 8th grader and loved his experience, ultimately driving him to enroll at Bosco.

“It was different for me because I really looked up to this school. I’ve been wanting to come here as a kid and the shadow day really solidified that for me,” said Ignacio, Class of ’24.

Life of a Brave: Br. Artemide Zatti To Be First Salesian Brother Canonized As A Saint In The Catholic Church

By: Connor Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, announced the certification and widespread publication of the decree that proclaims the miracles of God that were seen through Artemide Zatti’s works as true, paving the way for Zatti to be the first Salesian brother to be canonized as a Saint.

Saint Artemide Zatti, provided by The Salesians of Don Bosco.

Br. Artemide, born on October 12th, 1880, in Boretto, Italy, was a prolific lay Salesian Brother and doctor. He immigrated to Bahía Blanca, Argentina at 17 but spent the rest of his life in Viedma, Argentina. An immigrant, he assimilated to Argentinian culture by a Salesian parish in Bahía Blanca and attending Spanish language masses held by Salesian Priest Fr. Carlo Cavalli, who later guided Br. Artemide to a Salesian life.

He ran a pharmacy and hospital for the sick and poor for forty years, in which time he cared and aided countless patients and provided hundreds of jobs and opportunities for work to his community in Viedma. His philosophy, adapted from his predecessor and mentor, Fr. Evaristo Garrone, was to provide all patients, no matter their class, with high quality and holistic care. He followed Garrone’s philosophy: “He who has little, pays little and the one who has nothing pays nothing.”

Poverty stricken and sickly as a child, he decided to renounce the priesthood and dedicate his life to help those who were afflicted with those same blights after he was cured of tuberculosis by the intercession of Mary Help of Christians when promised to dedicate his life to service if he was healed. He would later write of the events of his curing.

“I believed, because I knew by reputation that Mary Help of Christians helped him [(Father Garrone)] in visible ways. I promised, because it was always my desire to help my neighbor in some way. And, since God listened to his servant, I recovered,” Br. Artemide wrote.

Br. Artemide was a fervent and proud Salesian. He undoubtedly lived the message St. John Bosco preached to the first Salesians that were sent to the Americas on missionary vocations.

“Take special care of the sick, the children, the elderly, the poor, and you will receive God’s blessing and the respect of those around you,” Don Bosco said.

After his death, several miracles were attributed to his intercession with God. He was beatified and declared blessed by St. John Paul II on April 14, 2002.

Br. Artemide embodied all it meant to be a Salesian and Catholic. His example of tireless dedication, strong belief and unbounding love and care are now being immortalized. He is to be a patron of immigrants and pharmacists.

Saint Artemide Zatti is due to be canonized at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican tomorrow. Salesian Rector Major Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime and the Pope are set to make appearances. A livestream of the festivities can be viewed via the Salesian Info Agency’s (ANS) YouTube channel here – or alternatively, at their Facebook page, here.

Sports: Bosco Football Faces Off Against the “Team in Red”

by Michael Barba

The Braves completed their sixth straight dominant performance of the season with a 49-3 win against the Servite Friars, and will continue on to the Santa Ana Bowl to take on the “Team in Red” in the most anticipated match-up of the year so far.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Bosco Football retains their title as number one high school football team in America and seek to defend their mantle and win streak against the second best high school football team in the country in the “Team in Red.” 

The anticipation for this game is like no other, with the last game against the “Team in Red” drawing a total of 6,000 strong at Panish Family Stadium last season. Due to the talent on both ends of this rivalry, the Braves have been putting every ounce of effort and focus in preparation for gameday.

The last match-up between the two ended in a 42-21 loss for the Braves, but it is looking more competitive than ever with both teams holding on to a 6-0 record heading into this year’s contest.

“It was a very focused week of practice. Everyone knows the magnitude of this game and the players did a great job with practice preparations before heading into the game,” said Offensive Coordinator Coach Steven Lo. “The last game has left a sour taste in our mouth, and we have circled this game on our calendar for a while. The scheme we have been practicing and the training leading up to this point has been designed to make sure we change the result.”

The amount of hype behind this game offers the Braves the opportunity to perform in front 9,000 strong this Friday on the road at the Santa Ana Bowl. Although the Braves are performing on the biggest stage in the country, this does not phase the team a single bit because of the confidence and skills that they are bringing to the table.

“We’re very confident going into the game. We’ve been prepared really well throughout the week so we’ll definitely be coming to play Friday night,” said senior wide receiver Israel Polk.

Both teams have some of the best offensive and defensive stats in the entire country with Bosco Football having a total of 42 touchdowns and 474 tackles and the “Team in Red” having a total of 29 touchdowns and 270 tackles. Both of these teams are exceeding the national average of 17 total touchdowns and 251 total tackles for high school football teams, according to MaxPreps.

Both teams are the hardest match-up for the other, but the Braves are number one for a reason and the “Team in Red” is number two for a reason.

“They are a really good team, but so are we,” said senior offensive lineman Sean Na’a. “So I believe as long as we execute and trust each other we will be just fine against them.”

The Braves have been nothing short of dominant this season. They managed to avenge last year’s loss against the Servite Friars in dominant fashion with a 49-3 win, and hope to do the same to the “Team in Red.”

Against the Friars, the Braves racked up a total of seven touchdowns and 454 yards of total offense. The defense was also on their A-game providing a total of 89 tackles and an interception.

The Braves kick off against the “Team in Red” at the Santa Ana Bowl tonight at 7:30 pm. For those that could not get a ticket, the game will be broadcast on Bally Sports West.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja

by Noah Dawson

St. John Bosco High School welcomes new counselor, Mrs. Melissa Pantoja, to the counseling staff, as she works to serve all students with their academic needs.

Photo by Robert Visty III, Photo Editor

Q. What is your hometown?

A. I am from La Mirada, California

Q. What school did you attend for high school?

A. La Mirada High School

Q. What school(s) did you attend for college? 

A. Cerritos College, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Oregon State University.

Q. What was your major/minor in college?

A. I was a Psychology major for my undergraduate and a School Counseling major for my graduate degree.

Q. Do you own any pets?

A. YES! Two silver labs. They are my babies :).

Q. What do you like to do as a hobby?

A. Two of my hobbies are exercising and meditating.

Q. What’s your favorite outdoor hobbies?

A. I like being outdoors as much as possible, so I really enjoy hiking, walking and camping.

Q. Do you like any sports or have you played any?

A. I swam for my high school varsity swim team for three years and played softball for eight years. 

Q. What’s your favorite sport to watch. 

A. I will watch any sport! 

Q. Can you explain what you do as a counselor at Bosco?

A. I help with academics, career and college readiness as well as social emotional learning.

Q. What specifically drew you to Bosco?

A. I was drawn to work at Bosco because of the school’s reputation. This is a prestigious high school filled with young scholars who are motivated and families that are supportive. That is a counselor’s dream!

Q. Where did you first become inspired to get into counseling?

A. I was first inspired to get into the field of human services when I was in high school.                                                

Q. What was your first introduction to counseling and psychology? 

A. I took my first Psychology class as a junior in high school and fell in love with the field. From there, I knew I wanted to work in psychology and with children, so I pursued counseling. I never thought an elective course would be my key to figuring out what I wanted to do as a career.

Q. How has your time at Bosco been so far?

A. Great! Everyone is so kind and helpful, especially the students. I feel so welcomed.

Q. How are you acclimating to the all-boy environment?

A. I grew up with two younger brothers and was the only girl of three, so I am used to an “all-boy environment.”          

Q. What’s your favorite thing about Bosco? 

A. I appreciate how well mannered and respectful all the boys on campus are.

Q. Which event are you most excited about here at Bosco?

A. To experience a football game! I heard those are super fun. I am excited to bring my family along and share the experience with them too.

Q. What are some difficulties that you went through to get to where you are today?

A. My journey to college was somewhat rocky. I did not have a lot of guidance when it came to the college application process. I made a lot of mistakes that affected my college entrance. However, I am now able to utilize the lessons I learned throughout my journey along with my professional training to best help students reach their post-secondary goals.

Q. Do you have any advice for any students that wish to become counselors?

A. DO IT! If you like helping people you’ll love this job. It’s fun and rewarding.

Q. What’s your favorite type of music to listen to?

A. Pop.

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. Mac n’ cheese. I could literally eat it every day.

Around Bosco: Bosco’s Surf Team Catches A Wave As The Newest Club On Campus

By Marco Castro

Senior Isaac Mays leads the newest club on campus, as he hopes to bring the joy of surfing to St. John Bosco High School. The club is open to all levels of surfing and plans to host their inaugural meeting this Saturday morning at the Seal Beach Jetty.

Photo by Bosco Surf Team

Isaac Mays has been surfing for many years, and with the help of club co-founder, fellow senior Ryan Gutierrez, Isaac looks to extend his love for aquatics with all of the Bosco community. Inspired by the success of nearby schools, Isaac was in awe with the camaraderie that was built within the surf community. Being a part of both Varsity Water Polo and Swim, he wanted to make a club that went in hand with his love for water sports. 

“We have a competition planned with Long Beach Poly High School around winter time this year,” Isaac said.

Surf competitions are scored by judges and participants are given points based on the skills displayed while surfing. More points are awarded for doing tricks, which Isaac doesn’t think many people will be doing at their competitions.

Although there will be frequent competitions, potential members do not need prior experience to be a part of the Surf Team.

“No experience is necessary; we’re just looking to have a fun time,” Isaac said.

Knowing that surfing is not a common skill to have, Isaac plans to teach members how to surf along with co-captains Andrew Rivera and Eiian Reyes. In addition to teaching new members how to surf, they will be tasked with teaching co-founder Ryan Gutierrez how to surf. Ryan is in charge of social media on the Surf Team and a prime example of how to be active on the team despite lacking prior knowledge of how to surf. 

“When Isaac brought up the idea to me, I just wanted to hop on board and try new things out,” said Ryan.

Trying new things is the theme of this new club, as well as building a stronger bond between students on campus. While surfing without prior knowledge may seem daunting, being a member of the Surf Team is a chance to learn and grow alongside members of the Bosco community. Being its first year of this club on campus, there are bound to be growing pains that the club will endure and grow from as a whole.

“I think this a good experience for Bosco to come together and focus on surfing,” said Andrew. “I feel like a lot of people have interest in surfing but don’t have the means to do so.”

The Bosco Surf Team is available to any students from both St. John Bosco and St. Joseph’s High Schools who are interested in surfing. All of the people involved in starting this club are able and willing to help anyone learn how to surf and to provide a board to borrow for those that don’t have one.

Their first meeting will be this Saturday at 7:00 am at the Seal Beach Jetty. Again, all levels are welcome, and a limited number of boards will be available to those who may need one. If you are interested in being a part of this club or attending, contact the Bosco Surf Team on Instagram 

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