Tag Archives: Bosco Athletics

Sports: Bosco Basketball CIF Preview

By Caleb Wiley

The St. John Bosco basketball team now has made the CIF Southern Section Open Division for two years in a row, and they are even more prepared and ready to make a long run and hopefully bring home the trophy.

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Along with making Open Division, the team also are Trinity League champions for the first time in school history. Bosco is proud of what the team has done, and bringing a league title back is no small accomplishment.

“I couldn’t be more proud of that, this is the year where everybody said that the Trinity League was as deep as its ever been,” said varsity head coach Matt Dunn.

The players are excited and ready to take on their second try at Open. Last year, Bosco took a first-round exit against Bishop Montgomery and the players have been looking forward to getting back ever since.

However, this can be their biggest asset coming into playoffs. The experience that comes with just being in Open along with the amount of returning seniors will serve this team well.

“We have a lot of guys who have done this before. I think senior leadership is really important,” said coach Dunn.

This team has had a lot of good times this year but were plagued with injuries that the team had to overcome. Jonathon Salazar became their starting center but was ruled out for the year with a knee injury.

Not long after, Chris Estrada – who filled in the starting center role – was sidelined as well with a gruesome knee injury. Bosco now has lost their starting center twice, but remain strong.

When key players go down, someone who can rally and lead a team to persevere becomes imperative. Good thing leaders aren’t something that Bosco lacks.

“Chris James has been a big part of this team. He’s a great leader. As well as Jalen Manson, he’s a great leader too,” said sophomore forward Scotty Washington

As the team is looking forward to Open, they train and work hard every day striving to get better. Bosco knows it will be a tough next three games but are feeling confident no matter who they get matched up against.

“I am feeling confident in my team. We’ve been prepping and perfecting our stuff. We’re going to be ready,” said Washington

St. John Bosco comes in at the 6th seed, which is a two-spot improvement from last year. Here are the rest of the teams in Open.

 

Pool 1

2. Sierra Canyon

Sierras Canyon looks to go back to the CIF Open Division State Championship game after losing to Mater Dei there. The main reason this star-studded team is not at the top spot is that they couldn’t end the season with a win against Rancho Christian.

3. Corona Centennial

With a record of 25-3 and the only teams they have lost to is the top two teams in Rancho Christian and Sierra Canyon, Centennial is looking like a tough out. The first game Centennial plays is St. John Bosco as it should be a good showing of who is the real deal.

7. Mater Dei

The reigning CIF Open Division State Champions come into playoffs with the 7th seed. More importantly, they get a rematch against rival school St. John Bosco and prove to everybody that they are still the team to beat.

 

Pool 2

1. Rancho Christian

This year the Open Division basketball playoffs are moving to a pool format. At the number one seed we have Rancho Christian coming in with a 24-4 record. Rancho Christian had a convincing 61-58 win against top-ranked Sierra Canyon that locked up the top spot for them.

4. Rancho Verde

Rancho Verde comes in at the number 4 seed with a 15 game winning streak and an overall record of 24-4. During this winning streak the team has beaten top-ranked opponents such as St. John Bosco and Long Beach Poly as well beating 47th in state Notre Dame High twice. It seems like nobody can beat the Mustangs as of late.

5. Etiwanda

At the 5th seed, we have the 24-3 Etiwanda basketball team. With such a good record and good wins throughout their schedule such as Rancho Verde and St. John Bosco, Etiwanda gets a bottom 4 seed due to their last 52- 60 loss against Chino Hills where they were down 9-16 in the first and were never able to get the lead.

8. Bishop Montgomery

The former first seed now gets the last spot in Open, in a season that has been a clear result of a team suffering from a loss of star seniors. The Knights look to complete the run they couldn’t after their loss to Sierra Canyon last season.

 

 

Sports: Bosco Basketball Continues Win Streak

by Ethan Piechota

After facing clear mid-season adversity as a result of injuries and close losses, Bosco basketball has rebounded and re-established themselves as clear contenders in Southern California.

When star big man Jonathan Salazar went down with an unfortunate season-ending injury, everyone began to count Bosco basketball out.

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Photo // LB Press Telegram

“St. John Bosco is just not the same team without injured Jonathan Salazar,” said LA Times writer Eric Sondheimer on Twitter.

Losing Salazar was a big blow, with the 6-foot-7 senior acting as his team’s primary scorer and inside presence, headed to the University of the Pacific next year on a Division 1 basketball scholarship.

However, the Braves’ squad – stacked with veteran players – has rallied amongst themselves and reasserted Bosco as a force to be reckoned with once again.

This past week, the Braves have beaten three state-ranked teams, beginning with two Trinity League wins over Orange Lutheran and Mater Dei. They also defeated Modesto Christian 68-65 over MLK weekend in San Francisco.

“Losing Jonathan was a hard hit for our team. We had to learn how to adjust without him being on the court, and unfortunately we had to lose some games in the process. [Jonathan] still contributes to the team in any way he can, whether it’s him cheering on the sidelines or trying to help us on the court,” said senior standout guard Christian James.

For the second straight year, Bosco defeated Mater Dei at home, this time with a 77-74 win over the Monarchs to take over first place in the Trinity League.

Christian James lead the way with 25 points, proving himself on a premier stage as one of the best guards in the state. Joshua Adoh and Josh Camper hit four three’s a piece and the Bosco faithful rushed the court after the win.

James has stepped up in a big way during Salazar’s absence, but gives credit to his teammates for stepping up with him.

“To be honest, it’s not really one person leading – we have several. All the little things that the team has been doing has contributed to our success in league,” said James.

The Braves can clinch a Trinity League title with a win over Servite on January 31st.

“Everyone is locked in and focused on completing one of our main goals, to win league,” said James.

The game is an away game, and the team will need the support of its fans to get the job done and claim their title.

 

 

 

Sports: Bosco Soccer Mid-Season Update

by Enrique Gutierrez

The St. John Bosco soccer team continues to have a productive season with many more achievements compared to previous years, even though they are not looking so hot mid-season.

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@BoscoSoccer on Twitter

Through the heat and rain, the Bosco soccer team grinds day-in and day-out working hard to prepare themselves for tough competition. Coming into their 2019 season, the Braves knew their competition was nothing to sleep on as many of their match ups are unpredictable.

Currently, the Braves are in progress of competing in their Trinity League games against rival teams. The team’s record during the preseason was 9-6-1. During League, the Braves are 2-2, as they beat JSerra and Orange Lutheran, but fell short against Mater Dei and Santa Margarita.  

“This has been the most talented team that we’ve had in the past couple years. Our roster is stacked but not everyone gets playing time. This brings intensity and passion to work hard everyday,” said senior defensive midfielder Xavier Aviles. 

Aviles is a four-year varsity player for the Braves.

After a rough start against rival league schools, the Braves kept their heads up and will continue to have to face tough competition to earn a playoff berth.

“Our lack of experience can cause some trouble when playing some of the stronger teams – since we’re a young team. The majority of the team are juniors and sophomores. But we adapt to the struggle otherwise,” said senior goalkeeper Rufino Rodriguez.

For many of the players, this is their first taste of the varsity level and getting to know their opponents well. With the young core of the Bosco soccer team, the school will be looking forward to many returning faces and hopefully the players will get a taste of these rivalries in the varsity level for the future.

“Relating back to the topic about our younger players, the pressure of competing in a tough division may worry some players in certain scenarios. Also the addition of injures to many key players only adds onto the pressure for the younger players to perform,” said Rodriguez.

The Braves are now 2-2 in their league games and will host their home conference game against Servite at St. John Bosco High School on Friday, January 18th at 3:15 pm. Be there and support our Braves!

 

RECAP: Bosco Basketball Wins Fr. Barry Tournament

by Ethan Piechota

After a strong 5-0 start, the St. John Bosco Braves basketball team headed up to Sacramento to play in the Fr. Barry Tournament at Jesuit High School, where they would take on top-ranked teams across the state. 

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Credit – @BoscoBasketball on Twitter

The Braves beat St. Mary’s by 26 points to start off their tournament run, a great all-around team win with seniors Chris James and Jonathan Salazar both scoring 14 apiece to lead the way. Everyone contributed as the Braves coasted to a victory.

Bosco then took on Mitty in the semifinals, a close, down-to-the-wire game. They ultimately came out on top, winning 61-54 with James leading the way with 20 points.

Bosco was tested in this one, and responded well to the challenge as they advanced to the tournament championship game with the win.

They capped off their impressive overall tournament with a 85-69 win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the finals, as Jonathan Salazar exploded for 36 points on his way to winning the MVP of the tournament.

Chris James and junior guard Josh Camper also made All-Tournament teams in recognition of their great play throughout.

After the championship game, James received his first official Division 1 offer from UC Davis, so congrats to Christian.

The Braves are now 8-0 and will host the Bosco Classic this week, inside the Thunderdome. They take on Rancho Dominguez High School tonight at 7:30 PM, and will need support from their fans in their first home game of the year.

Sports: Bosco Basketball Season Update And Preview

by Caleb Wiley

After coming off a very successful season one game away from the Division One State Championship game in California, the top-ranked St. John Bosco basketball team comes in with the highest expectations this program has had in years.

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Credit – Parker Gray

This team is the deepest team Bosco has had in a while. They have players like forward Jordan Brown and guard Gabe Campos, who can get on the court and do other things than scoring, like defending and hustling. They understand winning.

“We have have a lot of guys who do the little things very well. They can come into the game and be impactful right away,” said senior starting point guard Chris James.

Along with scrappy players, this team is filled with experience, as there are eight seniors on this roster who are all returning from last year. When you have a lot of returning seniors, it can set you up for a deep run in the playoffs.

“In my time here, this is the first time we have a real seniors class. All these guys were freshman when I started here. The most seniors I have ever had on a team was three. So, having that senior leadership and guys that have been through the ups and downs, which we never really had before, is big,” said varsity Head Coach Matt Dunn.

Every one of those seniors are doing their job in leading this team and the younger guys, which this team needs since they do play many sophomores and juniors on the court as well.

“I think what makes this team special is that we have a lot of leaders. I think Chris James and Gabe Campos are consistently good leaders. Jalen Manson and Fernie Gomez have been great verbal leaders leading with their voice. Then, Josh Adoh always does an amazing job with just how hard he plays,” said coach Dunn.

The team had their first games in the El Monte tournament in November and had their way throughout. The teams they played were not the best competition, but Bosco did their thing regardless as they went on to this tourney’s championship, going 4-0 and winning by an average of 40 points per game.

The last game they played was against St. Anthony, and this was a close game. It went down to the wire, however St. Anthony did not pull the upset as Bosco won this game 67-64. It was a scare, but the team stayed resilient and found a way to win this game.

Bosco currently stands at 5-0 and have a big road trip tournament coming up as they travel to Sacramento for their second tournament of the year. There are gonna be some top-notch opponents this time around. This is a great opportunity for Bosco to show that basketball is for real this year.

“Everybody is going to be good this tournament, there are gonna be eight catholic schools participating. Five of them are from Northern California and a couple are from Arizona. We start off with St. Mary’s, which is the number 20 team in the state,” said coach Dunn.

There are a lot of expectations that come with this season for the Bosco basketball team. According to the Los Angeles Times, Bosco is ranked #3 in all of Southern California.

This ranking could soon be on the rise, as the team looks to have a great tournament in Sacramento and a great rest of the season.

 

 

RECAP: St. John Bosco 56, Oaks Christian 10

by Ethan Piechota

The St. John Bosco Braves took care of business once again in Simi Valley last night, defeating Oaks Christian 56-10 to advance to the CIF Southern Section Finals.

The start of this game didn’t go extremely smoothly for the top-ranked Braves, as Oaks Christian came out strong and tied the game at seven early on.

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Credit – EC Sabin

Braves quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw just his fourth interception on the season and Oaks running back Zach Charbonnet ran for a 61-yard touchdown.

However, the Braves took control and dominated the game from that point on.

Uiagalelei threw four consecutive touchdown passes before halftime hit, two each to junior Kris Hutson and senior Jake Bailey.

The Braves took a comfortable 35-10 lead into halftime, and kept their foot on the pedal in the second half.

George Holani ran for two scores in the second half and sophomore standout wide receiver Beaux Collins reeled in a 71-yard touchdown from Uiagalelei.

Uiagalelei finished the game with six touchdown passes, going 13/15 on his attempts with 361 yards.

The Braves will now prepare for their third consecutive CIF Southern Section Finals matchup against rival Trinity League opponent Mater Dei.

Bosco handled Mater Dei easily back in October, defeating the Monarchs 41-18 on the road in a statement victory.

However, Mater Dei will for sure be better and more motivated to play this time around, so Bosco will need to be ready to play.

The Braves are two wins away from a state and likely national championship, and we’ll have the breakdown here on The Brave News later this week.

 

RECAP: St. John Bosco 56, San Clemente 6

by Ethan Piechota

The number one ranked St. John Bosco Braves remained undefeated and continued their state and national championship journey with a 56-6 victory over San Clemente High School last night.44778558055_646159bcbd_z

The San Clemente Tritons came into Friday’s CIF Division 1 Quarterfinal matchup against the Braves winners of six straight and South Coast League champions. However, they were no match for the best high school football team in the nation.

The Braves put on an absolute show on the defensive side of the ball, with recent All-American commits and cornerbacks Trent McDuffie and Chris Steele leading the way.

McDuffie was a monster in all three phases of the game, scoring on both a punt return touchdown and rushing touchdown. He also forced (and recovered) a fumble and came up with an interception.

Steele also had an interception and locked down every wide receiver the Tritons lined up against him for 48 minutes.

Bosco started slow offensively, with quarterback DJ Uiagalelei throwing just his fourth interception of the season on the Braves first drive of the game.

However, DJ and the rest of the offense couldn’t be stopped the rest of the way, as the five-star junior finished the game 6-9 for 245 (!!!) yards and three long touchdown plays.

Jode McDuffie also had a punt return touchdown for the Braves on the night, as both brothers flashed their extreme talent on special teams.

Colby Bowman, Kris Hutson, George Holani, and Matt Colombo all scored offensively for the Braves in the blowout victory.

San Clemente quarterback Brandon Costello – an Oklahoma State commit – was under duress all night. Sua’ava Poti and Cole Aubrey both came up with sacks for the Braves in a dominating effort on the defensive side of the ball.

These kinds of shutdown performances from the defense are extremely important to Bosco’s success for the rest of the postseason, especially against high-powered offenses that the Braves may face in remaining games.

The Braves advance to the semifinals and will take on the winner of league rival JSerra and Oaks Christian, a game that will be played tonight.

Mater Dei and Centennial will face off in the other semifinal game next week, so a rematch with the Monarchs is still possible in the championship for the Braves.

 

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