BELLFLOWER - The St. John Bosco Braves (16-0) are the C.I.F. Open Division California state football champions after defeating perennial power Concord De La Salle 20-14 last Saturday night at Stub Hub Center in Carson.Depending on what poll you look at, Bosco also earned national champion honors. The USA Today and Xcellent 25 have Bosco ranked number three behind Booker T. Washington of Miami, Florida and Allen of Allen, Texas, respectively. Maxpreps computer rankings have Bosco ranked number one with Washington fourth and Allen third. Too bad there is no playoff in high school football to settle this. The Braves finished their undefeated season by going 5-0 in the preseason. The Braves then earned Trinity League champion honors by going 5-0 in league play. The Braves defeated Agoura 69-24 in the first round of the PAC 5 playoffs. The Braves then defeated Tesoro 55-7 in the second round of the playoffs. Bosco then defeated Alemany 56-14 in the PAC 5 semifinals. The Braves then defeated Trinity League foe Mater Dei a second time in the PAC 5 championship game 34-7 (the Braves defeated Mater Dei the first time 24-2). Bosco then went on to defeat Corona Centennial in the southern California championship game 70-49 at Cerritos College and then defeated northern California's champion Concord De La Salle 20-14 to win the California state championship. The Braves' offense averaged 55.67 points per game and staunch defense only allowed 18 points per game during their playoff championship run. Head Coach Jason Negro is extremely proud of how hard his players and staff worked to win this title. Negro has set the bar wildly high in only his third year at St. John Bosco. Starting junior quarterback Josh Rosen, as well as many underclassmen, will return to Bosco next season in hopes of defending their title. ** The Long Beach Press-Telegram released their annual Dream Team selections this past Tuesday for girls' tennis. The city of Downey, as well as the San Gabriel Valley League, was well represented by players from both Downey and Warren High Schools. Downey senior standout Erin Freeman was selected to the first team Dream Team while Isa Lopez and Bohesa Won of Warren both earned second team Dream Team honors. Ellis Pineda of Paramount and Maribelle Leang of Paramount were also selected to the second team Dream Team from the San Gabriel Valley League. Erin Freeman never lost a match in four years of S.G.V.L. play. Freeman finished off her senior season by going 22-0 and earned individual league champion honors. For her efforts, Freeman will be attending Utah State University next fall to play collegiate tennis. Freeman is the first Downey girls tennis player to earn a full-ride scholarship. Perhaps what is most unique about Freeman is that she only started playing tennis as a freshman. Coaches Denise Diego of Downey and Mary Starksen of Warren are extremely proud of their players' hard work and resulting accomplishments this season. Warren was the San Gabriel Valley League champion with a league record of 11-1. Downey finished second in league play with a record of 9-3. Warren's only loss in league play was to Downey at Downey after a tie (9-9) went to criteria. Two of Downey's three league losses came to Warren. One loss was a 10-8 loss at Warren early in league play and the other was a tie (9-9) at Warren that went to criteria and ended in Warren's favor. ** The Downey High School boys' soccer team currently has an overall record of 5-1-2 and will start league play when they host Lynwood on Jan. 7. Downey has had a busy preseason schedule in preparation for the start of league play. Downey defeated St. Margaret's 2-0 on 12/4, defeated La Mirada 2-1 on 12/5, tied Marina 1-1 on 12/6, defeated Mater Dei 3-1 on 12/7, defeated Bell Gardens 1-0 on 12/7, lost to Edison 1-0 on 12/9, tied Lakewood 1-1 on 12/11 and defeated Long Beach Poly 2-0 on 12/18. Downey will be competing in two tournaments this season. The first tournament was the Aliso Cup in Aliso Viejo. This tournament was held December 6-9 and the Vikings came away with a 2-1-1 record. Downey's only loss of the season thus far came against Edison at the Aliso Cup. Downey will also be competing at the Southern California High School Classic in Oceanside over the Christmas Break (scores unavailable at press time). These tournaments will provide valuable preseason experience for the Vikings and give Coach Mires a better idea of what his team needs to work on once league play starts. Downey will host Firbaugh on January 3rd in a final preseason tune-up before San Gabriel Valley League play begins. Coach Mires, his staff and players are excited and getting ready for the start of a challenging league schedule. Downey hopes to qualify for the C.I.F. Division II playoffs and make a nice run once in. Paramount and defending C.I.F. champion Warren remain the teams to beat. ** The Downey High School boys' basketball team currently has an overall record of 8-2. The Vikings will start San Gabriel Valley League play when they host Lynwood on 1/15. The Vikings have had a busy preseason schedule which has included a modest seven game winning streak. Downey also won five of six games played in a nine day span. The seven game winning streak was snapped at the North Orange County Tournament when Downey lost to Canyon 65-45 in the semifinals. The Vikings defeated Lakewood 71-44 on 12/13 and Jeraun Richards was named player of the game. Downey then defeated Capstrano Valley 62-61 on 12/16 and Jonah Garcia was named player of the game. Downey then defeated Brea Olinda 56-53 on 12/18 and Sal Carlos was named player of the game. Downey then defeated Mayfair 79-74 on 12/19 and Jacob Garcia was named player of the game. The Vikings then lost to Canyon 65-45 on 12/20 and Sal Carlos was named player of the game. Downey then defeated La Mirada 63-61 in overtime on 12/21 to take third place at the North Orange County Tournament. David Arellano was named player of the game. Downey played King High School of Riverside at the College of the Desert on Wednesday (score not available at press time). The Vikings played Marantha of Pasadena yesterday (no score available at press time) and will play Green Valley (NV) at Xavier High School later today in the Maxpreps Holiday Classic tournament. The Vikings conclude their preseason schedule against Schurr on 1/3 and Cerritos on 1/6.
********** Published: Dec. 26, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 37