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EPISODE #242
EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT: MENTAL HEALTH IN TODAY’S WORLD

On today’s timely and informative episode, Deacon Steve welcomes his niece, Dr. Kelly Greco, back to the studio. Dr. Greco is, among other things, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the University Southern California. She works and interacts with young people on a daily basis. Hence, the topic on the table is indeed a very timely one: mental health and young people today.

 

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 5/10/2020

EPISODE #99
CATHOLIC SPORTS VIEW: GUESTS ARE RYAN ABRAHAM AND ERIC BORBA

Host Bob Gibson interviews coaches and players throughout the various Catholic high schools in Orange County. His Twitter handle is: @catholicsv

Today’s guests are:

  • Ryan Abraham (uscfootball.com);
  • Eric Borba (head baseball coach at Orange Lutheran High School)

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 9/28/19

EPISODE #73
CATHOLIC SPORTS VIEW: GUESTS INCLUDE GREG BAKER, FRANK BURLISON, DAN ALBANO AND SHOTGUN SPRATLING

Host Bob Gibson interviews coaches and players throughout the various Catholic high schools in Orange County.

Today’s guests include:

• Greg Baker (J Serra H.S. girls’ soccer coach);
• Frank Burlison (burlisononbasketball.com)
• Dan Albano (O.C. Register) and
• Shotgun Spratling (uscfootball.com)

 

Originally broadcast on 1/26/19

EPISODE #38
CATHOLIC SPORTS VIEW: GUESTS INCLUDE MIKE SCIOSCIA, JULIUS IRVIN, THOMAS RUPP AND RYAN LILYENGREN

Host Bob Gibson interviews coaches and players throughout the various Catholic high schools in Orange County. This week we visit with Angels manager Mike Scioscia, Servite senior defensive back Julius Irvin, author Thomas Rupp talking about the USC/Notre Dame rivalry week AND Orange Diocese communications director Ryan Lilyengren about the upcoming Anaheim Ducks Catholic Night!

Whew… this is a jam-packed podcast.. Listen in, and be informed!

 

 

 

 

Originally broadcast on 10/21/17

IN GOD’S EYE

Jake Olson is not your ordinary 19-year-old University of Southern California redshirt freshmen football player. His 6’4” and 210-pound frame fits the college football player stereotype, but Olson lives with one major obstacle perhaps no other college football player in the nation shares.

Olson is blind.

However, his disability has hardly stopped his growth as an individual or his drive to play college football.

Olson, a lifelong Trojans fan, met Pat Haden, J.K. McKay and Pete Carroll through family friends. “They became aware of my football ability as a long snapper and encouraged me to try out for football; I was all for it,” says Olson, a Huntington Beach resident.

During USC’s recent spring game, Olson, wearing #61, executed a pair of flawless snaps on two field goal attempts.

“It was an emotional moment when I ran onto the field during the spring game,” says Olson, a business major. “The Coliseum is a big stage and I had to focus but I felt like I did a decent job. I know what it means to the people in the stands for the Trojans to be successful.”

Olson was born with Retinoblastoma, a cancer of the retina. He lost his left eye when he was 10 months old, and despite numerous procedures on his other eye, his right eye was removed at Children’s Hospital of L.A. when he was 12 in 2009.

Olson says the days leading up to the surgery to remove his eye were stressful.

“I found out on October 1 [2009] that I was going have my other eye removed,” he says. “Because of the aggressiveness of the cancer, it was going to be removed November 12.

“I was scared knowing that I was going to be blind, but believe it or not, after the surgery, I felt a burden lifted from me. When I woke up, I accepted that I was going to be blind, but I made up my mind that it wasn’t going to stop me from reaching my goals.”

Olson received a scholarship to attend USC from the Swim With Mike’s Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. USC received a NCAA waiver for Olson whose scholarship does not count against the Trojans NCAA mandated 85-scholarship roster limit.

Olson has the full support of USC head coach Clay Helton and the entire Trojans staff.

“I never dealt with an athlete on this level before,” says Helton. “Jake is the true definition of the USC slogan ‘Fight On’. He’s unbelievable.

“He fights every day. He’s an inspiration to players, fans and to me as a coach.”

Olson says his USC experience has been fulfilling.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” says Olson, who uses his guide dog, Quebec, a yellow Labrador, to navigate around campus. “It’s been a cool experience and I see every day as a challenge.

“The first year’s school work was hard and living away from home was difficult but I had a lot of support.

“My others senses have become keener. I hear things that most people don’t and my memory has improved. I play back the discussions from class in my head.

“I learned Braille but I don’t use it as much as I used to. Apple has created some excellent technology for my laptop and phone that makes it easier for me to take notes in class.”

Olson has co-authored two books and conducts a dozen motivational speaking engagements a year on overcoming adversity.

Olson was a long snapper at Orange Lutheran High School as junior and senior. He was guided onto the field and positioned over the ball by a teammate. He was also a member of the Lancers Golf team for four years and shoots in the mid 80’s. Olson says one of his goals is to play on the PGA Tour one day.

“We never considered Jake a charity case,” says OLU coach Chuck Petersen, whose grandfather was blind but was elected a city councilman and became a lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas. “From day one we told Jake we’re going to play the best guy and all he did was ask for an opportunity.

“He worked hard in spring football and earned his spot like everyone else.

“He’s influenced us in a powerful way and I get emails and letters from all over the world about how Jake has inspires people’s lives.“

Olson also emphasized that his journey has been guided by his faith.

“I am a nondenominational Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ,” says Olson. “My faith is strong and I knew I couldn’t do this alone and that I needed a full blessing from God.

“God has a plan for me and he has touched me and it’s been humbling what he has done for me in my life.”

 

 

Olson continues to inspire

 

Olson established the Out of Sight Foundation to raise money to help other Blind students obtain technology that will assist them with everyday tasks. To date the foundation has raised over $75,000.00.

ŸOlson wrote his first book – “My Life with Cancer holding Jesus Christ’s hand” – when he was 8 years old.

ŸHis second book, co-authored with McKay Christensen, “Open Your Eyes: 10 Uncommon Lessons to Discover a Happier Life”, was released when he was in the eighth grade about a year after he had his surgery to remove his second eye.

ŸOlson won the 2016 Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion Award, presented to a leader in the world of college football who has realized his or her potential to make a positive and lasting impact on the rare disease community.

ŸRetinoblastoma, a cancer of the Retina, is believed to be genetic, however no other family member, including Olson’s twin sister, Emma, suffers from the disease.

ŸOlson says his dog, Quebec, is not allowed on the practice football field and therefore remains in the locker room during practice. “He stays in the locker room when I’m on the field and he suffers from ‘separation anxiety’. When I come back in from practice, he’s all excited jumping around.”

 

HIGH FLYER

Josh Stephen stepped on campus as a fledgling freshman three-and-a-half years ago, stared in awe at the talent around him and wondered if he’d ever get close to that level of play with the Mater Dei baseball team.

Some might say he’s soared above and beyond.

Stephen’s in his fourth year as a starting outfielder for the Monarchs, has a scholarship to USC in hand and experienced a phenomenal start to his senior year, hitting close to .500 through the first month of the season.

“I just come out here and try to hit the ball hard every single time,” he says. “If it lands, it lands. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t, but at least my approach is locked in and I’m giving my team the best opportunity to win.”

Stephen wants nothing more than to help the Monarchs win as often as they did during his freshman year. The roster that season was loaded with talented seniors who led Mater Dei to a 24-3 record, including 14-1 in the Trinity League.

The team featured seniors Austin Grebeck in centerfield, Ryan McMahon at third base and Jeremy Martinez behind the plate. Greback is now the leadoff hitter for the University of Oregon, Martinez the starting first baseman for USC and McMahon is a rising prospect in the Colorado Rockies’ minor league system, earning his first taste of big league camp this spring.

“It was a good opportunity for me to take in all of that and be on a team like that,” says Stephen, who managed to hit .259 in 69 plate appearances as starting freshman on the varsity.

But the Monarchs have struggled to fill some of the gaps left behind by the Class of 2013. Because that group was so dominant and most had held their starting positions since they were underclassmen, Stephen says a number of other talented players in his age group opted to play elsewhere in hopes of getting earlier playing time.

Mater Dei’s record tumbled to 14-14 and 7-8 in league play during Stephen’s sophomore season and 18-13 and 8-7 last year.

Even this season, the Monarchs are trying to win with a young team. Stephen is one of only four seniors on the roster and the only non-pitcher among that group.

“This team is pretty talented. It’s just that we have a lot of underclassmen,” Stephen says. “A lot of kids that haven’t played at a high level of what the Trinity League puts out.”

Still, the Monarchs posted some impressive victories during the first month of the season, splitting a season-opening double-header against El Toro and later beating Cypress and Loyola, teams that were ranked in the top 10 in CIF-SS Division I during March.

Mater Dei also flew to North Carolina to compete in the prestigious USA Baseball National High School Invitational, a tournament the Monarchs won in 2012 and 2013. They went 2-2 this time around, but the younger players gained valuable experience that should benefit them when Trinity League play begins April 12 at Servite.

“The Trinity League is one of the toughest conferences for high school baseball in the country, year in and year out.” Stephen says. “All the teams in the Trinity League compete and they put out good players, they put out good teams.”

Stephen might just be this spring’s cream of the crop.

 

AN ENGINEERING EYEFUL

GARDEN GROVE — The Christ Cathedral campus became a huge outdoor classroom Oct. 29 when a group of engineering students from USC spent an afternoon touring the grounds and studying the engineering and design elements of three of the campus’ iconic buildings.

“This campus is incredibly unique,” said Mina Chow, a lecturer in the USC School of Architecture who teaches a class titled Architecture for Engineers, from where the students were drawn. “Where else in the United States do you have three of America’s top architects building buildings next to each other? It’s definitely worth the drive down. You can’t help but be inspired.”

Chow and her students visited Christ Cathedral, designed by Philip Johnson, the Tower of Hope, designed by Richard Neutra, and the campus’ Cultural Center, designed by Richard Meier. The interdisciplinary class, she said, is offered through USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering’s Building Science Program but is taught by architecture professors. On the campus visit, the students were guided by Robert Neal, the first Chief Operating Officer of the Christ Catholic Cathedral Corporation and now a member of the Architecture and Renovation Committee.

“We want to show students what it’s going to be like working with architects who do new and innovative things,” said Chow. “Technology is pushing the limits of construction and challenging us to be building in new ways, so I want our engineering students to understand what’s happening.”

The cathedral, the tower and the center all display “a lot of integration of architecture and engineering,” said Chow. “You can see how beautifully it marries together.”

The students, she said, “were awe-struck. You could see it on their faces. That’s my job: to figure out how to inspire them by showing what they’re capable of doing and letting them run with it. Taking them to sites like this is part of that. You have to show them things that allow their imaginations to go.”