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

On today’s episode, Bob brings you a special Trinity League football preview!

Today’s guests include:

  • Bruce Rollinson (Head football coach at Mater Dei High School);
  • Tristen Wilson (athlete at Servite High School)
  • Karrington Dennis (athlete at Servite High School)
  • Brent Vieselmeyer (head football coach at Santa Margarita High School)
  • J.P. Presley (head football coach at Orange Lutheran)
  • Jason Negro (head football coach at St. John Bosco High School)
  • Pat Harlow (head football coach at J Serra High School)




Originally broadcast on 8/10/19


Host Bob Gibson interviews coaches and players throughout the various Catholic high schools in Orange County. On this episode, we check in at the annual CIF Southern Section football luncheon. Here, we visit with both teams playing for the Division 1 title: Mater Dei and St. John Bosco (including both head coaches Bruce Rollinson and Jason Negro). Then, we begin our Trinity League basketball preview by chatting with JSerra’s Mary Rossignol and Rosary’s Rich Yoon.






Originally broadcast on 12/02/17


TURIN, Italy (CNS) — Inside a copper teapot in a kitchen cupboard, Italian police found the relic of St. John Bosco that had been stolen two weeks earlier from the basilica erected at his birthplace.

The press office of the Salesians in nearby Turin announced June 15 that Italian military police obtained a search warrant and discovered the relic early that morning in the home of a 42-year-old Italian man identified only by the initials C.G.

From previous encounters with the law, the man’s fingerprints were on file and they were found on the glass case protecting the relic and reliquary in the lower Basilica of St. John Bosco in the town of Castelnuovo Don Bosco.

Police said they watched and followed the man for several days before obtaining a warrant to search his home.

The relic, a piece of St. John Bosco’s brain, was still in its small glass jar tied with red ribbon. The seal of authenticity was intact, the Salesians said.

“It appears the motive for the theft had nothing to do with a desire to demand a ransom nor was it stolen for a collector,” the police said in a statement. Apparently, the thief “erroneously” believed the gold-painted reliquary over the glass jar was worth a lot of money.


Not all hope is lost.

As wrestlers gear up for the Trinity League finals Feb. 13, Orange County’s top-ranked team, Servite, will get another shot at Bellflower St. John Bosco.

The Friars lost to Bosco in a league dual meet, 37-29, but the league finals will represent an opportunity for Servite to claim a share of the Trinity League championship.

“They are still a powerhouse,” Mater Dei coach Luis Renteria says of the Friars, who have finished first or near the top in every tournament in which they’ve competed this season, their only dual-meet blemish coming against visiting St. John Bosco on Jan. 22. “Sometimes when it comes to the dual-meet season, a dual can be different with wrestlers’ performances and how they compete individually,” says Renteria. “Servite is still the team to beat.”

To claim third place in the Trinity League dual-meet season, Mater Dei defeated Santa Margarita, 45-28, on the road, and the Monarchs have their eyes set on upsetting the field at the league finals.

“That’s what we’re hoping for,” Renteria says. “We need to be ready mentally and they have to believe in themselves. The hardest part about coaching in this sport is getting the kids to believe that they can compete at the highest level. If we can make them believe, the whole thing turns around.”

For Mater Dei, 126-pound freshman Bradley Smith outscored his Santa Margarita opponent, 11-5, before winning by pin, while 145-pounder Julie Calzada put her opponent on his back on the mat several times before pinning her Eagle challenger. Mater Dei’s Jed Smith (195) and Garret Wright (132) also won their matches by pins.

Sean Carroll (160) and Dylan Johnson (182) won by decision and major decision, respectively, for Santa Margarita, and are expected to be two of the Eagles’ most competitive wrestlers at the league finals.

For Servite, its loss to St. John Bosco was a first this season in an otherwise celebrated campaign.

“We hope that all 14 [wrestlers] are league placers and truly believe that we can get 14 qualified out of CIF to Masters if we keep going at the rate we currently are,” Servite coach Alan Clinton says.

Of the two wrestlers in each of the 14 weight divisions in the Orange County All-Star Classic at Marina High Jan. 19, Servite occupied 11 of the spots with Liam Cronin (106), A.J. Silva (120), Noah Blakley (126), Wolfgang Bernal (132), J.J. Reed (145), Angel Cordova (152), Gordon Livermore (170), Michael Vasquez (182), Parker Saltzman (195), Kyle Paterson (220) and heavyweight V.J. Leuta.

Earlier, Servite qualified seven competitors to the championship quarterfinals in the prestigious Five Counties Invitational at Fountain Valley: Cronin, Blakley, Cordova, Vasquez, Saltzman, Paterson and Leuta. Servite finished with seven medalists, one finalist and a second place in the 60-plus team tournament, the school’s best finish ever at the tournament.

“We have had a very good start (this season),” Clinton says. “All 14 have stepped up and surprised us with their fantastic performances. All 14 are going above and beyond, or we would not be in the position we are in. We can’t be as solid as we are without everyone doing their part.”

Last year, Servite had five Trinity League champions, including Blakley, Saltzman and Paterson, and 10 CIF placers, including Cronin, Blakley, Reed and Livermore.

Mater Dei, meanwhile, is hoping wrestlers Johnny McLaughlin, Trevor Perez, Wright, Calzada, Bradley Smith, Jed Smith and senior Kevin Jacobs can carry the Monarchs deep into the 2015 postseason.

“The Trinity League’s top three teams are Servite, St. John Bosco and we’ve been blessed to have an OK season,” says Renteria, whose squad also defeated Orange Lutheran in a Trinity League dual match. “We have a lot of young kids, but right now we’re in third heading into league finals.”

Mater Dei’s first real test of the season came at the Beach Bash Tournament at Edison High, where the Monarchs had six medalists. They had five medalists, including 106-pound champion McLaughlin, at the Cavalier Classic Tournament at Santiago, where Mater Dei finished fourth.

Jacobs was one of six Mater Dei wrestlers who placed in the top three at the league finals last year.

Before becoming head coach at Mater Dei four years ago in an effort to resurrect the program, Renteria coached at his alma mater, Los Amigos, followed by a short stint at Century, five years at Mission Viejo and five years at Edison, where he won a CIF championship in his first year. Renteria coached 10 state qualifiers and three state placers at Edison, where he earned Sunset League and Orange County Coach of the Year honors.


The Trinity League football teams were the class of the nation during the regular season. Three of its six members were ranked in the USA Today preseason top 25 and another made it onto the same prestigious list at the end of league play.

The Southern Section playoff committee was impressed as well, selecting Santa Margarita and Servite as the two at-large representatives for the Pac-5 Division playoffs, giving the Trinity League five playoff teams for the first time in section history.

It seemed an easy conclusion that the league would be well represented deep into the playoffs as well, maybe even landing four teams in the semifinals.

But the semifinals arrived last week and only one team from the Trinity League was still alive: league champion St. John Bosco. The remaining four teams had been eliminated in the first two rounds.

Santa Margarita and Servite, the two at-large selections, were knocked out in the first round. The Eagles were downed by Mission League champion Crespi of Encino, 45-13, while Servite was edged by Moore League champion Long Beach Poly, 34-33.

When we were rolling in the 90s, we had depth. These days, the kids spread themselves out. It’s not a one-horse show.

—Bruce Rollinson, Mater Dei Football Coach

Then came the second round and two more surprises. Mater Dei couldn’t get past Corona Centennial, a team the Monarchs had defeated by 20 points in the season opener back on August 30. And down the freeway at Saddleback College, JSerra was getting edged by Bishop Amat, the same team Santa Margarita had defeated in its season opener.

Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson agrees that the rough-and-tumble trek through Trinity League competition likely played a factor in the underperformance of four of the league’s five playoff entrants.

“There’s no doubt,” he says. “It’s a great league to play in, it’s physical and it’s great for spectators, but I said this even when we were in the Angelus League. You just hope you don’t get any more banged up than normal.”

Rollinson says the change in weather and the arrival of the flu and cold season also may have been a factor in the poor showing by Trinity League teams; at least it was for Mater Dei. One of Rollinson’s key players had “borderline bronchitis” but still played through the illness against Corona Centennial.

Rollinson also points to a pair of close losses early in league play against St. John Bosco and JSerra, which dropped the Monarchs into third place in the league standings and forced them to open the playoffs on the road at Westlake, a team Mater Dei edged by one point during the nonleague portion of the schedule. The Monarchs beat Westlake by 21 points the second time around, but then had to get past Corona Centennial, which has grown familiar with Mater Dei after facing them numerous times over the years.

Beating the Huskies twice in one year is not a simple task.

“There’s nobody to blame but us,” Rollinson says. “If we don’t want to be in that situation, than we have to play better [in league play].”

Another factor, Rollinson says, is a lack of depth within his program. The emergence of other Orange County private schools in the last 20 years, such as Orange Lutheran, Santa Margarita and JSerra, has left the talent pool shallower than ever.

“When we were rolling in the 90s, we had depth,” he says. “These days, the kids spread themselves out. It’s not a one-horse show.”


The Southern Section football playoffs are set to begin this weekend and, once again, the Trinity League figures to be well represented in the Pac-5 Division.

And deservedly so.

The six-team league consisting of Mater Dei, Servite, Santa Margarita, JSerra, Orange Lutheran and St. John Bosco has been nearly unstoppable against teams from outside the Trinity League this season, posting a combined record of 25-5 during nonleague play.

Three of those losses came against Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas, which entered last week ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today, and another came against De La Salle of Concord, Calif., ranked No. 3 by the same publication.

Neither of those teams competes in the Southern Section, however.

The only team from the section to defeat a Trinity League team in nonleague play this fall was Inland Empire power Corona Centennial, which edged Orange Lutheran by three points back in September, a week after the Huskies lost by 20 to Mater Dei in the season opener. Orange Lutheran went into the final week of Trinity League play as the only team with an 0-4 record.

Centennial figures to run into another Trinity League team in the playoffs, as the Huskies are members of the Big VIII, a six-team league that features most of the top football programs in the Inland Empire. The Big VIII is one of five leagues that will comprise the Pac-5 playoff bracket, joining the Trinity, Moore, Marmonte and Mission leagues.

Getting past the first round would be a major accomplishment for any team outside the Trinity League. Reaching the semifinals would seem nearly impossible.

Not only have the Trinity League teams proven to be formidable in the postseason, winning three of the last four Pac-5 titles, but the group also should benefit from strength in numbers.

Once the top three teams from the Trinity, Big VIII, Moore and Mission leagues, and the top two from the four-member Mission League, receive their automatic berths, two additional at-large teams will be needed to fill out the 16-team bracket. Those two teams figure to come from the Trinity League, putting five of the Trinity’s six teams in the bracket.

St. John Bosco enters the playoffs as the favorite to win a second straight Pac-5 title. The Braves, who went 15-0 last season en route to capturing the Pac-5 title and Division I State Bowl Championship, locked up first place in the Trinity League with a 49-26 win against Servite on Halloween night. St. John Bosco’s only loss this season came by three points against Bishop Gorman on Sept. 26.

Mater Dei came within a field goal of beating St. John Bosco in their Trinity League opener on Oct. 10 and suffered a 17-10 loss to JSerra later that month. The Monarchs ran the table during nonleague play, however, posting the impressive wins against Corona Centennial, followed by victories against Villa Park, Upland, Edison and Westlake.

JSerra has been the biggest surprise among the Trinity League teams. The Lions also went 5-0 in nonleague play with impressive wins against St. Bonaventure and Chino Hills, and their seven-point wins against Mater Dei and Santa Margarita were sandwiched around a five-point loss to St. John Bosco.

Santa Margarita and Servite, each of whom won a Pac-5 title in the last four years, can’t be overlooked either.