Teammates play 24/7

Chronicle Staff

A convenience store called Short Stop 24 on Woodman Avenue experienced a business boom throughout football season. Almost daily, the seniors on the team, along with other teammates, would sit at the shop and eat and talk for an hour or so after practice.  

“Football kids usually hang out a lot,” Tim Allan ’08 said. “The hours we put in throughout spring, summer and Hell Week really add a lot to our bonds. For seniors especially, we’ve been with the same guys for four years.”

The boys’ basketball team also hangs out together.

“We always eat together before games,” Jaime Dybuncio ’08 said.

The team usually goes with three drivers, typically Dybuncio, Marco Sisto ’08 and Jakarri Hamlin ’08.  
They often go to the food court at Westfield Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks, where Dybuncio and Sisto favor the Crepe X-press restaurant. 

The team does not have a specific spot to hang out in, nor do they stick to teammates during free periods while at school.

But Sisto said the older players on a team make a big effort to make the younger basketball players feel welcome on the team.  

“We make a big deal whenever we see them on campus,” Sisto said.    
The recurring theme is that a team’s time practicing and playing together generally strengthens the bonds between teammates away from the confines of the gym, pool or field. 

The boys’ soccer team is also close knit, according to Andy Firestone ’08.

“It takes a lot of team unity on the field,” and that carries off the field, Firestone said.

Soccer players go to Big Mama’s and Papa’s pizzeria after practices, and occasionally to IHOP for team brunches, Firestone said. 

“Once the season starts, everyone becomes a lot closer,” Firestone added. 

The boys’ water polo team is also extremely close in and out of the pool, Wesley Yip ’08 said.  

“It [team bonding] starts off in the pool over the summer, because we spend four and a half hours together a day,” Yip said. “Also, the difficulty of the practices brought us together.”  

The team would go after summer practices to local eateries such as Du-par’s, Carney’s and Il Tramezzino. 

Other days the team would go to the beach and spend the rest of the day together. 

No other team has a distinct on-campus “spot” like boys’ water polo. 

During free periods, the water polo boys can often be seen hanging out in the office of chaplain Father J. Young, or as he is affectionately known, FJ. 

“FJ is almost like another coach, or another member [of the water polo team],” Yip said. “He comes to all the games and travels with the team.”

Young’s predecessor as chaplain, Bishop Oliver Garver, had a close relationship with then-water polo coach Rich Corso. 

When the water polo team sought trainers for its annual trip to San Jose in the fall of 1996, Young’s first year, there were none to be spared.  “So someone said, ‘Why not take the priest?’” Young said.
From there, Young and Corso’s relationship blossomed to the point where Corso became “one of my closest friends on the faculty,” Young said.

When Corso left to coach the UC Berkeley girls’ water polo team, Young became close with his replacement, Larry Felix.   

As a result of Young’s support of the water polo team, members of the team have become fixtures in his office over the last decade.

“He’s like our life coach,” Yip explained.