By David A. Alpert
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.Â Â âFootball kids usually hang out a lot,â Tim Allan â08 said. âThe hours we put in throughout spring, summer and Hell Week really add a lot to our bonds. For seniors especially, weâve been with the same guys for four years.âThe boysâ basketball team also hangs out together. âWe always eat together before games,â Jaime Dybuncio â08 said.The team usually goes with three drivers, typically Dybuncio, Marco Sisto â08 and Jakarri Hamlin â08. Â 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.Â 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.Â Â âWe make a big deal whenever we see them on campus,â Sisto said.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â The recurring theme is that a teamâs time practicing and playing together generally strengthens the bonds between teammates away from the confines of the gym, pool or field.Â The boysâ soccer team is also close knit, according to Andy Firestone â08. âIt takes a lot of team unity on the field,â and that carries off the field, Firestone said. Soccer players go to Big Mamaâs and Papaâs pizzeria after practices, and occasionally to IHOP for team brunches, Firestone said.Â âOnce the season starts, everyone becomes a lot closer,â Firestone added.Â The boysâ water polo team is also extremely close in and out of the pool, Wesley Yip â08 said.Â Â âIt [team bonding] starts off in the pool over the summer, because we spend four and a half hours together a day,â Yip said. âAlso, the difficulty of the practices brought us together.âÂ Â The team would go after summer practices to local eateries such as Du-parâs, Carneyâs and Il Tramezzino.Â Other days the team would go to the beach and spend the rest of the day together.Â No other team has a distinct on-campus âspotâ like boysâ water polo.Â 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.Â âFJ is almost like another coach, or another member [of the water polo team],â Yip said. âHe comes to all the games and travels with the team.âYoungâs predecessor as chaplain, Bishop Oliver Garver, had a close relationship with then-water polo coach Rich Corso.Â When the water polo team sought trainers for its annual trip to San Jose in the fall of 1996, Youngâs first year, there were none to be spared.Â âSo someone said, âWhy not take the priest?ââ Young said.From there, Young and Corsoâs relationship blossomed to the point where Corso became âone of my closest friends on the faculty,â Young said.When Corso left to coach the UC Berkeley girlsâ water polo team, Young became close with his replacement, Larry Felix.Â Â Â As a result of Youngâs support of the water polo team, members of the team have become fixtures in his office over the last decade. âHeâs like our life coach,â Yip explained.