The Crusader May 2024

Page 1

Historic Class of 2024 enters school lore

First class to experience four years of coed set to graduate

On May 18, Riordan’s Class of 2024 will bid farewell on Mayer Family Field, marking a historic moment as the first class to experience the school as a coed institution for all four years.

This graduating class brings with it many milestones, several of which are attributed to the achievements of female students.

Naomi Lin ’24, the first female editor-in-chief of The Crusader, stated, “I believe my role has set a precedent, signifying the full integration of girls into the student body.”

She added, “I’m hoping that younger female students don’t shy away from leadership opportunities, even if it feels daunting. Your voice, potential, and talent will unveil themselves in a leadership position and ultimately prove invaluable to the school community; you just have to take the first step.”

As Riordan seniors await their moment to cross the stage, they look back on their years at the school, filled with both bittersweet

memories and invaluable lessons learned.

Alyssa Ng ’24 stated, “I would say some of my most cherished memories I made at Riordan was when I was in theater and performed The Sound of Music and Fiddler on the Roof. Both of

the productions made me fall in love with performing.”

She added, “Some of my other favorites were the family spirit day and the first day of the Crusader Games in 2024. These were some of the most fun moments I had at Riordan because of how much I

laughed with my friends.”

Salutatorian Will Parker will deliver his address at the Baccalaureate Mass, which takes place on May 17, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The commencement ceremony, running from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, will be highlighted by speeches from valedictorian Breanna Dizon ’24, Vice President of Academics Nate Simon ’99, and President Tim Reardon.

Reflecting on being named Valedictorian, Dizon stated, “It is an incredible honor and it means a lot to me because it serves as recognition of four years of hard work and dedication. Representing my class at graduation is a privilege that I’m both excited and nervous to share with everyone.”

Parker said, “It’s a real honor to be recognized as salutatorian. It’s fair to say I was an active leader during my time at Riordan, so being given an official title for recognition is very meaningful to me.”

Please see “Graduation” on page 7

Riordan elects first solo female president

As the school year wraps up, Riordan’s student body elected Caroline O’Connell ’25 as its next president, the first time in Riordan’s 75-year history that a solo female student was elected.

The Russi junior is excited for her new position, stating, “I am most excited to work with parliament and the other students.”

Like many previous presidents, O’Connell is tasked with making sure the voices of Riordan students are heard as well as fostering school spirit. One suggestion she made for this was outside of school events, such as something along the line of casino night.

O’Connell said, “I think my biggest thing was student representation. I plan to do

2024-2025 President Caroline O’Connell

“My biggest thing was student representation. I plan to do a lot of connecting with students through surveys and then outside school events for fun, and also to raise money for the school cultural nights.”

-Caroline O’Connell Riordan’s 2024-2025 student body president

a lot of connecting with students through surveys and then outside school events for fun, and also to raise money for the school cultural nights.”

Another part of being president is working with the students in parliament.

Both Jill Paculba ’27 and Carmen Giuffre ’27, two freshmen in parliament, agree that O’Connell will be a great leader.

Paculba said O’Connell is “an amazing president and she’s a great leader, very organized and can take control of whatever situation can come to her.”

As of now, this new leadership has not taken over, but students can expect a good future for Riordan on the horizon.

FREE May 2024 SERVING ARCHBISHOP RIORDAN HIGH SCHOOL SINCE 1949 THE NEWSPAPER OF CRUSADER COUNTRY VOLUME 74 ISSUE 5 ARCHBISHOP RIORDAN HIGH SCHOOL Campus News, Pages 4 - 7 Features, Pages 12 - 13 Sports, Pages 21 - 23 Arts & Entertainment, Page 14
Photo by Julia Yamsuan ’25 Photo by Sean Reyes '25 By Normay Arriola ’24 ’26 Breanna Dizon ’24 and Will Parker ’24 are the valedictorian and salutatorian.

Coed Crusaders . . . four years later

Stepping foot onto Riordan almost four years ago, I did not know what to expect. The transition from a single gender to a coed school was in its early days, and there was no precedent for such a change.

Despite the lack of precedent, Riordan has made massive strides towards gender equity since becoming coed–from the founding of a new women’s club to advocate for the female students of this school to the budding success of women’s sports.

Many leadership roles in extracurricular activities have been filled by girls—from the leadership of The Crusader to Student Parliament and CORE Team.

From these leaders to the passionate female teachers at Riordan, there are role models within our community for female students to look up to. All of these are powerful steps towards supporting the female students of

our community. Yet, there is still more that can be done to champion the cause of female students at Riordan.

It was bizarre at first; the gender ratio in many of my classes—particular STEM classes—was noticeably skewed. I sometimes felt intimidated being one of a few female students in certain classes and academic programs. Across the academic and athletic domains, we needed to do more to foster a stronger sense of sisterhood in our school community.

Within the framework of the engineering program, having a mentorship program for girls interested in pursuing STEM careers would help them as they plan out their future, whether in building confidence in their ability to thrive in a traditionally male dominated field or through the knowledge passed down from successful women who have come before them.

Mission Statement for the Archbishop Riordan High School Newspaper

The mission of The Crusader is to inform, educate and entertain the readers—students, teachers, parents, members of the community—about issues that affect the students as well as citizens of San Francisco and the nation. We hope to instill a sense of understanding, responsibility, and curiosity in our readers that results in an eagerness to learn more about their peers and the world around them.

175 Frida Kahlo Way

San Francisco, CA 94112


Naomi Lin ’24

Managing Editor

Talia Bumanglag ’24

Opinion Editor

Sophie Bucker ’24

Campus News Editors

Normay Arriola ’24

Mario Perez de Leon ’24

Local & State News Editor

Jake Beeman ’24

National & World News Editor

Angela Jia ’25

Boys Sports Editor

Aiden Pavon ’25

Girls Sports Editor

Hoorain Farooq ’25

Sports Features Editor

Ishaan Gupta ’26

Arts & Entertainment Editor

Katelyn Leong ’25

Environment Editor

Caitlin Dowd ’25

Religion Editor

Daniella Lainez ’26

Health Editor

Sarah Cai ’24

Science Editor

Griffin Doeff ’25

Technology Editor

Nicolo Ricci ’24

Features Editor

Aliana Urdaneta-Rodas ’25

Food Review Editor

Julien Untalan ’24

Photo Editors

Nick Nye ’25

Sean Reyes ’25

Julia Yamsuan ’25

Copy Editors

Rhys Appleby ’24

Melissa Chiao ’25

Hazel Nagata-Rampata ’26

Graphic Artists

Vee Chen ’25 and Kai Murguz ’25

In the athletic sector, we should continue to strongly promote girls sports—whether through highlighting their successes in the broader community or supporting girls in establishing new sports teams, like flag football.

Likewise, there should be free access to period products in the girls’ restrooms, which would ease the burden on many female students to balance their health with academics.

We should also continue to highlight female success within the classroom—whether through educating students about women’s history or working more diverse female authors into the curriculum.

From more proactively highlighting the achievements of female scholars and athletes to supporting girls seeking to found programs within the school community, Riordan can continue its mission to educate and find strength—in brotherhood and


As our school graduates its first fully coed class, celebrating countless victories along the way, it has become apparent that the death of our old ways has blossomed into an ever stronger, ever wealthier diversity of experiences within our students and the art they’ve created.

Reporters and Photographers

Isabelle Abad ’26

Alyssa Abaunza ’26

Joshua Aguilar ’24

Julian Amann ’26

Nate Antetomoso ’24

Daniel Barrett ’24

Paolo Caracciolo ’24

Anthony Chan ’24

Xochitl Churchill ’24

Charles Chu ’24

Angelo Coletti ’24

Terri Delaney-Parish ’24

Natalie Dueber ’26

E’moni Ferdinand ’26

Hailey Ferrer ’26

Talisha Flores ’24

Sandra Gamez ’24

Finnbarr Harrington ’24

Addison Hwang ’24

Loghan Hwang ’27

Vincy Huang ’27

Chloe Hui ’25

Saige Rose Key ’24

Polina Kozlenko ’24

Exchange Editor

Taylor Tran ’25

Reporters and Photographers

Nora Lee ’27

Chloe Leotta ’24

Tory Lu ’24

Iva Maldonado ’26

Arman Oropeza Mander ’25

Matteo Matteucci ’24

Zion McGuire ’26

Sara Noguera ’27

Liam O’Connor ’25

Colton Parenti ’25

Ben Parker ’26

Aliyah Pasion ’25

James Peakes ’24

Angelia Richardson ’24

Andres Roca ’25

Savannah Sapalo ’24

Julian Serrano ’24

Brendan Shanahan ’24

Crystal Wei ’26

Miles Witte ’27

Bo Wyatt ’24

Natalie Yang ’24


Susan Sutton, MJE

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editors will be accepted with the same deadlines as ads. These letters may come from students, staff, parents, board members, or other members of the community. The Crusader reserves the right to edit the letter for grammatical and spelling errors, as well as length, but not content unless it includes foul language, plagiarized material, or libelous content. If the claims or assertions are incorrect, The Crusader reserves the right to refuse publication of the letter.

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School 2 Opinion

Students ring in on new schedule

Pro Con

Archbishop Riordan High School announced that a new bell schedule will be instituted next year which faced controversy among the Riordan community. Changes to the schedule include having “Purple and Gold Days” throughout the week, adding a new block, and changing the time school starts and ends depending on whether a day is purple or gold.

On Purple days, school starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 1:55 PM. On gold days, school starts at 9:15 am and ends at 3:10 pm. Purple days occur on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while Gold days occur on Tuesday and Thursday. All purple and gold days have a fifth block, including academic resources, intramural sports, and other activities.

In addition, passing periods have been reduced to five minutes and the morning drop-off line will be removed.

The new changes to the schedule will allow for many benefits. To start, classes will end earlier on some days while they will start later on some days. Classes ending at 2 p.m. on Purple

days, will allow students to go home earlier and relax while giving them time for other activities such as homework and extracurriculars.

Also, practices will start at 3:15 so that the extra hour gives time for students to do their homework and study. After practice, athletes tend to be unmotivated after practice, so going to an extra place to do that homework will help them catch up with their schoolwork.

While classes will end up starting 30 minutes earlier, school ends one hour earlier. The early start shouldn’t impact sleep schedules heavily– if students need the time to get ready or go to sleep, they can wake up a few minutes earlier.

School starting at 9:15 a.m. on Gold days will allow students to catch up on sleep earlier. To compare with the schedule right now, classes will only end up ending 20 minutes later while school ends up starting 45 minutes later.

If students decide to come to school at the same time they do now, the extra morning period will allow them to finish any homework they have due on that particular day or study for a test they have later that day.

Since sophomores and freshmen will use one schedule and juniors and seniors will use another, it’ll eliminate the dropoff line in the morning. The extra space created by making A and B days will also allow students to get the classes they want.

Overall, the new schedule will provide benefits that will be beneficial to a student’s academic, social, and athletic life.

In the 2024-2025 year at Riordan, our schedule will be changing, and while change can be good, there are a few cons that come with the new schedule.

This year we started school at 8:35 a.m. every day and ended school at 2:55 p.m. excluding every other Wednesday or Friday. Next year the schedule will change every day, as school will start at a different time depending on if it is a Purple Day or a Gold Day.

On Purple Days, which are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, upperclassmen will have to get to school at 8 o’clock, which is 35 minutes earlier than this year.

Upperclassmen will be released from school at 1:55 p.m., which is an hour earlier than this year. Underclassmen will start school at 9:15 a.m., which is 40 minutes later than this year, and get out at 3:10 a.m., which is 15 minutes later than this year.

While a good amount of

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for reading this issue—my last issue with The Crusader. It has been an immense honor to have been a part of the staff these past three years, and I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for this opportunity to not only strengthen my writing skills, but to build relationships with peers and faculty members whom I would’ve probably never interacted with otherwise. It sounds cliché, but it genuinely seems like just yesterday that I agreed to join the newspaper with Normay Arriola ’24. As a newly transferred student from SOTA High School, the transition was daunting, but joining the newspaper truly eased it; with that being said, I believe I owe some people some

thank you’s.

To my Editorial Board, I know this year has been a rough year of stress and tight deadlines with Talia and me constantly looking over your shoulders, but I am proud of you all for being able to pull through for five issues and producing the award-winning February issue. I am so glad I got to know a lot of you better through the Journalism Convention and production days.

To my Photo Editors, you guys are under-recognized, so here is my thank you. You have pulled through on innumerable occasions and are some of the most diligent people I have ever come across. The newspaper and newsroom would be dull without your work and amusing personalities.

To my Managing Editor, Talia Bumanglag ’24, I am so glad we were able to work closer alongside

upperclassmen have their license, not all of them do, making it hard. This will cause trouble for all students as upperclassmen will have to rush to get to school at 8 and underclassmen will have a lot of time to kill with school starting at 9:15.

On Gold Days, which are Tuesdays and Thursdays, the schedule will flip as the underclassmen start at 8 and upperclassmen will start at 9:15. This is going to be very hard as the underclassmen aren’t old enough to drive, so they have to rely on parents to drive them.

Many parents will find it difficult to plan out their week with alternating start times. With the school day starting at different times for upperclassmen and lowerclassmen, this will lead to drop off and pick up confusion, especially if siblings have different start and end times–not to mention how this will affect clubs and athletic teams.

In addition, the complicated schedule itself will lead to confusion, and we can probably expect students to be late to class because they do not know where they are supposed to be.

Riordan is changing a lot, and while some changes are welcomed, this new schedule is going to be difficult to adapt to.

Throughout my first three years here, the schedule has changed every year, but next year I feel it will be the biggest change yet. It will take a lot of time to get used to for students, teachers, and parents.

each other. You’ve heard my concerns and frustrations with a listening ear, and immediately stepped up to take on work you weren’t obligated to do; you are bold, a natural leader, a talented writer, and certainly worthy of admiration.

Lastly, to my Adviser, Ms. Sutton, thank you for the snacks— just kidding, even though those are good, too. Your mentorship, support, wittiness, friendliness, and astounding patience and work ethic are cherished beyond words can describe; you are the best adviser The Crusader could ever ask for, and I am so privileged to have been able to work under your guidance and alongside you.

While I am more sad than I’d like to admit to be leaving the newspaper, I am also confident that the capable and humorous duo of incoming Editor-in-Chief,

Farewells are sad, so consider this a letter of appreciation.


The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 3 Opinion
Angela Jia ’25, and Managing Editor, Aiden Pavon ’25 will continue the shining legacy of The Crusader. I wish nothing but the best for them, Ms. Sutton, and the future editorial board. Naomi Lin ’24 2023-2024 Editor-in-Chief

4 Campus News

Serrano embarks on literary journey

Pacing around his house, Julian Serrano ’24 explores the facets of an idea he obtained from the aether, following his mind’s natural progression of the story and contemplating if he wants to develop this idea into a book. Once the ideas cohere, he develops them into a chapter-structure, and the writing process commences.

The process Julian Serrano utilizes proved successful, as it nurtured these ideas to blossom into his latest novel, The Annals of Scottsville.

Published on Oct. 23, 2023, this novel is about a girl who lives in the Oregon Trail times and is unexpectedly thrust into modernday society. The novel may be fictional, but it is reflective of his experience moving from Redding to San Francisco, and the attributes of his characters are based on his friends and how he’s felt throughout his life.

In elementary school, Julian Serrano was a deeply imaginative student whose mind stored a myriad of ideas for writing. However, it wasn’t until the pandemic when he was given the opportunity to truly channel these ideas into solid pieces of writing after he was assigned to write a short story that he enjoyed so much, it came out to be 3,000 words. That experience flipped a switch in Julian Serrano, and his father, Joseph Serrano, declared writing as his son’s calling.

Julian noticed that his pursuit

of writing made his father, who is also conveniently a book dealer, “rather happy, and he was fully supportive of my desires for literature. He’s given me all sorts of different books to read, given me all sorts of advice (he once desired to be an author, himself), and guided me all along my journey.”

Joseph concurred, “Seeing Julian’s passion for writing, reading and his pursuits in academia have inspired me to seek out my passions that lay

dormant, but still exist.”

Julian’s skill and dedication to his craft has not only impressed his father, but his AP English Literature and Composition teacher, Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88.

“It is impressive to witness a young person with that kind of serious approach to writing. One of the results of his work ethic and approach is that he has developed a unique voice and style already in his young writing career,” said


He added, “He also writes with passion, and as a result, his writing has energy and zip on it. It is not formulaic or cliché.”

Julian Serrano has no plans to stop; he is currently working on his upcoming novel, The Battle of Jiujinshan and plans to complete it by the time he turns 18 in October 2024.

Reflecting on his son’s ambition, Joseph Serrano said, “I am in awe of him every day.”

Cana conquers competition to win Crusader Games

Final House standings for Chaminade Cup: Cana, Russi, Pilar, Bolts

The Crusader Games, following Riordan tradition, recently finalized the House Systems rankings and declared a winner. Introduced in 2017, predating the coeducational transformation, Riordan’s House System is an integral aspect of high school life.

Starting their freshman year, students are sorted into four separate houses, Cana, Bolts, Pilar, and Russi, giving a chance to foster community, promote sportsmanship, and add a fun distraction to academics.

Over the course of the year, various competitions between the Houses commence. This begins with House games, Frosh Olympics, multiple drives, spirit days, and finally the Crusader Games. Combined with R-Time and the competitiveness between Houses, these annual activities provide an inclusive environment for students.

Within the past school year, unpredictable point outcomes,

loud cheering, and accessible engagement was enjoyed by nearly every student. Supporting impactful causes and creating educational slideshows, the rallies are always something to

look forward to by the students, staff, and teachers.

The Crusader Games, which complete the House Systems rankings, occur at the end of each year. Through a week of

video games, tug of war, musical chairs, and quidditch, the points are calculated and ratings distributed. The House that achieved victory in the Crusader Games and secured the cup was Cana. Led by rookie provincial Colleen O’Rourke, Cana solidified their legacy.

Tobey Weydemuller ’24, who represented Cana in quidditch, reflected on the game, stating, “I really enjoyed the competitiveness of the game and quidditch was a unique way to work with my fellow players.”

Overall, the House System, along with R-Time, encourages students to cooperate, compete, and engage with their House members. Dayto-day school can be mundane and difficult to get through; however, through the Spirit Days, altered schedules, and games, an enjoyable distraction is provided. Cana also won the Chaminade Cup, followed by Russi, Pilar, Bolts.

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School
Photo by Tory Lu ’24 Author Julian Serrano ’24 proudly displays his first novel, The Annals of Scottsville, available on Amazon. Photo by Christopher Fern Members of the House of Cana, along with Provincial Colleen O’Rourke, celebrate with the trophy after winning another Crusader Games this month.

New bell schedule set for next year

A new schedule was released for the 2024-2025 year to fit the growing number of students. Major changes to the schedule include an extra block, alternating start and end times each day, and shorter passing periods.

Each day will either be a Purple Day or a Gold Day. Purple Days take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday where juniors and seniors are in class by 8:00 a.m., but are dismissed at 1:55 p.m. Freshman and sophomores arrive on school campus by 9:10 a.m., and end at 3:10 p.m.

Gold Days take place on Tuesday and Thursday, where the inverse is true.

Vanessa Gonzaga ’27 said, “I may be late on the days it starts at 8.”

Riley Guajardo ’26 said, “It might be hard to adjust back and forth with late and early schedules.”

A major modification is the addition of another block. To resolve issues such as crowded hallways and students unable to get courses they requested, a fifth block was introduced.

Nate Simon ’99, Vice Principal of Academics, said, “When you can spread your classes out among five periods instead of four, you essentially create a new building that can house a quarter of the school.”

“Now blocks 1-4 have seven empty classrooms each, so we essentially built seven new classrooms that we didn’t have this year in that scenario.”

It creates more space, which allows for the construction of a new counseling center to be built in classrooms 119 and 120.

Simon added, “All classes that have students from multiple grade levels will take place in blocks 2, 3 and 4 in Semester 1 or blocks 7, 8 and 9 in Semester 2. Classes that have only upper class students will occur in blocks 1 and 6 and those with only lower class students will occur in blocks 5 and 10.”

The passing periods have shortened from 10 minutes to five.

Simon stated, “The reason we had 10 minute passing periods was so that students had time to go to the

bathroom and teachers had time to get between classrooms. In next year’s schedule, you’ll notice that there is a break like Breakfast, R-time or lunch between many of the periods so there will be plenty of time to go to the bathroom, and teachers should be moving less in this schedule because they won’t have to move between so many classes, so there isn’t as much of a need for the longer passing period.”

“Also, there are several periods in the day where only half the students will be moving through halls at once, so there will be fewer students trying to use the bathroom at those times as well.”

Guajardo said, “I do not think

this is enough time because of how long the line builds up for the bathroom, even with a 10 minute passing period this is an issue.”

Javen Lau ’27 said, “Pros: handles more students during the day, lets students learn with no activities in the way, get to school later, get out of school earlier. Cons: no more half day, wake up earlier, get out later.”

Simon said, “Like anything that is new, it will take some getting used to so I think it will be a con for a little while. I also don’t love that it is more complicated than our current schedule. The 1/5 flip will be difficult to get used for sure. I like when things are simple and this isn’t as simple.”

Counseling Wing 2.0: Offices to move to first floor

Within the past four years of Riordan being coed, it has undergone numerous changes to adapt to both the welcoming of girls and the ever-growing population. However, Riordan plans on expanding new territory inside its main building, the counseling wing.

“The reason for the expansion is two-fold. We wanted to give the counselors a more modern space while also allowing for growth in our dorms,” stated Danny Curtin ’08, Director of Admissions and Vice President of Enrollment & Strategy.

He added, “We have hired additional counselors, so we can put them all together now. We also have had an unprecedented increase in boarding applications, so we wanted to accommodate additional students and plan to grow the program by about 15 students.”

This new expansion allows for more space for boarding students, as well as relocating all counselors downstairs in the 119 and 120


As more room is made for incoming students, many wonder how this will impact the current student population.

Due to the overwhelming number of admitted students, Riordan’s campus has become more compact. Many students and faculty members have voiced issues with space in the hallways, overcrowded classes, and long lines in the bathrooms.

Maddalena Ditto ’26 said, “Over time, I don’t think this expansion will be enough for the growing enrollment rate. Our hallways aren’t big enough and neither are our classrooms.”

Though spacing is a pressing issue, the expansion of the counseling wing also aids in another concern: student mental health. By allowing a larger, open space for counseling, students will have better access to the help they need. Rather than retreating to a small corner of the building, students can access a counselor mere feet away from their classes.

Teenage mental health is a growing concern within the modern world, so learning to adapt and grow to help students in the long run is important. This new wing will also be beneficial to those who may be going through personal battles, or even students who simply need a break from the whirlwind of high school.

The layout for this new wing is

similar to the current setup of the counseling wing, but with a larger waiting room and spacious rooms for the counselors to work in. With the many changes, there is much to be hopeful about. The renovations and expansions are setting the groundwork for a successful new path for the school to embark upon, and a hopeful future for incoming Crusaders.

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 5 Campus News
Photo by Tory Lu ’24 Photo by Nick Nye ’25 Rooms 119 and 120 will be the new home of the Counseling Wing in the fall. Javen Lau ’27, Vanessa Gonzaga ’27, and Riley Guajardo ’26 view the new bell schedule on the Riordan website.


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History wall reflects school’s 75 years

New to the hallways of Archbishop Riordan High School next year will be the History Wall. The exhibit will include Riordan history 75 years from when the school first opened in 1949, to the present day.

The wall will encompass different moments from academics, athletics, campus ministry, and student life from different eras of Riordan High School. It will also include a tribute to Riordan’s rich Marianist history. This will include photos and relics from different priests and brothers who have served Riordan for many years.

“Riordan has been an integral part of San Francisco for 75 years. As the school looks forward to a bright future, looking back at our history and legacy is important for our alumni as well as it helps us better understand the amount of progress the school has made,” said Vice President of Advancements Simon Chiu. Riordan’s Advancement Department is working with a committee of faculty, alumni, and

The History Wall, celebrating Riordan’s 75-year history, will include events spanning the more than seven decades of educating students in San Francisco. Set to debut in October 2024, the timeline will be placed in the hallway leading to the library and was created by a committee of teachers and alumni under the leadership of the Advancement Department.

“Riordan has been an integral part of San Francisco for 75 years. As the school looks forward to a bright future, looking back at our history and legacy is important for our alumni as well as it helps us better understand the amount of progress the school has made.”

-Vice President of Advancement Simon Chiu

parents to put together ideas for the History Wall. At the moment, the committee is gathering text and picture content for the display.

They are planning to be finished with the History Wall by early October 2024.

“I hope that future Crusaders will enjoy understanding the school’s history as a way to measure our progress in the present. Riordan’s history is also an integral part of San Francisco’s history,” Chiu added.

Students so far are all in favor of the new exhibit as they are excited to cherish and learn more about Riordan history.

“Riordan adding a history exhibit would be a great idea. Riordan’s history is extremely interesting and it is important for students to know the history of their school,” said Samuel Phillips ’24.

As graduation approaches and a class of new alumni forms, Crusaders from all ages of Riordan history can look at this wall and give a simple smile as they reminisce about their special time at Archbishop Riordan High School.

The Grail renews interest in creative writing

This spring, Archbishop Riordan High School released its second post-Covid edition of The Grail, the school’s literary magazine.

This came after a successful relaunch of the paper during the 2022-23 school year. Aiden Jantz ’24, one of the three editors of The Grail, said, “Last year was our first time. This time we had cover art, color, and it was more organized.”

Many of these changes took place over the entire 2023-2024 school-year.

Jake Beeman ’24, one of the contributors, said, “You can tell that this year’s looks more appealing… it draws you in more.”

Such a sentiment was shared by many who read it, and is a true testament to the well-sown effort put towards making such a magazine.

“Graduation,” continued from page 1

He added, “All the little moments from high school are what impacted me and made the real memories. . . Stretching with the team in the San Francisco faux summer weather in September out on the track after going for a run.”

A unique aspect of Riordan’s graduation ceremony is that it is

The Grail editors Annabelle Hazard ’27, Sophie Bucker ’24, Aiden Jantz ’24, and adviser Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88 celebrate at The Grail’s launch party.

Thirty-five students contributed to this publishing via the mediums of poetry, art, short-stories, nonfiction, and photography.

held outside on the field, marking this as the fourth consecutive year since the switch from Lindland Theater to the field.

Since the transition, Brian Kelly, Vice Principal of Student Affairs, said, “Since it’s outside, we’re a little looser. I’m okay with being a little looser, but we just get ahead of everybody and just make sure emails and announcements and expectations are addressed.”

Beeman added, “I feel that the whole process was very seamless. It involved merely scanning a QRcode and sending in creative work,

He added, “It’s an interesting and fun day. If you can’t come, because you have to be ticketed in, we do stream it.”

The Riordan faculty and staff eagerly anticipate the upcoming ceremony and are filled with immense pride for the achievements of the Class of 2024.

Reflecting on the graduates’ achievements, Reardon stated, “It’s always bittersweet. I love

or emailing one of the editors your submission.”

Those involved in the San Francisco Stories class also had the chance of having one of their assignments being added to the magazine.

This year also included a theme to The Grail – something which wasn’t included last year – and it was that of “Renewal.” Many of the submissions reflect this idea of “Renewal,” and the magazine’s release being in spring – the very season of renewal – is fittingly poetic.

The future of the magazine seems bright, and although many of the editors and contributors are graduating, adviser Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88 and Annabel Hazard ’27 are returning, and will continue to put a considerable amount of work into making next year’s issue a success.

this class, and I’ll miss all the and I’ll miss all the personalities, but I’m really proud of their accomplishments, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in the next chapter.”

Reardon concluded, “Anyone who walks the hallways and observes the Class of ’24 interacting will be assured that the co-ed experiment was a success.”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 7 Campus News
Image by Partners in Recognition, Inc. Photo by Nick Nye ’25
8 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024

Time’s up: Congress bans TikTok

Over 150 million people are registered users on the social media app, TikTok, in the United States, boasting itself as one of the fastest growing platforms in the last four years. Now, that number may be reduced to zero, all due to the United States government.

On May 23, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that delivered $95 billion in foreign aid to its allies. Among those provisions was a measure that could ban TikTok by the year’s end.

The provision had already passed through the House of Representatives with bipartisan numbers, by a 352-65 vote and an equally immense vote of 79-18 in the Senate. The bill was later signed into law by President Joe Biden on May 24.

However, the provision is not a complete ban just yet. Rather, it demands TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, to sell their app to an American company within 180 days.

The bill would also further bar the company’s ability from controlling TikTok’s key to popularity: its algorithm system.

One of the main concerns of the

U.S. Government is ByteDance’s identity as a Chinese corporation; lawmakers and security officials have raised concerns on TikTok collecting its users’ sensitive data to be used by the Chinese Communist Party.

ByteDance has already expressed its dismay over the ban and the CEO of TikTok, Shou Zi Chew, has claimed that the company will take action against the ban in courts.

Questions have also been raised on the ban or selling of TikTok and the effect it might have on the social media landscape, with likely bidders of the app being Microsoft, Oracle, and other smaller private groups.

As TikTok user Alex Ristaino ’24 stated, “Banning TikTok is a big decision that will affect creators and businesses alike,” yet

also adding, “If TikTok is banned, however, there is still many social media apps such as Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts.”

Opponents of the bill say the Chinese government could easily get information on Americans in other ways, and could be an early precedent for limiting free speech online.

As frequent TikTok poster Diane Lai ’24 stated, “I made so many good memories on that app... I’m scared for what’s going to happen to it.”

She added, “I tend to get a lot of my creative ideas from TikTok, if it’s gone, it’ll be slightly harder to choreograph and keep moving.”

Some in favor of banning TikTok, however, point to other reasons for banning the app, including its addictive nature.

As A.P. Government student, Julian Serrano ’24 claimed, “Data mining is already bad enough, but TikTok is the epitome of the most brain-dead degeneracy of social media.”

He continued, “If you want to say something, you don’t need to only post a TikTok video.”

Famine spreading across Gaza, UN says

The 1.1 million people of Palestine’s northern Gaza are now suffering “full-blown famine” after seven months of war, Israeli food and water blockades, and severe restrictions on humanitarian aid, according to the United Nations World Food Program. In an NBC broadcast interview, Cindy McCain contends that famine is now moving south in Gaza. Israel insists it’s doing everything it can to bring humanitarian aid, and blames the United Nations for the starvation. Israel denies that there is famine.

However, a WFP spokesperson informed the Associated Press that one of the three formal criteria for famine has already been met–specifically, 20 percent of families facing an extreme lack of food–with the second benchmark, 30 percent of children suffering acute malnutrition, being nearly met.

The last condition–two adults or four children per every 10,000 people dying daily of hunger–is hard to verify, given how Israeli airstrikes and raids have devastated hospitals and displaced the majority of the population, with thousands of people (dead or alive) estimated to be buried under the rubble.

A formal declaration of famine will likely be complicated by politics and death confirmations.

If it does come out, it will likely be used as evidence against Israel at the International Court of Justice, where the country is fighting against allegations of genocide in a lawsuit from by South Africa.

The effects of starvation are catastrophic, both short term and long term. Given that Gaza’s population is majority children, the situation is even more dire.

Colleen O’Rourke, Riordan’s AP Biology teacher, said, “Any nutritional malnutrition risk that adults face is elevated ten-fold in young children…it can easily lead to life-long physical and mental health problems.”

Women, who are supposed to gain weight during pregnancy, have lost weight during the crisis as they struggle to attain enough nutrition for themselves and their baby.

According to the Gaza health ministry back in March, nearly 60,000 pregnant women are facing dehydration and starvation.

O’Rourke continues that “If the mother doesn’t get the right nutritional profile she risks losing the pregnancy at best. At worst–a traumatic miscarriage in a situation with lack of adequate medical care–she is at serious risk of dying herself.”

Although Israel has slightly loosened its food blockade due to international pressures, the little aid that Gaza does receive is not nearly enough and constantly at

risk. Only 171 trucks per day are making its way into Gaza, a trickle compared to the 500 trucks a day that came before the war. They’re subjected to stringent inspections by the IDF for security reasons.

Additionally, many aid organizations have suspended operations, citing safety fears amidst constant Israeli bombardment. The World Central Kitchen–which provided meals to besieged Palestinians–suspended operations after seven of its aid workers were killed by Israeli airstrikes after the IDF said it mistook the convoy as belonging to Hamas.

Furthermore, in another incident that drew widespread condemnation from the international community, 112 were killed and 760 injured when the IDF fired on hungry Palestinians gathering around food aid trucks. The IDF asserts the people were killed in the stampede.

Jack Reardon, a Biology teacher at Riordan, explained that “When we [don’t have enough food] we just begin to lose function…the least essential things first, like moving quickly, and then eventually it’ll get more serious and more serious until total body shut down.”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 9 National & World News
Photo by Angela Jia ’25 A student watches a TikTok video about Congress’ recent ban of the app.
“A famine is not a natural disaster but a result of human actions ” -International Rescue Committee 4 babies/toddlers out of 10,000 die per day of hunger More than 1 in 3 are acutely malnourished 20% of families face extreme food shortages
Graphic by Angela Jia ’25 This graphic delineates what famine is in regards to the numbers of people who are suffering from a lack of food at given time in the same region.

SFMTA gives green light for Ocean-Geneva revamp

Ocean Avenue is set to receive a new Green Light Grant to create a safer and more pleasant environment in the Ingleside neighborhood and surrounding areas, being approved in midJune for $2 million.

Beyond Ocean, Ingleside and surrounding neighborhoods are set to benefit from the grant, some going as far as to state it’s an outright necessity. This is a big concern for students and concerned parents alike as Ocean Avenue has become a big attraction for students.

Hazel Wang ’26 said, “The left turn on Ocean and Plymouth is an intersection that needs change.”

She added that she hasn’t seen improvement in the neighborhood yet.

Viggen Rassam ’87, the Director of Safety, feels that the grant will affect the student body positively.

He said, “It’s not the lack of light, it’s the lack of mature drivers.”

He also pointed out multiple traffic issues that have all been created in the name of safety and have worsened over the years. He used the four consecutive lights on Frida Kahlo Way as an example of how the lights are necessary in order to maintain the safety of pedestrians, at the expense of drastically slowing traffic.

Supervisor Myrna Melgar said, “ This intersection is part of the City’s High Injury Corridor -meaning people have been injured and killed by cars. This intersection was designed during

a time when we were prioritizing cars and not pedestrian safety, bicyclists, or public transit.”

She added, “Because we recognize that it is unsafe, and that so many people use it (City College, Riordan, Lick Wilmerding, and it is the entrance to the Ocean Avenue commercial corridor) many, many plans have been drawn up to make it safer but few have been implemented.

“Two years ago, we went through a year long process with the SF County Transportation Authority staff where my office gathered opinions from neighbors in Sunnyside, Ingleside, Westwood Park, Ingleside Terraces, and the schools and institutions and we prioritized which projects were most important to the community.”

The increase in traffic has constituted serious safety concerns in the area. Last semester, a Riordan student was hit by a car on Ocean Avenue and ended up needing surgery after being hospitalized.

Xochitl Churchill ’24 said, “It’s not necessarily dangerous for students though. If anything, the tendency of high school students to be walking in large groups makes it safer because a huge group of people crossing is much more apparent to drivers.”

Recently, a family of four was killed by a wrong way driver who slammed into a bus stop in West Portal. Melgar said she will be “introducing legislation that directs the SF Municipal Transportation Agency and the Department of Public Works

to proactively install bollards and barriers at high risk street crossings and bus stops to protect people.”

She noted that March 26 was “the 10th anniversary of the Vision Zero legislation that former District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee introduced. That legislation identified 2024 as the year San Francisco would reduce pedestrian deaths to 0 and instead we have had 10 this year.”

While she acknowledged that some neighbors have voiced concerns about new street design proposals, “I think these are inconveniences to some, but that safety and the life and health of someone who may be injured is much more important.”

In addition to these changes, some controversial ideas have been proposed on West Portal in response to the accident that tragically killed a family of four.

The SFMTA proposed that drivers be only allowed to turn right going east on Ulloa Street on West Portal Avenue. The intent of these changes were to prevent accidents. However, some pushed back, with local business owners leading the charge.

One of these local business owners disillusioned with these proposals is real estate agent Paul Barbagelata ’86.

“These proposals were rushed and not thought out properly with more input from the community and merchants,” he said.

He continued, “Changes can be made and changes will be made, but it takes a collaborative effort.”

The city is also moving to add

CCSF moves full steam ahead with new science building

During the past year, students have watched as a new building began to rise above school in the former parking lot next door. The proposed use of this building, which is currently being built by Rudolph and Sletten Construction, is a brand new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) based building for City College of San Francisco.

The building began construction in the spring of 2023, and the projected end date is around four years from then, in the spring of 2027. According to a representative of Rudolph Sletten, this was a design build, which meant that the planning and designing for this project began back in October of 2020.

Along with this, they noted some of the main features of the building, “large art studios, Chemistry and Biology labs, computer labs, a greenhouse, as well as several large lecture spaces.”

Because this is such a long term project, it was important for the school to create a relationship with the construction team. Director of Safety and Logistics Viggen Rassam ’87, Director of

Facilities Brandon Ramsey, and the facilities team have been essential in making this project go as smoothly as possible for all parties involved, including the students.

For example, they worked to coordinate drop off and pick up times so that the construction team wouldn’t be moving dirt trucks or heavy materials before or after school, while also permitting parents to double park alongside their property to alleviate some of the drop off and pick up rush around school hours.

According to Rassam, “They were very gracious with us in terms of working with us coordinating drop off and pick up…they were very communicative with us in the beginning in that way.”

“Overall, they were very cordial in making sure they were not overly affecting our day to day, even when they didn’t necessarily have to be,”

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School 10 Local News
Traffic bustles through the Ocean Avenue segment soon slated to be revamped. Photo by Aiden Pavon ’25 bike lanes on Frida Kahlo Avenue. Photo by Aiden Pavon ’25 A signs stands before the building under construction, announcing its future use in devotion to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math at CCSF.

Bird flu outbreak raises concerns about dairy products

In 2022, the first diagnosed case of H5N1 bird influenza in a human in the United States brought renewed attention to this flu strain. It has long posed challenges for poultry and cattle owners.

Its rapid spread and high mortality rates among farm animals in confined and dense settings have been sources of ongoing concern.

This strain is from the bigger family of Avian influenza, a type of bird flu that has been around for over 100 years. In 1878, it was first reported as “fowl plague” when it caused many deaths in chickens in Italy.

Though it can be deadly for humans, they are not the main target. Countless wild birds, poultry, and cattle have been affected by this disease, leading to changes in the biodiversity in the wild and devastating many people in the livestock industry.

STEM program coordinator and bird expert Colleen O’Rourke said, “.....if given enough time, the population of wild birds will recover. Unfortunately, right now many wild bird populations are also struggling under a lot of other stresses and threats… thus, dealing with yet another existential threat can be a serious risk to bird populations and biodiversity in the long run.”

There were 90 million reported cases of poultry diagnosed with this influenza, stretching over 48 states all over the U.S.

Kabir Samra ’18, who has owned chickens before, added, “......If we did have chickens at the current time, we would certainly watch them more closely for symptoms and make sure they are healthy.”

As of April 30, nine states had outbreaks of this flu in cattle,

and 36 herds were affected.

Biomedical student Tina Deng ’26 recalled, “Scientists are worried that the longer the avian flu stays in cattle, or more generally mammals, it might make its way to humans.”

Due to the infection of H5N1 in cattle, many people are concerned that the milk produced may be infected with this flu, but the government stated that its

pasteurization prevents the virus from being in the milk.

O’Rourke added, “Milk we buy from the store is pasteurized, which means it is heated to break down pathogens to make it safe to package, transport, and store for longer periods before being consumed.

In addition, “Thus, even if the virus is present in milk, pasteurization would kill it.”

SF tops list of healthiest U.S. cities

San Francisco is a city of vibrant culture and famous structures that has earned its reputation as the healthiest city.

To determine which city has the best health, researchers studied and compared 182 towns. In the

overall health rankings, four cities closely followed San Francisco: Honolulu, Seattle, San Diego, and Washington D.C.

Since 2017, San Francisco has been at the top of its annual list. There were four criteria: healthcare, vegetable and fruit consumption, and residents’ gym

attendance frequency.

At the time of this study, over 70 percent of U.S. adults were overweight and healthcare expenses were going up. Just 19 percent of the San Francisco population is overweight due to the walkable scenery.

Kyle Huang ’24 stated, “San

Francisco has one of the lowest obesity rates because it has many hills and walkable environments. Plus, the cultural foods come from authentic areas.”

Researchers broke down healthcare into various components, including the number of mental health counselors, family physicians, hospital beds, and health inspections per restaurant. San Francisco’s deficiency in mental health counselor availability stood out, ranking it 73rd among other factors.

Lillian Mendiola ’24 said, “I think San Francisco’s lowest ranking is their mental health counselors due to the drug problem and the racial crisis, which are causing those to have mental issues.”

Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst, stated, “San Francisco has the second-lowest share of people who eat less than one serving of fruits or vegetables per day, and 100 percent of the population lives reasonably close to a location where they can do some sort of physical activity.”

With a vibrant culture, iconic landmarks, and a commitment to well-being, San Francisco continues to work toward a healthier and better future.

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 11 Health
Art by Talisha Flores ’24 The H5N1 strain of avian influenza was discovered in dairy cows, raising concerns for consumers and producers. Photo by Ishaan Gupta ’26 A new study ranks San Francisco as the healthiest U.S. city partly because of accessibility to fresh produce.

12 Features

Riordan remembers wrestler Tony Jones ’89

On April 11, the Riordan community was struck with profound sadness as it mourned the unexpected passing of Tony Anderson Jones ’89, a cherished alumnus and wrestler, who died shortly after celebrating his 53rd birthday.

Born on April 6 in San Francisco, Jones held deep roots in his hometown. He graduated with pride with the class of 1989 at Archbishop Riordan High School where he had a stellar senior season by winning the WCAL heavyweight division and taking second in the CCS finals.

He then pursued his education at San Francisco State University, earning a Bachelor’s Art degree in Broadcasting and Electronics Communication Arts with a minor in Speech Communication Arts.

Throughout his professional journey, Jones made a significant impact at prestigious law firms in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

After college he went into professional wrestling ranks, where he was given the name “Shooter.” Vice Principal of Student Affairs Brian Kelly, a fan of Jones, explained how he got the nickname “Shooter,” saying it was because it accurately represented his real skills in fighting roles.

Jones was well-known in Northern California’s independent wrestling circles, and also graced the silver screen in the film “Beyond the Mat.” His wrestling journey flourished during his college years at San Francisco State University, where he garnered national recognition as a senior. His triumphs on the mat culminated in a memorable

victory at the California State Division II tournament as a heavyweight.

Renowned for his magnetic presence in the wrestling ring and his unwavering devotion to his loved ones, Jones left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Vic Anastasio ’84, former wrestling coach, fondly recalled Jones’ impact, stating, “Tony was a very sweet person and caring person off the mat. He cared about others and was a guy that would not give up. The more people tell him he can’t do something the more he’ll want to do it.”

Kelly added, Jones was “a kind man who cared deeply about his family.” Kelly mentioned his encounter with Jones and said he was genuine and real throughout their conversation.

Wrestling student Karina Ramirez Cortes ’26 said, “Tony has made an impact on our community by being a great example on how there will be bumps in the road but that should not stop you from being successful and continuing to follow your dreams.

Throughout his life, Jones faced challenges head-on with unwavering strength and determination, showcasing resilience from his high school wrestling days to his professional career.

“Tony [was] a great example on how there will be bumps in the road but that should not stop you from . . . continuing to follow your dreams.”

Anastasio said, “Things didn’t come easy for him. He lost his father at a young age and he grew up half Black from his father’s side and his mom was Japanese, which is not a common race to combine to grow up with. He did go to Japan to do professional wrestling and part of it was because he was Japanese and he wanted to connect with his culture.”

-Wrestler Karina Ramirez Cortes ’26

Additionally, Anastasio added, “He lost his 12 year-old daughter to cancer about 12 years ago and that was very devastating for him.” They both connected through the difficult story.

Although his time was cut

short, the memories of his spirit and character will endure among those who were fortunate to share his journey.

A memorial gathering to honor Tony Jones’ life will take place on May 18, at Duggan’s Mortuary in Daly City.

Band parents serve as beating heart of Crusader

Behind every note played and every step marched lies the unsung heroes of Riordan High School’s band program - the dedicated band parents, whose tireless support and commitment ensure the harmony of music and the rhythm of success.

From the crack of dawn until the setting sun, band parents at Riordan are the heartbeat of the band program. Whether it’s the early morning drop-offs or latenight pickups for practices, their dedication knows no bounds. Yet, it’s on competition days where their commitment truly shines.

“For competitions, we are busy the whole day. We mostly leave for band reviews around 6 a.m. and come home close to 5 or 6 p.m. The band parents prepare to-

go bags for breakfast for the bus ride, the Uniform Committee helps students with uniforms and hair, the Food Committee prepares the lunch for the day,” explained Mary Ann Datoc, a math teacher and band parent at Riordan.

The backbone of the Riordan band program truly lies within the band parents.

“There are many levels of participation. There are parents that volunteer to be part of the Band Booster Board helping Mr. O with all manner of logistics, serve on various Committees, fundraise, volunteer on competition or event days, donate food and supplies, fix uniforms and style hair, carry water to hydrate students on parade routes, and even drive the trailer containing the bigger

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School
Tony Jones ’89, known to wrestling fans as “Shooter,” died last month. Andreas Flores Fok ’24 is assisted by his mother before a band review. Photo by Riordan Wrestling Photo by Luci Valentine

Alumni continue their stories as English teachers

By Savannah Sapalo ’24

Riordan has its fair share of alumni teachers. However, this is most prevalent amongst the male English teachers: Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88, Richard Sylvester ’01, Brian Kosewic ’16 and Kevin Estrada ’00. As a team and individually they embody the family spirit that is fostered amongst the Crusader community.

Estrada said, “Riordan is a second home to me, and what I got out of Riordan is some of the most important foundation in my life.”

Estrada emphasized that a lot of what he preaches and lives by comes from Riordan and he exemplifies true Riordan spirit by coming back and teaching.

He also stated, “The reason the English Department has the most teacher alumni is because we are the coolest teachers in the school.”

Estrada’s sense of humor shows how well the English Department gets along together. There is something about the alumni teachers being inspired by their own English teachers as Estrada

eventually stated, by saying, “Seeing how smart they were, how intelligent and knowledgeable about the world and people, they were always there to talk to.”

Sometimes it takes a while for people to realize what they are truly passionate about and what they want in the future. Sylvester made a drastic change in his life in college. He stated, “As a chemistry major, when I realized English was still my favorite class, I realized it was time to make a change. So at that

point, I knew I wanted to be a high school English teacher, and to come back to Riordan at some point.”

Being a Riordan Crusader had a huge impact on his life, and he chose to come back and have a greater impact on his own students.

Tory Lu ’24, who had all four as teachers, said, “I think it’s cool to have all of my English teachers be alumni. They came in as students, and now they are teachers educating a new generation.”

Crusader Band, in step with students’ needs

instruments,” stated Kathleen Reburiano, Band Booster Board Secretary and parent.

“If there were no parents, I think the band would fall apart, literally!” exclaimed Diane Lai ’24, a band member and the color guard captain.

“Thank you for all you do. You guys don’t get enough recognition for all you guys do! So thank you, and I say this for the rest of the band, we love you all!” expressed Lai.

Riordan’s band parents are the glue that holds the band together. Being a band parent takes true strength, commitment, and love that can clearly be seen in each and every band parent here at Riordan.

“Thank you for all you do. You guys don’t get enough recognition for all you guys do! So thank you, and I say this for the rest of the band, we love you all!”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 13 Features
Elizabeth Saavedra ’24 receives a kiss from her mother before a fall review. Photo by Sean Reyes ’25 Bottom left to right: Richard Sylvester ’01, Brian Kosewic ’16, and top left to right: Michael Vezzali-Pascual ’88, and Kevin Estrada ’00, alumni teachers. Photo by Luci Valentine

‘The Sound of Music’ climbs ev’ry mountain

The Riordan spring musical, “The Sound of Music,” was presented to the audience at the end of March in Riordan’s Lindland Theater by the awesome cast and crew.

The Sound of Music was chosen to showcase the talented singers of the Riordan theater program and did so successfully. The cast left the audience in awe with their beautiful voices that carried the show.

Fiona Mulderrig ’25, who played Maria, said, “The theme of this production is the power of music and family spirit.”

Director Greg Callaghan’s take on the story demonstrated the theme of the story well, sending the message of the importance of love, passion, courage, and music.

The musical not only succeeded in telling the story, it also had an incredible set and stage crew. The set was made with great detail, easily being in the top three of all school theater productions I’ve

been to. The crew did a marvelous job moving the sets as well, and the show ran smoothly with them working together with the actors.

Callaghan said, “In auditions, I look for students who have done their homework by being familiar

with the songs and monologues that my team and I select. If a student reads for more than one role, I hope to see some different characterization for each. Most importantly, I look for students who get along well with others

and treat every member of the company – cast and crew – with respect.”

The cast was magnificent, directly reflecting Callaghan’s high standards in selecting the actors.

All of the actors showed great passion in their acting and singing, moving the audiences’ hearts and drawing them into the story.

“The Sound of Music” was an astounding show that was created with the hard work of so many people. The dedication of the cast, crew, director, and many others who worked on this musical led to a beautiful production.

For those who have never ever been to a Riordan production, they’re truly missing out on great performances of artwork.

Ponette Chen ’26 said, “I would absolutely recommended this performance to a friend, because I believe that everyone should appreciate the hard work and talent of everybody involved.”

Taylor’s tantalizing TTPD transcends

By Katelyn Leong ’25

“All’s fair in love and poetry.”

On April 19, Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album: The Tortured Poets Department. Just a couple hours after this initial release, she dropped a surprise second installment titled The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology.

“It truly is a love letter to Taylor’s younger self as well as her fans also going through the same sort of heartbreak and melancholy,” said English teacher Meghan Williams.

“Each song represents a new emotion and feeling as though Taylor is trying to reach through time to her younger self and tell her everything is going to be okay.”

The Tortured Poets Department, consisting of 16 songs, and the Anthology which consisted of 15 songs, totaled a grand 31 songs.

AJ Datoc ’27 shared, “Swift’s newest album is beautiful, but sometimes I can get tired after a few songs because it’s all about the lyrics. […] the album is a little too long for my liking.”

The self-proclaimed Chairman of the Tortured Poets Department first announced her new album at the Grammy’s during her acceptance speech for Best Pop Vocal Album for her previous album, Midnight’s. This was her

13th Grammy.

TTPD made a monumental debut, having already broken various records.

In its first six days on the market, it became the most streamed album in a single week with 799 million streams across all platforms. Starting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart (dated May 4), it also seized the record for largest streaming week ever for an album totaling 2.61 million in its first week – album sales accounting for 1.914 million of that number.

In addition Swift, with her last album Midnights, had previously become the first artist ever to simultaneously occupy all 10 of the top 10 spots of the Billboard Hot 100. With Tortured Poets, she topped herself by becoming the first to claim every slot in the top 14 at once.

“Ultimately shows her talent in writing as well as vocals, […]. To call her a poet is an understatement! She effectively mixes these synth beats with these gut wrenching words that tug on the heart strings of anyone listening. It’s relatable but shows also how extraordinary she is,” Williams added.

“It is raw, emotional and her true feelings spilled out on paper. That is rare to find in this day and age.”

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School 14 Arts
Photo by Ryan Garcia The Von Trapp children line up as Captain Von Trapp calls them to attention to meet their new governess, Maria, in the spring musical: The Sound of Music. Art by Chloe Hui ’25 Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department. “It truly is a love letter to Taylor’s younger self as well as her fans also going through the same sort of heartbreak and melancholy.” - Meghan Williams, English teacher

Women’s roles in modern Catholic Church ascends

Historically, the Catholic Church has been run primarily by men. While women have long been active in areas such as education, healthcare, and charitable works, formal positions of authority and sacramental roles have typically been reserved for men.

However, in March of 1994 the Catholic Church changed the rules so altar servers were no longer required to be priests in training, opening it up to women as well.

That was 30 years ago, and since then, women have been participating in the Church in a more visible and impactful way. Thus, the importance of recognizing women in the Church and the struggle it took them to get there is a topic of interest to many.

Some of the ways women can participate in Mass, at many churches, is through altar serving, reading, bringing the gifts to the altar, and acting as Eucharistic Ministers.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, in January 2021, Pope Francis further extended the possibilities for women to serve in the Church by changing church law to allow women to serve as lectors and altar servers.

The Catholic News Agency reported Pope Francis said, “Offering lay people of both sexes the possibility of accessing the ministry of acolyte and lector, by virtue of their participation in the baptismal priesthood, will increase the recognition, also through a liturgical act [institution], of the precious contribution that many lay people make, including women,

to the life and mission of the Church.”

Current and past female altar servers conveyed a main reason to get involved with serving, saying that they felt they were contributing to a Mass rather than sitting in the pews.

Frida Cruz, a senior at Convent of the Sacred Heart High School and a current altar server since the 5th grade, said, “I got interested in altar serving to be honest as a reason to miss a little bit of class in elementary school, but I really enjoyed being part of the Mass in a bigger way than just sitting in the pews, which is why I continued to do so as I got older.”

Participating in a ritual that people feel strongly about is something many want to experience. The feeling of walking up the aisle, participating in a

celebration of God, is a feeling like no other, current and former altar servers said.

Churches around the city have been opening their doors to give women a chance to participate in God’s home.

Danielle Jow, Religious Studies Department Chair and former altar server, said, “The traditional teaching of the Church was for boys to be altar servers because it is a way of preparing for the priesthood, being able to serve and assist the priests on the altar… However, I am very grateful for the opportunity to be an altar server growing up because it allowed me to be excited about going to Mass, serve God, participate in the Mass, and learn about the Liturgy.”

Charlottie Yip ’26, an altar server at St. Anne’s from 4th to

8th grade, said, “I believe that in today’s society, most churches have been gender inclusive in terms of altar serving, in my opinion.”

Some contend that expanding opportunities for women to serve in the Church could bring fresh perspectives and contribute to a more inclusive and diverse faith community.

English teacher and Eucharistic Minister Kim Loder stated, “I encourage all young women to be generous in sharing their time and talents by participating in church services and activities.”

Opening more options for women in the Church can not only gives more women the chance to be involved in their religion, but it also gives more perspectives within the Church, helping it grow and change with the times.

LIFE team brings new life to Campus Ministry

The 2024 LIFE team, an integral part of Riordan’s Marianist community, is leaving behind their legacy, and reminiscing on serving as campus ministry leaders.

Joshua Aguilar ’24 recalled, “Being a part of the life team took a lot of dedication, time and effort, but seeing everyone happy and growing in their faith made it worthwhile.”

From hosting MLCs and leading school masses, this year’s LIFE team has provided sanctuaries of fun, food, and faith for all.

As every year passes by, a new team of upcoming seniors will take their place, and with the fourth year of Riordan becoming coed, dynamics keep on changing. Leadership roles have started to diversify even further — the first female editor-in-chief for The Crusader, Naomi Lin ’24 was inaugurated last year, and the first solo female president, Caroline O’Connell ’25 was elected this year.

2024-2025 LIFE Team: Adam

Oliver Huerta, Ashley Villing, Elizabeth Savage, Aliana Urdaneta-Rodas,

The 2023-2024 LIFE team had mainly consisted of males, with only one female.

Jaecee Cantiller ’24 looked back on this experience, stating that, “being the only girl on the LIFE team was tough at first…but over time I’ve come to see the rest of

the team as family.”

She detailed that even though it was a challenge, she had overcome it, becoming comfortable with the group, “…to the point where I was given the nickname ‘mom’.”

In contrast, the 2024-2025 LIFE team is made up of mostly


Jadine Aguilar ’25, a new inductee of the LIFE team, said, “I look forward to working with the new team and getting to know them so we can effectively achieve a common goal of bringing our Riordan community together.”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 15 Religion
Photo by Sean Reyes ’25 Math teacher and Eucharistic Minister Ottilie Valverde offers communion to a student at Mass. Photo by Alex Datoc ’87 Zakrzewski, Joeliyn Rizzo, Katelyn Leong, Sean Reyes, Laila Briceno, Hana Wadlow, Jadine Aguilar, and Emma Rocha.
May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School 16

Humidity in China hits all-time high

Humidity levels in China hit 100 percent this year in March. With humidity usually peaking in the summer, this is shocking.

Citizens of China reportedly have had the walls dripping with precipitation because of how much dampness has been caused by the humidity. Some citizens even go as far as saying their walls are sweating.

Because of these conditions, citizens have their ceilings dripping with water and have to wipe them down with a car window scraper.

Decorations in homes have melted because of how much dampness there is. Some sleep with an umbrella to keep the water from dripping on top of themselves.

Humidity going up in percentage has been an increasing trend in China and is connected to global warming.

These high-humidity conditions can be a hazard to residents because they can cause heat exhaustion, fatigue, fainting, and much more that can affect the

“While the government can invest in ways to help combat the humidity it still becomes a problem to those who can’t afford support.”

health of the people. Older people are also more prone to heat so the high humidity levels are even more dangerous for them.

Nora Lee ’27 said, “I think that China should invest in ways to help their citizens stay cool in this humidity. I’m also really curious to see how they will tackle this issue in the future as temperatures continue to rise globally.”

Marco Romero ’25 said, “I think that while the government can invest in ways to help combat the humidity it still becomes a problem to those who can’t afford support.”

The over-arching consensus is that change needs to happen and needs to happen now. If humidity continues to rise with climate change, citizens are at serious risk for short and long-term damages.

Children born into high humidity levels will have an easier time adapting while people who age as humidity increases will suffer harm due to how fast the humidity is increasing. The updates will continue as the humidity increases.

EPA expands its ban of ongoing asbestos use

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been busy recently, banning a variety of toxic chemicals–from chrysotile asbestos to methylene chloride–this spring.

Besides asbestos and methylene chloride, the Biden administration has also banned acephate and ziram, placed limitations on perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (forever chemicals), and slashed tailpipe (vehicle) and powerplant pollution.

This rush over regulation has been in the works since President Joe Biden first took office, when he pledged to reinstate or bolster the more than 100 environmental regulations that former President Donald Trump overturned and weakened.

The ban on asbestos is particularly significant, marking a historic moment in chemical safety.

Exposure to the carcinogen is linked to more than 40,000 deaths in the United States per year–with California topping that list–and is already banned in 50 countries worldwide.

What does this mean for schools, offices, and homes?

Brandon Ramsey, the Director of Plant/Facilities at Riordan who oversaw the new renovations

Asbestos Deaths by State Asbestos Deaths by State

during the summer, said, “Here at Riordan we have had to deal with asbestos which was used for insulation and also in binding materials used with flooring and roofing components.”

In fact, teachers and staff have to sign a form acknowledging the chemical’s presence at the school at the beginning of each school year.

However, this doesn’t mean the school has to be torn down and rebuilt under this new regulation, as asbestos exists in most buildings built before 1989. It’s important to note that it’s a ban on ongoing use of asbestos.

Furthermore, as Ramsey continued, “Since we have this knowledge it has been my goal to systematically get rid of it…This

is done by specialists who we employ to safely quarantine any of the areas while they complete the removal.

“They do extensive testing during and after the removal to ensure everything is safe for our community.”

He added, “We have removed a lot and continue to do so as we move through the building.”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 17 Environment
Students use a newspaper to shield themselves from humidity in Beijing. This chart notes the deaths by states due to asbestos from 1999-2017.
Number of Deaths 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 California FloridaPennsylvania TexasNewYork Ohio IllinoisNewJerseyMichiganWashington
Photo provided by Jeffrey Cong ’24
from 1999-2017
Graphic By Angela Jia ’25

18 Science

Total eclipse casts shadow over United States

Millions of people in the U.S. were looking up at the sky on April 8 to catch a glimpse of the total solar eclipse.

The breathtaking event began over the South Pacific Ocean and crossed over North America, which is where an estimated 44 million people who lived in the path of totality eagerly waited for the opportunity to see this spectacle.

Among them was a Riordan science teacher, Dr. GochocoTsuyuki, who traveled to Abbott, Texas to watch. Dr. GochocoTsuyuki reflected on the event, saying, “As a science teacher there is so much to be learned about understanding these astronomical phenomenons. Just really understanding the physics of how these astronomical bodies align.”

Aside from the “ring of fire” that occurred last October, the U.S. has not experienced a total Solar eclipse since 2017. Unfortunately, North Americans will have to wait until 2033 to experience another total solar eclipse, which will be limited to Alaska.

Ivo Everett ’26 said, “For me, I see the solar eclipses as a new way to look at the universe, putting into perspective how much we do not know about stars

and how we have to stay curious.”

For the United States, a coast-tocoast total solar eclipse – similar to what occurred this year – will not happen again until 2045. For the rest of the world, however, this isn’t the case.

In 2026, Greenland, Iceland, and Spain will have its turn. After that, in 2027, the eclipse will span across Spain and northern Africa. Dr. T also plans to travel to see these as well.

Heather Long ’27 said, “The eclipse reminds us of our place in

the solar system and its magic. We can appreciate it with one another, forging questions about the universe and mysteries our world contains.”

On average, there are two eclipses annually, but the maximum number that can occur is five. During this eclipse, The moon was about 223,000 miles from Earth, and the closer the moon is the more intense the period of darkness is. In New York, the totality lasted 1.5 minutes, and in Mexico, it was even longer with 4

minutes and 28 seconds. Those unsure of whether it’s worth investing the time to see the next eclipse can see this as a sign that they will not regret it.

Dr. Gochoco-Tsuyuki expressed, “I see it as a wonder of God situation. You can be a scientist and you know exactly what’s going on, but for me, it’s really special. To some extent it’s a very religious event, it’s memorable and just makes you appreciate how cool creation is that something like this could happen.”

Possible planet produces puzzlement

In January of 2015, astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown announced evidence of a possible new planet at the edge of our solar system.

This so-called “Planet 9” is supposedly 20 times farther from the sun than Neptune. Originally, Neptune was the farthest planet from the sun at around 2.8 billion miles away, putting “Planet 9” at approximately 56 billion miles away.

The proposed planet is extremely distant, and scientists still have very little information regarding it, though they have predicted that it is 10 times the size of Earth, closer in size to Neptune and Uranus.

Astronomers studying TNOs – objects orbiting the sun far beyond Neptune – have noticed that these objects’ orbits frequently cluster together.

“Planet 9” is a proposed celestial body that would provide a mechanism controlling the patterns seen in these clustered objects.

While there are other possible explanations for the unique motion, some scientists maintain that this theory is a reasonable prediction that cannot be actively discounted.

To this end, Batygin, Brown, along with Alessandro Morbidelli and David Nesvorny, published a paper in April of this year that provided further support to the idea, noting that “the distribution of the observed

orbits strongly supports the presence of the unseen planet.”

The paper was published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Of course, one should proceed with caution when considering this, as “Planet 9’s” existence is entirely conjecture, only inferred from mathematical predictions while lacking any form of direct observation or recording. Nor is its existence universally accepted, as other theories have been proposed to explain the orbits of TNOs.

What makes this theory even more exciting is the fact that this discovery of another planet would shift the idea of the solar system. Initially, scientists believed that the solar system was composed of only eight planets, – temporarily nine with Pluto’s tenure – along with the Sun, and minor bodies such as asteroids and comets. Yet, if this proposal receives further verification, could there be even more planets at the edge of our solar system?

In addition, it prompts yet another interesting question: Could there be other life on these planets?

Colleen O’Rourke, a science teacher at Riordan, stated that “If there was life, it wouldn’t be solar-based as the planet is too far from the sun, and water would be frozen so it is unlikely it would be water-based, but it could use a different base or have a different chemical metabolism.”

Although it is still unknown whether or not different life forms exist at the edge of our solar

system, Ian Gryb ’25 noted that “It’s an intriguing discovery in terms of astronomy.”

In addition, Sean Tan ’27 commented, “I would say that it is quite intriguing and I definitely have never seen something like this before.”

This possible discovery raises many questions regarding our solar system, but again, this is based entirely on a hypothetical.

However, the 2024 paper noted that this hypothesis will see more rigorous testing with the construction of Chile’s Vera C Rubin Observatory, a deep space telescope, which may help illuminate more clarity to the situation. Currently, it is projected to begin operation in August of this year, so clearer answers may be available in only a few short months.

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School
Artist’s recreation of a theoretical potential new planet in our solar system. Image by NASA Photo by Dr. Caroline Gochoco-Tsuyuki During the recent solar eclipse, the moon blocked out the sun over the town of Abbott in central Texas on April 8, 2024.

Apple Vision Pro offers new insight into future

As of Feb. 2, the new Apple Vision Pro is available for purchase online and in stores. Starting at $3,499 the Apple Vision Pro could cost upward of $4,500 with extra storage and accessories.

The question is if this product is really worth the extra dollars versus buying a cheaper virtual reality headset.

Some say that the Meta Quest Pro at $1,000 is comparable and has the same features. So what is the difference?

One of the key differences between the Vision Pro and other popular VR headsets is that Apples can multitask between multiple different apps at once.

The headset can run any favorite apps such as Facetime, Safari, and Notes while mixing it in with reality simultaneously.

Aidan Alday ’26 said, “I think the Apple Vision Pro is in many ways unlike any technology society has ever been exposed to because of how it combines two different worlds to blend together and offers features that other VR headsets can not compare to.”

It also offers many other impressive features such as a 3D

display system, hand tracking, 23 million pixels and more! Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook said, at a news conference, this product is the “beginning of a new era of spatial computing”

Many speculate that the Vision Pro will represent the future of technology, as the digital and physical worlds are seamlessly blending together, changing the way humans interact with technology.

On the other hand, some think that Vision Pro will start to change society for the worse, leading to disconnect in human interaction, and the world only becoming even more technology reliant. In addition, there is some concern on the possible eye strain and headaches the Vision Pro can cause after regular use.

Science teacher Brian Tuel said, “I think we spend enough time with technology already and why not spend the time we get without it and live in the present. The Apple Vision Pro takes away from that and isn’t something essential to our society because the technology we already have provides everything we could possibly need.”

All and all, the Apple Vision Pro is a piece of technology offering features unlike anything ever before, giving a real life feel while still being fully submerged in technology. Despite opinions and

concerns of eye strain and technology overuse, this product seems to be kicking off a new technology era introducing augmented reality and virtual reality coexisting as one.

MLB The Show adds new players from Negro Leagues to lineup

MLB The Show is the most popular baseball game that features current day MLB players and many legends from the past, which in recent years include legends from the Negro Leagues.

The Negro Leagues officially started in 1920. At the time, players of color were not allowed to play in the MLB, so this gave them the chance to be professional baseball players.

As of December 2020, MLB officially recognized the players and the stats of Negro League players. Since then MLB has made more of an effort to educate fans on the history of the Negro Leagues.

Varsity Baseball players Gregory Gonzalez ’25 said, “I know that the Negro Leagues were a way for Black people to be able to play organized at a time when they couldn’t with whites.”

“They existed for Black people to play baseball segregated from whites during Jim Crow,” Alexandre Fonseca ’25 added.

Both mentioned the iconic pitcher Satchel Paige as a standout.

Satchel Paige was a star of the Negro Leagues who eventually made the big leagues in 1948, after the MLB finally let people of color into the league. He was 42 in his first MLB game and 59 in his last one.

Besides Satchel Paige, there is still so much history and a vast amount of legends that most people don’t know, which is exactly why MLB The Show introduced Negro League storylines.

The Negro Leagues mode features informative, interactive, and memorable storylines about legends who played in the Negro Leagues. Playing these storylines helps shine a light on players many people may not know.

Lorenzo Hasani ’25, who played the Negro Leagues in MLB The Show last year, was asked who he knows from the Negro Leagues, which prompted him to say, “Josh Gibson, he revolutionized hitting in the league.”

Josh Gibson was one of the players who had a dedicated storyline in MLB The Show 23. Other notable players included were: Hilton Smith, Jackie Robinson Martin Dihigo, Rube Foster, Buck O’Niel, Hank Thompson, Satchel Paige, and John Donaldson.

Gibson will be returning in MLB The Show 24’s Negro League Season 2.

Alongside his new storyline, there will be three new players available at the launch of the game with their own storyline: Buck Leonard, Hank Aaron, and Toni Stone.

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 19 Technology
Photo By Nick Nye ’25 Aiden Pavon ’25 tests out the new Apple Vision Pro, which costs $3,500.
Image by
the Negro Leagues.
on Negro Leagues story lines first introduced in 2023.
MLB The Show 24 incorporates more members of
By Andres Roca ’25 San Diego Studios, the developers of MLB The Show, plan to expand

20 Sports Features

Riley riles up fans in Muay Thai ring

Riley Robertson ’24 stepped into the ring with determination, chin tucked and red-gloved fists up. He and his opponent quickly touched gloves in recognition, then the match started.

His opponent, Daniel Vidal, opened with rapid roadhouse kicks to the side, while Robertson dodged and parried the kicks as best he could, hitting Vidal with a right hook to the face. This went on for three rounds, a combative dance of dodges and strikes done with skillful form and calculation.

After a close match, the two stood next to the judge, who thrust Robertson’s hand into the air, announcing his victory.

On April 13, Robertson participated in and won his first Muay Thai match at Evolve Training Center, South San Francisco, after a year of hard training.

“I started training Muay Thai at Evolve as a complete beginner in February 2023 … It’s amazing exercise, and I find it to be very therapeutic when I have too much on my mind,” Robertson said.

Muay Thai is a martial art known as the “Art of 8 Limbs,” as it utilizes eight points of contact through elbow, knees, punches, and kicks.

It dates back to the early 20th century, taking elements from Muay Boran, a much older traditional Thai martial art, once used on the battlefield.

“It’s a practice of discipline and a way to build strong bonds with other people working towards a common goal to improve,” said Robertson.

He continued, “Muay Thai is also about fighting in a way that is respectful and graceful because at the end of the night, you’re not any greater than anyone else in the gym.”

The match consisted of three rounds, each scored based on unblocked hits that could cause damage to the opponent, and the posture and form of each fighter’s technique in the match, as well as who controlled the flow of the match more.

Vidal’s technique was more

focused on punch-based, grappling Robertson’s punches with one arm and hooking him with the other.

“I’m more of a boxing background; a bit more of a Muay Mat [a style of Muay Thai], which focuses more on punches than kicks,” Vidal said.

Robertson, however, took a more kick-heavy approach; punching and keeping Vidal into a corner, then going in for a roundhouse kick to the liver, an extremely painful place to be struck.

“I would say my Muay Thai style probably falls into the style ‘muay dtae’, which heavily uses kicks,” he said.

This technique won Robertson the first round, achieving two

knockdowns, one through a straight-on kick to Vidal’s side, and another by knocking him off balance as he tried to catch Robertson’s foot and then kick his other side. The score ended in Robertson’s favor, 10-9.

Nonetheless, things took a turn in the second round, as Vidal dodged more of Robertson’s attacks, winning the round 9-10. By the third round, Vidal had more control of the fight and got more hits in, yet Robertson continued to block and hit back with good posture and form.

Although the third round went to Vidal 9-10 again, the judges awarded Robertson extra points for good form and his two knockdowns in the first round, giving him the win for the overall match.

Rory Robertson ’28, Riley’s younger brother, said, “At first I thought he might lose but he ended up doing really shows that if you train really hard you can complete your goals.”

Overall, Robertson was just glad to have a good match with his opponent and come out of it with a new experience to learn from.

Reflecting on what he learned, he said, “You have to put your ego aside and show humility so you can properly respect your opponent.”

He added, “It’s not about whether I win or lose, but whether I win or lose with grace.”

Oakland strikes out on new A’s stadium


On April 4, the Oakland Athletics Major League baseball team announced that they would relocate to Sacramento for the 2025-2027 baseball seasons. The announcement has been met with mostly negative feelings from A’s fans.

A’s fan Brady Nemes ’24 said, “You know, it’s unfortunate, but

the A’s haven’t been hot lately and the team has kind of been disintegrating the fan base as well.”

However, a common theme among fans is that they knew this was coming and thought relocating to Sacramento is better than the A’s moving to Las Vegas Colleen O’Rourke, Science teacher, stated, “I mean, it’s better

than them going to Las Vegas.”

She added, “I feel like Sacramento being close to the Bay Area, we have a lot of you know . . . cultural ties and familiarities.”

The ripples of this announcement have not only affected A’s fans, but has also had an effect across the bay on San Francisco Giants fans.

Brian Kosewic ’16, English teacher and track and field coach said, “I really feel for all the Oakland fans. I’m a huge Giants fan and I can only imagine how hard that would be to see the Giants leave.

He continued, “I was in attendance at the A’s boycott, reverse boycott game back in June and it was really awesome seeing how many people came out for that and it was sort of beautiful and frustrating at the same time to see how vibrant and engaged that A’s fan base still wants to be.”

One thing is very clear however, workers and staff from the Oakland Coliseum and the businesses that rely on the A’s for income will be deeply affected.

Ronaldo Vezzali ’85 who currently works as a merchandise salesman for the Oakland Coliseum said, “I feel terrible for staff, and all the

“If they go to Vegas, they’re dead to me.”

- Colleen O’Rourke A’s fan

the concession workers, security staff, and all the vendors who rely on the A’s home games for income.”

“In the last five years, the city of Oakland has lost the Warriors, Raiders, and now the A’s.”

He continued, “These employees all are union workers, and used to work for all three teams at the Oakland Coliseum, as well as all the concerts and other sporting events in the arena. Now the Bay Area will suffer even more from this loss and will be a crushing blow to the very fabric and culture of the city of Oakland.”

Even though people are disappointed about the move to Sacramento, a common theme around A’s fans is that they are glad they aren’t going to Las Vegas right away.

As O’Rourke put it, “If they go to Vegas, they’re dead to me.”

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School
Photo by Xochitl Churchill ’24 Photo by Aiden Pavon ’25 Riley Robertson ’24 won his first Muay Thai match on April 13. A’s announced that they will move to Sacramento after this MLB season.

Giants part ways with PA announcer Renel

Renel Brooks-Moon, one of the most prominent figures in the San Francisco Giants organization, has parted ways with the team.

This all happened on March 18 when Renel, as fans call her, and the Giants organization had a meeting to discuss her contract.

The Giants said in a release that “after extensive discussions, they mutually and amicably agreed to part ways.” Many fans say that

“They’ll never be able to replace her. They’ve lost an important part of the Giants.”

- Xochitl Churchill ’24

the ballpark already doesn’t feel the same.

Marina Viray ’24 said, “I haven’t gotten used to not hearing her voice call the starting lineups.”

This is a sentiment of many fans of the Giants. Renel had been the voice of Oracle Park since its

opening in April of 2000. This season would have been her 25th. Renel has had a long legacy and is an important component of the Bay Ara community. She has been a voice of representation for Black women around the country, being the first woman to PA for a professional championship in any sport in 2002.

The Giants have named the PA booth in her honor, but many say that simply isn’t enough.

Warriors fall short of playoffs . .

As the buzzer sounded at Golden 1 Center on the night of April 16, the scoreboard read 118-94 in favor of the Sacramento Kings. This game marked the end of a frustrating season for the oncegreat Golden State Warriors, and maybe even the end of their dynasty.

Nes Emeneke ’25 said, “I think it (the dynasty) is over because the main parts of the dynasty like Klay and Green have been underperforming for a minute now and they are failing to include the young players in the rotation, which I think is the main part of building a dynasty.”

Over the last eight years, the Warriors have claimed four championships in six tries; one of the best runs in NBA history. However, their season ended shorter than expected, with their overall record being 46 wins and 36 losses, which saw the team finishing in 10th place in the Western Conference and claiming the last Play-In Game berth.

With this record the Warriors went down as the winningest 10th seed in NBA history, surpassing the previous record set by the 2001 Seattle Supersonics. Despite the challenging Western Conference competition, they improved over the previous season, securing a two-win increase. Their performance on the road was a definitive characteristic that they improved from 11 to 25 wins this season.

Stephen Curry’s performances in clutch situations and leading the league in various statistical categories added to his already significant role in the team. Curry’s proficiency beyond the arc

solidified his candidacy for the NBA Clutch Player of the Year award.

Furthermore, the Warriors’ ability to excel despite their average height and leading the league in rebounding demonstrated their improvement in the aspects of teamwork and tenacity.

While they improved in a lot of key areas, the team still struggled to get away from problems that led to the team’s lack of success last year.

The main issue from this season seemed to be Draymond Green’s temper issues. He was suspended twice for a total of 17 games this season in which the Warriors had a 6-11 record.

This was a clear obstacle that led to some psychological issues for the team and was a main contributor to a lack of will to play from the players early on in the season.

Even with this disappointing end to the season, the Warriors still have faith that they can add more depth to the roster in the offseason and make another run at an NBA championship.

After the loss to the Kings, Warriors star guard Stephen Curry reportedly told Green, “We ain’t done yet.”

Although a lot may not be clear, what is clear is that the Warriors’ front office knows that with Stephen Curry this team will always have a shot at an NBA championship, but they also recognize that changes need to be made.

Avishan Peer, Spanish teacher, said, “I think that we have good enough players and team spirit to get it back next year.”

Xochitl Churchill ’24 said, “They’ll never be able to replace her. They’ve lost an important part of the Giants.”

The Giants will have rotating PA announcers until they find a permanent replacement, but there may never be someone who will have the impact that Renel had when in the booth. However, some people are playing around with the idea of a new face.

Sabrina Andreatta, ASL teacher said, “It would have to be someone who really knows the Giants . . . a former player would be interesting.”

Although there may never be anyone who could fill the shoes and make the footprint as Renel did, Giants fans look to young talent and a new coach for a good season even if it isn’t alongside the spirited announcer.

As for Renel, the Forever Giant said in a tweet to the fans, “Luv my Giants, luv my baseball, & I LOVE you, the fans, most of all!”

. What’s next?

In the upcoming offseason, they will look to add more depth at the guard position to assist Curry with shooting skills and to add a player who can defend the perimeter well.

Issac Martin ’26 believes the Warriors can still perform well next year saying, “Oh heck yeah . . . Warriors all the way . . . they can come back.”

While unfortunately, this plan may see letting Klay Thompson and Chris Paul sign with other teams, the Warriors will attack with the will to capitalize on the

“I think that we have good enough players and team spirit to get it back next year.”

- Avishan Peer, Spanish teacher

greatness of Stephen Curry. The front office will hope to construct one last championship caliber team by targeting the upcoming talent available in free agency to add to the Warriors before Curry, Green, and Thompson retire or go to another team.

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 21 Sports Features
Photo by Ishaan Gupta ’26 The Warriors were eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Kings. Photo courtesy of RizzoCast, used with permission Renel Brooks-Moon in an interview with Steven Rissotto ’20, former EIC of The Crusader, on his podcast, RizzoCast.

22 Sports

Star-studded seniors lead lacrosse team to victory

This spring season, Riordan has seen success from all sports teams. However, the most successful team on campus this spring season has been the boys lacrosse team. This has been the team’s most successful year to date with a record of 11-7, thus making boys lacrosse the third most winning boys sport on campus after basketball and football.

“The team really came together this season. Everyone was working together and playing to each other’s strengths. I feel that the entire team is extremely close. The team really feels like a family…,” said Defenseman Jonathan Kruger ’24.

Although the lacrosse team has a winning record, they cannot qualify for playoffs as they are not a WCAL Lacrosse school and cannot participate in the league tournament.

Teams must be in a league to qualify for CCS and this is why they cannot compete in that tournament as well. Due to a lack of players many seasons prior,

as Santa Barbara High was ranked significantly higher than Riordan according to Max Preps. The team would see a downward trend as they lost to both Lick Wilmerding and San Rafael High School (overtime loss). After the two game losing streak, the team came together to produce a win on Senior Day with a win against Harbor High School on Mayer Family Field. The score of that game was 6-4, Riordan.

“I feel that the seniors were very important to our success this season. We were all giving it our all because it was our last session playing lacrosse with the Riordan jersey on. Our entire defense was composed of seniors except for Myles Yan so defensively the seniors played a huge role,” added Kruger.

this caused Riordan to drop out of the WCAL lacrosse competition. The team hopes to return to the WCAL as the program is on an upward trajectory.

For the first time in recent program history, boys lacrosse traveled down south to sunny

Santa Barbara face off against San Marcos High School and Santa Barbara High School. The team won both games. Their closest bout was against Santa Barbara as they snuck by with a score of 9-7. This was once again another paramount for the team

Since the team achieved a winning record, Coach Brooks Thoroughgood agreed to shave his head. This meant on May 10 when the team had its end of season banquet, Coach Thoroughgood revealed his new haircut just in time for summer.

Throwers take their shot at post season finals

As the school year draws to a close, Riordan’s track and field team continue to demonstrate their dedication and perseverance throughout the remainder of their ongoing season. The month of May holds special significance for its athletes, marked by the eagerly anticipated West Catholic Athletic League finals.

Wesley Winn ’27, embarking on his first year with Riordan’s track and field team, has shown impressive performance thus far.

“I think I’ve been doing amazing this season,” he reflected. “Although track can be difficult at times, my coaches have helped me keep my mind steady and think positively for the next races.”

Riordan’s shot put team maintained their commitment to excellence under the guidance of head Coach Edgar Flores, now in his 24th year of coaching track and field events.

The shot putters have enjoyed a remarkable season thus far, a trend that persisted as they began the pivotal phase of the WCAL finals.

“My goals for the remainder of the season is to have the entire team perform well at the WCAL trials and finals,” explained Flores.

Among the standout performers is Kona Jane (KJ) Dacoscos ’25,

who is also a member of Riordan’s girls varsity basketball team. Having secured 4th place in the WCAL finals during her sophomore season, Dacoscos entered her junior season with a personal objective in mind.

“A personal goal I had for myself this season was to get farther in the standings and the WCAL finals this year,” Dacoscos noted.

Her determination bore fruit on May 3, as Dacoscos clinched first place in the WCAL finals for her event.

While celebrating her accomplishments this season, Dacoscos maintains a forwardlooking perspective. “I’ve definitely had my ups and downs this season, but I’m proud of my performance this year. I’m always striving for better!” said Dacoscos.

With the season ongoing and the athletes’ efforts remaining persistent, Dacoscos, her teammates, and coaches eagerly anticipated her performance during the CCS semi-finals on May 11.

Dacoscos finished 9th, with a distance of 34 feet, 7 inches. She qualified for the finals, and will compete on May 18 in Gilroy.

Flores emphasized, “The most important thing we work on is to perform to your best every week and understand what it takes to win.”

“I’ve definitely had my ups and downs this season, but I’m proud of my performance this year. I’m always striving for better!”

- Kona Jane (KJ) Dacoscos ’25

May 2024 The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School
Photo by Talia Bumanglag ’24 Luca Olivia ’26 runs down field in the team’s final home game of the season. Photo by Ryan Garcia KJ Dacoscos ’25 placed first in the WCAL finals and finished 9th in CCS, qualifying for the finals, and will compete May 18.

Tennis team set for successful future

This year, the Riordan tennis team served an outstanding season of growth and potential.

The team won two matches, the most matches won in any tennis season, beating SHC twice in a row as well as honorable WCAL mentions for Miles Witte ’27, Ethan Chiang ’27, and Raphael Stioui ’25.

Varsity tennis head coach, Paul Stevens ’08 has seen major improvement in the way the tennis program has grown over his past few years of coaching.

He stated, “In the beginning it was more of a fun sport to play with friends to get outside and get some exercise. Over the years, although still having fun and building community, there has been more focus and individual improvement.”

The level of talent and commitment this year is something that has never been seen before in Riordan tennis.

Zachary Yip ’24, a veteran of the team, explained how much has changed since his first year.

“When I was a freshman we didn’t even have a full lineup and since then we’ve become the best tennis team in Riordan history.”

Not only has the team shown

great improvement throughout this season, but they also show the potential for the seasons ahead.

“After our first match, the opponents’ coach came up to me and told me how impressed he was with them and how good they were,” Stevens stated, as well as

expressing how lucky he was to have two freshmen players who quickly rose to the top.

The future for Riordan tennis is at the forefront of the mind of current players, as well as fans of the tennis team.

Miles Witte ’27, one of the team’s top players who received the WCAL mention, stated his hopes for the future of Riordan tennis.

“Our goal next year is to win more matches against other schools. This last year we finished third in the Freedom Tournament and we all want to bring another trophy home.”

Witte continued, “Since a lot of our best players are going to be practicing during the offseason, taking lessons, going to camps, etc., I think we can complete these objectives.”

With the amount of improvement shown throughout this season, the hopes for next year’s season and future seasons are on track.

Crusaders swing into history with team’s first WCAL gold medal

Throughout the spring season, Archbishop Riordan’s golf team teed up for an exciting performance.

With dedication and passion, these young athletes have stepped onto the grass, ready for the excitement and accomplishments of the season.

The Riordan golf program has seen significant growth over the past couple of years after Covid, not just in terms of size, but their accomplishments as well.

Alden Thai ’25 explained, “The program has also grown a lot bigger since I started. Everyone has improved their game throughout the years and have also matured as people in general.”

The team had five impressive wins this season and a recent second win against Sacred Heart Cathedral. Despite some tough losses, Thai sets his sights on the CCS Regional Championships.

He also was awarded as the

first golfer to medal at the WCAL Championship in Riordan history.

Thai said, “My biggest accomplishment this year was shooting a 73 during the WCAL championships and winning against a packed field in 30 mile per hour plus winds.”

Throughout the season these nine players brought unwavering determination and heart to the course. The five graduating seniors have passed down their mentorship and guided this young team throughout its season.

The team made unforgettable memories, fostering formidable bonds.

Thai reminisced on his favorite memories with the team, saying, “My favorite moments with the team were the late night dinners and bus rides where we all came together like a family.”

Michael Cha ’26 expressed a similar sentiment, stating, “Every time we have had a match at San

Jose, after the match, we would go to Chick-fil-A or Shake Shack.”

Though the team didn’t have a great record, it doesn’t tell the full story of the work that they put in and what they accomplished.

As the season concluded, seniors said farewell and new players came in. Cha also shared a goal for the upcoming season, saying, “We hope to qualify for CCS as a team next year.”

Baseball team rallies behind young talent

The 2024 season did not go exactly as planned for the Riordan baseball team, finishing with a record of 0-16 and placing eighth in the West Catholic Athletic League. Despite that fact, the team is looking ahead and planning to improve in the future.

The team believes that their record doesn’t accurately reflect how they performed over the season.

First baseman Diego Aguilar ’25 said, “We were competing every game, and only had two or three games get out of our hands

without a fight.”

Despite their less-than-desirable record, players worked hard on their craft in the batter’s box and the field before the season to prepare for the year ahead.

Second baseman Matteo Matteucci ’24 said, “This offseason I made major adjustments to my swing to produce more hits and especially defensively, making sure I cut down on the errors.”

The team does acknowledge where they could’ve done better this season, and head coach Brian Ceinar shared that the mental

game might’ve been a bigger factor than the physical.

“We all could have done better with our emotions. The season is long and [players] will go through the ups and downs but it’s the ones that channel their emotions and focus on the process that will make it through in a positive way.”

Now, the team looks forward to future seasons.

Matteucci said, “They have the right pieces coming up and they are just a couple pieces away to being a good WCAL team.”

The Crusader Archbishop Riordan High School May 2024 23 Sports
Photo by Aiden Pavon ’25 Raphael Sitoui ’25 focuses in to best his opponent vs. Bellarmine on April 16. Photo by Aiden Pavon ’25 Zidane Sue ’24 swings on the green on April 22 on Riordan senior night facing WCAL rivals, Sacred Heart Cathedral and Archbishop Mitty. Photo by Chloe Leotta ’24 Sebastian Sun ’24 playing left field.

Here’s the triple scoop on sundaes

Review and Photo by Loghan Hwang ’27

A small ice cream shop tucked inside Cole Valley, The Ice Cream Bar, brings the 1930s back to San Francisco.

Its wooden varnished roof and white tile floors struck me by surprise. A bar, which concocted several sodas the old-fashioned way, stood at the end of the shop.

This particular day, I shot for the banana split. Their selection was vast and after some hesitation, the three flavors that called out to me: morello cherry, fudge brownie, and caramelized honey.

It came served on a frigid, shining silver platter, accompanied by bananas and topped with a caramelized sugar crust. A divot in the dish held the ice cream, cradling the scoops like babies.

A mountain of whipped cream towered over the ice cream, and zigzags of chocolate and butterscotch sauce dripped down the sides.

The thickness and creaminess of the ice cream hit hard. The tang and fruitiness of the morello cherry was unique, adding a special flavor.

Caramelized honey, an unseen flavor before, consisted of a classic honey flavor chased by a subtle burnt aftertaste.

The fudge brownie was a decadent adventure. The ice cream was smooth and rich with chocolate. Inside the ice cream were chunks of brownie that almost melted in my mouth.

If you are craving a classic, sundae. This is the place to go.

Review and Photo by Julien Untalan ’24

It is sweet and fitting to eat ice cream for one’s high school newspaper. It is delightful to devour a sundae for The Crusader.

Throughout all my years as a food reviewer visiting everywhere from broken-down food trucks to Michelin 3-star restaurants, I have never had a finer dining experience than my trip to the famous Mitchell’s Ice Cream located in the Mission district of San Francisco — it was a delectable and filling end to my tenure as Food Review Editor.

The Oxford Dictionary describes ambrosia as “the food of the gods.”

In my humble opinion, they forgot to add a few words, with the correct definition being: “the food of the gods, the Banana Boat Sundae from Mitchell’s Ice Cream, a Neopolitan row of rich, chocolate, strawberry, and

vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge, rested upon a glorious throne of banana purée, flanked with two freshly peeled bananas, and tastefully garnished with three maraschino cherries.”

The taste was best described as a divine medley of everything good about desserts. It was sweet, but not overly sweet, smooth, without lacking texture, gratifying, without being overly decadent; it was everything you wanted minus everything you didn’t want, being the paragon of a perfect dessert. I do not think it’s even possible for a better dessert to exist — it was that good.

If you ever find yourself in dire need to fix a rotten day, fleeing from a heat wave, or simply craving some ice cream, order the Banana Boat Sundae from Mitchell’s Ice Cream, the be-all and end-all of delicious goodness.

It was a hot, sunny day in Golden Gate Park and I roamed the grassy hills and horribly paved roads for hours in search of refreshment. Eventually, I came across an oasis of both shade and concessions behind the Bandshell: a magnificent, brightly colored truck labeled, Twirl and Dip Soft Serve.

I ordered, and after an arduous 30 minutes of waiting, I finally held the long-awaited sundae in my hands.

Atop the smooth twirl of vanilla soft serve, trickled down a generous river of hot fudge, with a colorful array of honeycomb candy, chocolate chips, and cherries on top.

I started with the cherries, which popped in my mouth, flooding it with a sweet yet

delightfully tart syrup. The crackling, crunchy, honeycomb candy had a subtle and distinct honey flavor to it that accompanied the cherries nicely.

The cool, creamy, soft serve truly lived up to its name, being soft without melting too fast, and having just enough vanilla flavor to not drown all the toppings out.

Finally, the crunchy chocolate chips and chewy fudge tied the whole sundae together with a rich, and lightly salted finish. In less than a minute, I devoured the whole cup and found myself delightfully refreshed.

Although the $10, the size and quality of the serving made it well worth it. If you find yourself in Golden Gate Park this spring or summer, be sure to stop by!

May 2024 The Crusader
Riordan High
24 Food Reviews
Review and Photo by Xochitl Churchill ’24 The Banana Boat Supreme sits magnificently atop a marble countertop. A cupful of soft serve ice cream sprinkled with fudge, candy, and chocolate. The Ice Cream Bar Twirl and Dip Soft Serve Mitchell’s Ice Cream A trio of ice cream scoops adorned with toppings, served on a silver platter.

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