Characters lead powerhouse St. John Bosco

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Fog begins to roll into Veterans Stadium as players meet with their families following yet another victory for nationally-ranked Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco.

The starters face a light workload on this night, sitting out much of the second half of their second-round win against Las Cruces (Calif.) Tesoro. ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) is happy for the extra rest, but even gladder some youngsters got to take the field and experience the CIF Southern Section Pac-5 Division playoffs.

Shortly after singing along to the alma mater, Mama ignores the dropping temperatures and takes off his pads, revealing a sleeveless tank top. He then grabs a bucket hat out of his duffel bag, puts it on and smiles, as if to pretend he’s spending an afternoon by the ocean. The fashion statement is perhaps an indication of the 6-foot-4, 370-pound lineman’s willingness to step away from the seriousness of playoffs and a hectic recruitment.