CERRITOS – For Bruce Rollinson, the big rivalry will always be Mater Dei-Servite.
“This old-school football coach will always consider Servite to be our rival,” said Rollinson, who played football at Mater Dei in the 1960s and has been the school’s head coach since 1989. “It’s tradition, it’s the number of years we’ve played Servite going back to 1961.”
Vince Brown, Mater Dei class of 1978, is the same way.
“Servite was the rival,” said Brown, who played football at Mater Dei and still holds the school shot put record. “All of my brothers, we all went to Mater Dei and we had a ton of Servite people in the neighborhood, too. You didn’t want to face Servite kids in church the next Sunday if you’d just lost to them.”
But now …
“Fast-forward to the kids of the most recent years and the rival really is St. John Bosco,” Rollinson said.
And Brown said, “I believe St. John Bosco has taken over as the rival.”
Mater Dei and St. John Bosco have played each other four times over the past two football seasons. Two of those four games were CIF-Southern Section Division 1 championship games, including Saturday’s Division 1 final won by Mater Dei 49-24.
St. John Bosco beat Mater Dei in last year’s CIF-SS Division 1 final, a few weeks after Mater Dei beat St. John Bosco in a Trinity League game. The Monarchs swept St. John Bosco this season, including a 31-21 win over the Braves in a Trinity League game that everyone expected months earlier would again be for the league championship.
Brown’s son Tommy is the starting left tackle at Mater Dei.
“Tommy grew up hearing about this tremendous rivalry with Servite,” Vince said. “But since he’s been at Mater Dei it’s been Bosco-Mater Dei.”
Tommy, a senior at Mater Dei whose cousin Meg Brown is a top player on the Monarchs girls volleyball team, still bears a good deal of animosity toward Servite.
“We have a hatred for Servite,” Tommy said, rather matter-of-factly. “We want to crush them and disgrace them. With Bosco, it’s more of a respect there, more of wanting to see who the best team is.”
Unlike Tommy Brown, Mater Dei senior receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown has not grown up with Mater Dei people all over the family tree. For St. Brown, the Monarchs’ chief adversary, without question, is St. John Bosco’s Braves.
“We’ve had some really good games with them,” St. Brown said.
Saturday’s was not one of them, and St. Brown was a reason for that. Wearing USC…