BELLFLOWER, Calif. — The title of "QB1" is something that every high school quarterback wants, but down at St. John Bosco, it's not necessarily something the Braves have this season.

Instead, a national powerhouse that is never one to shy away from competition has an internal one of its own — with both senior Katin Houser and junior Pierce Clarkson sharing the role of starter. 

What You Need To Know

  • St. John Bosco kicks off its 2021 season in a clash against another national powerhouse in Miami Central

  • The Braves return 10 starters on offense and eight on defense

  • In a unique situation, Bosco will be starting not one division one caliber quarterback starter, but two

  • Senior Katin Houser and junior Pierce Clarkson, will split reps to start the season

"It's definitely unique," Clarkson said. "It's not something you see everywhere. Katin is definitely one of the best quarterbacks I've ever seen until this point."

Last year — during an abbreviated CIF season — the duo split reps throughout all six games.

Houser had transferred to Bosco from Liberty in Las Vegas, while Clarkson was on the program's freshman team in the year prior.

While head coach Jason Negro has hoped one would begin to separate themselves above the other, that hasn't happened just yet. And so, instead of settling on one starter, the coaching staff views this time as a valuable lesson for both of them.

"I think what you want to do is put your kids in a most stressful situation as possible to prepare them for later in life," Negro explained.

"Ultimately, life is about competition, and football is about competition," he continued. "It's about preparing yourself against some of the best opposition that you possibly can, and that's something our program has embraced."

It's exactly what Clarkson and Houser have found in each other.

Houser is typically described as the gunslinger, Clarkson, the playmaker. Off the field, though, their relationship can be described simply as friends.

"I have a lot of things to say about him," Houser said with a smile. "Pierce is a great teammate. I'll keep it simple."

It's their special connection and unique relationship that really make this duo so special.

Because in most cases, in today's ultra-competitive high school landscape, if someone isn't the starter, they may have already transferred out.

Not here.

"Part of the reason I stayed is I realized this is getting me ready for college," Clarkson said. "You can't settle, and he never lets me settle."

To Coach Negro, having an attitude like Clarkson and Houser's makes the partnership work.

It may not be an ideal situation, but they take it in stride.

"Those guys care about each other, they care about the football team, and at the end of the day, they are very unselfish," Negro said.

Because when you boil it down, both of them have the same goals: to be the best they can be and to lead their team to a championship.  

And this season, the Braves have all the potential to make it there. Bosco will return with 10 starters on defense and eight on offense.

Their depth overall, coupled with a nationally ranked schedule, could make for a championship season. However, it's the team's chemistry that both quarterbacks say will make the difference.

"I feel like our brotherhood, and our relationship is what drives us to be a really good team," Houser said.

"Just to know, at the end, we have a chance to do something special and win a ring," Clarkson added. "That's what's exciting."