West Ranch High has always had a special place in Carlos Fandino's heart. Whether it was coaching the boys junior varsity basketball team from 2006-10 or watching his son CJ play varsity basketball before graduating in 2011, Fandino has remained a fixture around the Stevenson Ranch campus since the school opened in 2004.
With each new year comes the anticipation of several exciting athletic activities involving SCV teams, as well as local high-school graduates.
The pursuit of a 10th state championship didn't produce the perfect ending for the Saugus High girls cross country team, but the Centurions didn't conclude their season without setting another California high school record.
The landscape in high school basketball changed during the offseason in the CIF-Southern Section and the significant revisions could end up having as profound an impact on nine Santa Clarita Valley area schools as the shot clock or three-point shot.
Victoria Hodge arrived at Saugus High with one of the most impressive resumes of any athlete in the Centurions' cross country program - only that success had nothing to do with distance running.
You won't find more impressive student athletes anywhere.
Allyson Felix came into this year with aspirations of becoming the first woman in Olympic competition to defend her 200-meter title.
Two athletes who didn't receive baseball scholarships from the University of Arizona during high school were instrumental in the Wildcats coming within one pitch of winning the College World Series championship for the second time in five years in Omaha, Nebraska.
Anthony Ervin and Abbey Weitzeil share many similarities throughout their journeys, starting as the best swimmers in the Santa Clarita Valley to developing into some of the elite freestyle performers in the country.
Mariah Lopez has experienced exhilaration on the softball diamond, winning three Premier Girls Fastpitch National Championships, and has also suffered devastation in her young career after her junior season at Saugus High was cut short by injury.
Jonathan Kang understands the legacy of great golfers in the Santa Clarita Valley, including PGA Tour professionals, college All-Americans, CIF/SCGA champions and state medalists.
2015. This is where we begin a story about 2016. Something happened last year in the Santa Clarita Valley - an area so rich in baseball history - that hadn't happened in two decades.
Star power has been the determining factor for Foothill League basketball champions recently.
Meet some of Santa Clarita's finest prep athletes.
Two fathers, who lived two blocks from each other, watched their sons dominate on the same high school baseball mound in 2008. Over the years, they have kept in contact, mostly by text message.
10 Years of SCV Sports Memories
When this magazine started, Canyon High football was the biggest thing in town, Saugus girls cross country was just starting to win championships and the biggest names in the valley were J.J. DiLuigi, Shane Vereen, Michael Herrick, Shannon Murakami and Jordan Taylor.
Ten years later, Valencia High football rules the roost, Saugus girls cross country is the most decorated sports program in valley history and the biggest names in the valley are Trent Irwin, Brian Zabilski, Kyle Ensing, Samantha Ortega and Abbey Weitzeil.
In between, we've seen a decade of sports achievement that we arguably have not seen in any 10-year span in Santa Clarita Valley sports history.
In those 10 years, we've seen the following athletes compete in the high school, college and highest professional level: Vereen and his brother Brock; Delano Howell (NFL); Trevor Bauer and Tommy Milone (Major League Baseball); Taylor Lilley (WNBA); Alison Lee (LPGA); Max Homa (PGA); and Taylor, Jessica Shults and Madison Shipman (professional softball).
We've seen champions - team and individual - crazy games, spectacular games and unbelievable games. Let's go back to 2005, when Inside SCV was born, and Canyon defeated Hart 21-13 for a CIF championship - a game decided in the last seconds when DiLuigi made a tackle on Canyon's 1-yard line.
That takes us to the next year, and Canyon beats the number-one team in the nation, Concord De La Salle, 21-13 to win the valley's first and only CIF state championship.
Speaking of state titles, Saugus girls cross country has won eight of those while this magazine has been in existence.
As for national titles, there are a couple in there as well - the 2007 Valencia softball team and the 2008 Valencia boys volleyball team were both selected the best teams in the nation after dominant seasons that ended with CIF titles.
Since 2005, SCV teams and individuals have won CIF titles in the following sports: boys and girls cross country, girls golf, girls tennis, girls volleyball, football, boys basketball, girls basketball, girls soccer, softball, boys golf, boys volleyball, boys and girls track and field and boys and girls swim.
Baseball, which has produced the most local professional athletes of any sport, is one of the few sports that hasn't seen a CIF champion since 2005.
Well, here we are in 2015. Sports are growing in the SCV. We now have lacrosse in the high schools. We have a teenage swimmer in Weitzeil who is an Olympic hopeful. We had the first-ever girls tennis CIF championship team at Valencia. Foothill Leaguers ruled at the state's cross country championships and the CIF's track and field championships. Football's biggest rivalry is Hart and Valencia - or is it Valencia and Hart?
The stars of tomorrow are playing right now. So in another 10 years, we'll tell you about them. Until then, enjoy the moments.
Nobody knows SCV sports like Frank. He can cite stats on a whim and he never ceases to impress us with his on-target predictions. But what we appreciate most about Frank is his obvious love for Santa Clarita and her athletes; he doesn't just tell a story, he makes us realize that we're all a part of it. Frank is our MVP!
One of the greatest prep athletes the Santa Clarita Valley has ever seen is graduating from high school. Saugus High senior Abbey Weitzeil, the fastest American junior swimmer in history in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, had two major challenges in front of her - college (She committed to the University of California-Berkeley in November.) and the 2016 Rio Olympics. Now she has one.
Longtime Valencia High tennis coach Annie Kellogg recalled a point during this girls tennis season when she took her team on a stroll down memory lane.
Of course we have to wait until the final game of the regular season to get resolution.
You won't find a cooler introduction to the SCV's top sports stars than this.