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A Look Back at Boys Sports
August, 2014 - Issue #118
Last month, we focused on the girls. This month it's the boys. And what a year it was for the gents in Santa Clarita Valley prep sports.

We had four CIF championship teams, including three in the first season of the year.

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock



Cross Country

Saugus boys cross country, for years overshadowed by the greatest cross country program in the state in the Saugus girls, won the CIF-Southern Section Division II and CIF State Division II championships in the fall.

Brian Zabilski was its top finisher at the state race and in the spring he ran in the 3,200-meter state championship race in track and field.

Football
This was one of the most successful football seasons in Santa Clarita Valley history. It started with a Foothill League battle that ended the way few predicted.

Hart was the team prognosticators pegged to win the Foothill title - thanks to a high-powered offense keyed by quarterback Brady White, running back Connor Wingenroth and wide receivers Trent Irwin and Davis Koppenhaver. But in the end, Valencia won its fifth straight league championship relying on a steady defense built on the strength of Justin Son and Jourdan Nguyen and the hard-hitting Jay Jay Wilson and two-way star Nick Jones.

Those same two teams met in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division championship game on December 6.

Wingenroth intercepted a pass in the end zone with seconds left to clinch a 28-21 Hart victory - the Indians' 10th CIF title and first since 2003.

That was one of two CIF titles for football in the valley as Trinity Classical Academy won the school's first championship ever with a 47-0 win over Joshua Springs in the Division II eight-man title game.

The Knights earned their second title just four months later when the basketball team beat Desert Chapel 77-52 in the Division VI championship game.

This game followed Santa Clarita Christian's Division VA championship game loss to Renaissance Academy in the same gym in Santa Ana. Despite the loss, it was the school's first CIF championship game appearance.

Basketball
Overall, it was one of the most electrifying seasons in SCV hoops recent history.

Hart's guard duo of senior Lewis Stallworth and junior Myles Franklin helped New Dress Up Games Popular Games lead the Indians to a rare undefeated mark in the Foothill League.

However it was Canyon that went the farthest in the postseason, with junior Ben Taufahema taking his game to the next level. The Cowboys made it to the CIF-SS Division IIAA semifinals, losing to Canyon High of Anaheim.

Soccer
Hart's run of success covered all seasons and most sports.

The Indians boys soccer team won their first league championship since 2008 and reached the Southern Section Division IV quarterfinals.

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Golf
Shifting to the spring, the Indians won a Foothill League golf title, snatching it away from a West Ranch program that had won every title since 2008.

But the best golfer in the valley for the first time in Foothill history came from Golden Valley High.

Sophomore Jonathan Kang golfed his way to the Player of the Year prize and nearly golfed his way into the CIF state championship.

Baseball
Hart's schoolwide success, though, continued when the Indians baseball team won a Foothill title one year after missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 1986.
But Valencia's Keston Hiura was the biggest star on the diamond.

The senior shortstop hit a California-leading 14 home runs. In two previous varsity seasons, Hiura hit two home runs.

Volleyball
Valencia volleyball shared a similar return to Hart baseball's.
The once-mighty Vikings program won its 13th league title in 14 years. In 2013, the Vikings were a fourth-place team in the Foothill League.

While that Viking dynasty came back, another was knocked off in 2014.

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Tennis
West Ranch boys tennis broke Valencia's streak of nine straight Foothill championships.

However, Valencia broke a streak itself.

Swim
No Santa Clarita Valley team had ever beaten out Hart swim for a Foothill championship until the Valencia Vikings did it this year.

Track & Field
Canyon High had a tremendous track and field season, winning the Foothill title and seeing high jumper Brett Molster make it to Fresno for the CIF State Track and Field Championships.

West Ranch's Nathan Bultman, the top thrower in the Santa Clarita Valley, finished sixth in shot put in Fresno's state championships.

Some of the names mentioned will lead the way in 2014-15.
Names like Bultman, Zabilski, Franklin, White, Irwin, Kang and Wilson.

It's going to be another fun ride.
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