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Seven Athletes to Watch this Season
April, 2012 - Issue #90
"In the SPRING, seven high school sports take
center stage
."


In the spring, seven high school sports take center stage: baseball, softball, track and field, swimming, boys tennis, boys golf and boys volleyball.

Over the past decade, spring has been the season for Valencia High School with Foothill League dynasties in volleyball, softball, tennis and baseball.

Yet across the valley, from school to school, athletes also highlight the season. So we thought we'd highlight seven athletes from these seven sports to look out for in Spring 2012. Here they are.

Taylor Poliseno: Junior, West Ranch Swimming
Poliseno will enter Foothill League play as a favorite to win the 50- and 100-yard freestyle titles. In 2011, the sprinter was a champion in the 50 free and she was a finalist in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events in the CIF-Southern Section Division I championships. In August, she captured a victory in the SCV-hosted 2011 Summer Junior Olympic Swimming Championships in the 400 individual medley.

Karis Frankian: Senior, Saugus High Track & Field
It was Frankian in the fall and it could be Frankian again in the spring. The recent The Master's College commit helped lead Saugus to an unprecedented sixth straight CIF-state cross country championship in the fall. She is a top contender to medal at the state's track and field championship in the 3,200. Last season, she finished 20th overall in the event. As far as the Foothill League is concerned, she placed second to Saugus teammate Kaylin Mahoney, who has since graduated.

Eric Ensing: Senior, Valencia High boys Volleyball
The senior outside hitter is the top returner to the Valencia High boys volleyball dynasty. Coming into 2012 Foothill League play, the Vikings have won 102 consecutive Foothill matches. Ensing helped lead Valencia to its 11th straight league title in 2011. A ferocious outside hitter, Ensing made 261 kills last season. At 6 feet, 6 inches tall, the third-year varsity player is one of the most powerful players in the Foothill League. Ensing is also one of the valley's most prized college recruits, as he is committed to play volleyball at Long Beach State.

J.R. Macalutas: Senior, Valencia High Boys Tennis
Last season, Macalutas was the Santa Clarita Valley's best singles player. He figures to be the best again in 2012. Macalutas, a wiry tennis player with a varied skill set, went 55-5 overall in 2011 and a perfect 22-0 in Foothill League play. Macalutas also handed the eventual Foothill League individual champion, since-graduated Jason Ferlianto of Canyon, his only two league losses last season. Now his Valencia team will head into the 2012 season on a 51-match Foothill League winning streak.

Brian Mundell: Senior, Valencia High Baseball
While his teammate Trey Williams has taken most of the spotlight over the last two years, Mundell might be the one position player who can rival him. Valencia baseball head coach Jared Snyder said in the winter that the ball was jumping off Mundell's bat just as well as Williams. The senior catcher/first baseman batted .410 with four home runs and 26 RBI for last season's Foothill League champions. Already a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo commit, the slugger is considered a possibility to be selected in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Jonathan Chang: Senior, Valencia High Boys Golf
This is supposed to be Chang's year. The senior has the complete game - ball-striking ability, a short game, a powerful drive and smarts on the course. Though he may have finished fourth overall last year in the Foothill League with a 75.6 stroke average, you can bet that fact, with as competitive as he is, doesn't sit well with him. Chang played in two rounds in the CIF individual playoffs, ending his season at the Southern Section final. This year should be an interesting battle between him and West Ranch's C.J. Espino for the Foothill League Most Valuable Player.

Janelle Lindvall: Senior, West Ranch Softball
Lindvall just might be the most special player in the Foothill League. As a junior, she was simply dominant. The All-CIF and All-Foothill League selection batted .582 with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs. With those kinds of numbers, Lindvall will be lucky to see a lot of pitches cross the strike zone. Yet she's used to it because as the season wore on in 2011, she was routinely avoided at the plate. Lindvall is committed to the University of Oregon. Her younger sister Lauren, a sophomore, also recently committed to the school. Big sister Devon plays for UCLA.
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