The Competition is Fierce
October, 2010 - Issue #72
Meet six of Santa Clarita's most
promising athletes. These young sports
stars have more than skill, they have the
Their sports may be different, but the
one thing they have in common is
the drive to be the best.

Steven Manfro
Valencia Football

If you end up with the first pick in a Foothill League high school fantasy football draft, pick Steven Manfro. You'll win. The running back, as a junior, ranked sixth in the Southern Section with 1,666 rushing yards. He only had four games with fewer than 100. And he does more than just run the ball. Manfro also proved himself a serious threat through the air with 41 catches for 753 yards. As for what he does with his touches, Manfro scored 34 times in 13 games, recording at least one touchdown in every game.

Anne Susdorf
Hart Tennis

Death, taxes, and Anne Susdorf earning three wins per match for the Hart girls tennis team. All are pretty much equally inevitable. Few players in the Santa Clarita Valley's girls tennis history can boast a resume like Susdorf has produced heading into her senior year. In her past two seasons, Susdorf has lost just once to a Foothill League foe. Perfect as a sophomore, she was human- sort of - last year, losing one set against a Foothill opponent as a junior. But she never lost again. For the second straight year, Susdorf rolled through the league's individual tournament, reclaiming the Foothill singles title.
hair and makeup by Karen Sorenson for Salon Glo 799-9300

Riley Mita
West Ranch Swimming

"Who I am... I'm the definition of the word competitor." These words, the first to greet visitors to, kind of sum up the West Ranch swimmer. Everyone who's ever lined up next to him at a starting block can attest to that. In the Foothill League finals last season, Mita was not only the champion in the 200- and 500-yard freestyle events, but is now the record holder for both. First he shattered an all-time league standard in the 200 with a best-ever-recorded 1 minute, 42.66 seconds. Next he swam the 500 seven seconds faster than it's ever been, touching the wall 4:33.49 after he started.

Mohammed Roknipour
Canyon Soccer and Football

When Mohammed Roknipour steps onto the football field, he puts the Cowboys in scoring position from the moment they reach their opponents' half of the field. He's a 50-yard- field goal waiting to happen. On the futbol field, a school-record 25-goal scorer for the league champion soccer team, the senior is even deadlier. The bottom line? Roknipour can kick. Whether it was while wearing a helmet and pads, scoring five field goals in 10 games for the football team, or as an All-Leaguer for the CIF semifinalist soccer team, his leg has one more year to do some major damage at Canyon's Harry Welch Stadium.

Stephanie Bulder
Saugus Cross Country

Stephanie Bulder has had the opportunity to absorb plenty of lessons as a Saugus High student. From five-paragraph essays to mathematical formulas to world history, she's been exposed to plenty of knowledge. Everything except what it feels like to be on a cross county team that isn't the best in California. When Bulder showed up as a freshman three years ago, the Centurions were the defending state champions. She has had a lot to do with the fact that every freshman that's come to Saugus since has stepped into the same situation. Bulder is a key piece of a team that's favored to win a fifth straight title.
hair and makeup by Karen Sorenson for Salon Glo 799-9300

Billy Fredrick
Golden Valley Baseball

The fact that Golden Valley's baseball team turned a corner in the same year that Billy Fredrick became a high school freshman is not a coincidence. Fredrick might be young, but the kid can hit. The program-turner-arounder led the up-and-coming Grizzlies with a .427 batting average last season. More significantly, during the Grizzlies' breakthrough, program-making moments, he was the one making things happen. Over a three-game coming out party in which the Grizzlies rattled off three straight wins against the league's top two teams, winning back-to-back against West Ranch followed by one against league-champion Valencia, Fredrick went 8-for-13, scoring eight runs, and hitting a homer.
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