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The Signal's Program of the Year: Saugus High School

Posted: July 10, 2013 9:56 p.m.
Updated: July 10, 2013 9:56 p.m.

Saugus swimmer Abbey Weitzeil won two individual CIF titles.

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The Signal Sports Awards have taken on a different look this season, with the point system being reworked substantially for the first time since its creation in 2005.

The top of the final standings, though, looks just as it has for the last four years.

The Saugus athletics program outscored the rest of the Foothill League — picking up 142 points from a girls cross country team that won its seventh straight CIF State Cross Country championship.

The final standings saw Saugus come away with the title with 241 points, edging Valencia’s 219.

In third was West Ranch (137), Hart was fourth (133) and Canyon (93) and Golden Valley (86) rounded out the standings.

The point system, which is used annually to award the valley’s top athletic program — local private schools are not considered because they participate in a limited number of sports — was changed in a variety of ways for the 2012-13 season to award an athletic program’s overall success.

The point total for a state championship was decreased from 100 points to 60. A Southern Section division title is now worth 40 points, down from 50, and a Foothill League title is now worth 10 points instead of 25.

Another change was the addition of a bonus 50 points to the school with the most league titles — Valencia took that honor with seven championships this season.

But none of that made a difference in the final tally — and it wasn’t just the Saugus girls cross country program that made the difference.

Boys cross country added 38 points as the team finished as runner-up in both CIF-SS Division II and CIF State Division II.

The girls volleyball team added five points with its postseason appearance, giving Saugus a league-best 185 points for the fall.

Saugus slowed down a bit in the winter, receiving a combined 17 points from boys and girls basketball and girls soccer, but picked back up in the spring.

That was aided by sophomore swimmer Abbey Weitzeil, who added 20 points with two CIF-SS Division I title winning swims at the championship meet in May.

The Centurions ended the spring with 39 points, extending their lead over the rest of the league.

That was well behind West Ranch, which outscored the league in the spring with 74 points.

Valencia was fairly balanced in the tallying, scoring 61 points in the fall, 63 in the winter and falling a tad to 45 in the spring.

The Vikings got off to a hot start, winning three titles in the fall with football, girls volleyball and girls tennis winning crowns. Football and tennis added to the cause by picking up two postseason wins each for extra points.

The Vikings were dominant in the winter, taking three of four titles, winning in boys and girls soccer and girls basketball to lead the league in winter scoring.

The third-place Wildcats won six overall league titles, four in the spring, and were led by softball, which won its second straight title and advanced to the quarterfinals in CIF-SS Division I.

Hart’s top score came in the fall, as girls tennis won a Foothill League title and added 19 points to help the program earn 67 points for the season.

Canyon’s lack of postseason success hurt the program in the final tally, with only girls basketball advancing past the second round. That team led all programs on campus, picking up 22 points for winning a league title and advancing to the CIF-SS Division IIAA quarterfinals.

Golden Valley fell to sixth this season after finishing in third last year.

The Grizzlies held their own in the fall, thanks to the boys and girls cross country teams picking up a combined 54 of the program’s 59 fall points. But a barren winter and only 27 points in the spring — from boys and girls track and field and boys tennis — put Golden Valley at the bottom.

The school did win two league titles, though, taking crowns in boys and girls track and field.

Canyon and Hart won three league titles and Saugus won two.

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