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Saugus Year in Review: Saugus best season ever?

Posted: June 25, 2009 9:10 p.m.
Updated: June 26, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Saugus High School may have had its best athletic year ever in 2008-09.

It’s hard to argue based off the success of so many teams.

First and foremost on that list is the girls cross country team, which won its third straight state title.

The Centurions runners also laid claim to being one of the greatest teams in Santa Clarita Valley history.

That includes every sport.
The argument is that Saugus competed against the best in the state and the best nationally.

The Centurions finished second nationally in early December.

Also in the fall, Saugus football won its first-ever Foothill League title.

The Centurions also defeated Hart for the first time in nearly two decades and made it to the CIF-Southern section Northern Division semifinals.

Then, in the winter, the third-place Saugus girls soccer team won the valley’s first-ever outright division title by beating Harvard-Westlake 2-1 in the Division II championship game.

Saugus continued its success in the spring, mostly from its track and field teams.

Stephanie Bulder, Anne Randall, Karis Frankian, Kaylin Mahoney and Daniel Swarbrick all made the trip to the state championship meet.

Speaking of individuals, Saugus had some great ones.

The electrifying Desi Rodriguez was one of the most exciting quarterbacks this valley has ever seen.

Jamie Molacek and Erin Ortega were the division’s best players in girls soccer.

Zachary Vincej finished a memorable career on the diamond with another stellar year.

And it will all start again in 2009-10 with more promise.

Saugus girls cross country should be the favorite for another state title. Mahoney will also defend her state championship.

Sept. 12
Saugus football pounds Pasadena 37-6. Ryan Zirbel runs for 191 yards on 18 carries and scores two touchdowns. Kollin Depew adds a 95-yard kickoff return for touchdown.

Sept. 13
The Saugus girls cross country team breaks its own course record at the 19th annual Seaside Invitational. Kaylin Mahoney is the overall leader, finishing in 17 minutes, 6 seconds.

Sept. 19
Saugus football defeats Westlake 42-40. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez has touchdown runs of 78 and 45 yards and also tosses an 85-yard touchdown pass to Kollin Depew.

Sept. 23
Saugus posts its second-best score ever at Vista Valencia Golf Course, but finishes second to Hart. Tiara Wells and Sophi Valentine each post 37s as the Centurions score 195. Hart shot 181.

Sept. 26
The Centurions football team loses 27-20 to Alemany, its first loss of the season. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez tallies 152 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Saugus led 20-13 in the game.

Oct. 3
High-powered Notre Dame jumps on Saugus, building a 42-14 lead by halftime. Saugus eventually loses 52-28. Desi Rodriguez runs for 158 yards. Ryan Zirbel tops him with 202.

Oct. 10
Saugus keeps it tight for most of the game, but allows two touchdowns in the final two minutes of a 37-14 loss to Crespi at Cougar Stadium. Centurions quarterback Desi Rodriguez passes for 205 yards and picks up 59 more on the ground. Saugus falls to 2-3 on the season.

Oct. 16
Saugus Cross Country runner Alec Nelson sets a Central Park course record with a time of 15 minutes, 3 seconds, in a Saugus win. Saugus teammate Brandon Jauregui is second with a time of 15 minutes, 17 seconds.  

The girls team scores a perfect league meet with all six scoring runners following each other. Saugus runner Kaylin Mahoney wins with a personal-best of 17 minutes, 7 seconds. Brianna Jauregui finishes second (17:20), Anne Randall is third (17:38), Courtney Wilson fourth (17:52), Keri Molt fifth (17:53), and Amber Murakami finishes sixth (17:55).

Oct. 17
The Centurions football team stuns Hart as it beats the defending league champions 55-20. It is Saugus’ first win against the Indians in 16 years. Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez finishes the game with 188 yards rushing on 14 carries and three touchdowns. He also has 56 yards passing and one touchdown pass to tight end Mario Lara. Senior running back Ryan Zirbel finished with 182 yards and three touchdowns. Saugus moves to 3-3 on the season.

Oct. 21
Saugus defeats Hart 3-2 in girls varsity volleyball. Saugus’ Katie Estes sets a school record with 35 kills. Alyssa Terwall sets a school record with 57 assists. Jaclyn Clark sets a school record with 28 digs and 15 kills. Saugus moves to 17-3 overall and 3-2 in league.

Oct. 24
Saugus routs West Ranch 66-24 at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium at Valencia High School. Saugus scores seven rushing touchdowns and gains 346 yards on the ground. Saugus improves to 2-0 in league and 4-3 overall. Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez accounts for 304 total yards and six total touchdowns. Saugus running back Ryan Zirbel rushes for 210 yards on 15 carries and has two receptions for 35 yards.

Oct. 25
The Saugus girls cross country team breaks its own course record at the 51st annual Reebok Mt. SAC Cross Country invitational at Mt. San Antonio College and finishes first. Saugus records a near-perfect score of 24 points as every Centurion runner breaks their own personal record. Kaylin Mahoney wins with a time of 17 minutes, 13 seconds. Anne Randall finishes third (17:35), Amber Murakami finishes fifth (17:43), Brianna Jauregui finishes sixth (17:51), and Stephanie Bulder finishes ninth (17:56). Keri Molt places 12th (18:05), and Karis Frankian places 24th (18:36).  

The Saugus boys team wins the Division I individual sweepstakes, and the junior varsity girls team wins the national championship with a perfect score of 15.

Oct. 31
The Centurions football team stays undefeated in league, winning against Golden Valley 42-7 on the College of the Canyons campus. Saugus improves to 3-0 in league and 5-3 overall. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez finishes 10-of-14 for 179 yards and a touchdown. Running back Ryan Zirbel finishes with 162 yards and three scores. The defense forces five turnovers, including two interceptions and three fumbles.

Nov. 4
The Saugus girls volleyball team wins a nail-biter against West Ranch. 3-2, clinching a spot in the postseason with the win. Saugus’ Jaclyn Clark finishes with 18 kills and 24 digs. Alyssa Terwall has 56 assists and 18 digs.

Nov. 6
The Saugus boys and girls cross country teams win their third consecutive Foothill League Championship. With a three-mile time of 15 minutes, 21 seconds, Centurion Brandon Jauregui becomes the first boys runner in team history to win an individual title in the Foothill League. Alec Nelson finishes third with a time of 15 minutes, 42 seconds.

In a league-final debut as a varsity runner, sophomore Kaylin Mahoney wins in 17 minutes, 36 seconds. Finishing right behind her are teammates Brianna Jauregui (17:39), Anne Randall (17:42), Stephanie Bulder (18:01), Keri Molt (18:03), Amber Murakami (18:05), and Courtney Wilson (18:22).

Nov. 7
The Saugus football team beats Valencia 31-24 to win at least a share of the Foothill League title. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez finishes the game with 182 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and 159 yards passing and one touchdown.  

Nov. 14
The Centurions solidify their first outright league title in football by beating Canyon 56-28. Running back Ryan Zirbel runs for 230 yards on 21 carries and scores three touchdowns. Saugus quarterback Desi Rodriguez runs for 142 yards on eight carries, and is 6-for-11 passing for 135 yards with two touchdowns. Saugus finishes 7-3 overall and 5-0 in league.  

Nov. 15
Saugus’ girls cross country team wins its heat in the CIF-Southern Section Division II Prelims at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut. The boys team qualifies for the first time in 10 years. The girls team qualifies for the sixth straight season for the CIF-SS Finals at Mt. SAC. Saugus’ varsity runner, sophomore Kaylin Mahoney, wins the girls race with an unofficial time of 17 minutes, 39 seconds. Keri Molt finishes fourth (18:19), Karis Frankian finishes fifth (18:20), Courtney Wilson sixth (18:53), and Alex Hampton seventh (19:09). For the boys, Brandon Jauregui finishes second in his heat with a time of 15 minutes, 43 seconds. Behind him, teammates Alec Nelson finishes fourth (15:54), Joey Eledge finishes 17th (16:18), Logan Smith is 39th (16:52), and Kevin Heinemann is 44th (16:59).

Nov. 21
Saugus wins its first-round CIF-Southern Section Northern Division game by defeating Righetti of Santa Maria, 29-17. Running back Ryan Zirbel tweaks his left ankle in the fourth quarter and misses the rest of the game. He finishes with 213 yards rushing and a touchdown on 17 carries. Zirbel also catches a 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Desi Rodriguez, who adds 151 yards rushing on 21 carries.  Centurions linebacker Mario Lara intercepts a pass for a 55-yard touchdown return.

Nov. 22
The Saugus girls cross country team qualifies for the CIF State Meet at Woodward Park in Fresno. The boys finishes eighth, missing a qualifying spot by one place. The Lady Centurions’ five scoring runners, including Kaylin Mahoney, Amber Murakami, Stephanie Bulder, Anne Randall, and Brianna Jauregui, combine to score 21 points in the Division II meet. This is the second-lowest score in CIF-SS cross country meet history. Mahoney becomes the first-ever Saugus girls runner to win a CIF-Southern Section meet with a time of 17 minutes, 1 second.

Nov. 28
The Saugus football team advances to the semifinals with a win over Thousand Oaks, 35-28, in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. Saugus improves its overall record to 9-3. Running back Ryan Zirbel, still recovering from the ankle injury in the previous game, was forced out of the game for most of the first half. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez steps up for Zirbel and rushes for 261 yards with three touchdowns. Ryan Zirbel finishes with 56 yards rushing.

Nov. 29
The Saugus girls cross country team wins its third straight CIF State Division II Cross Country Championship with Kaylin Mahoney claiming an individual crown. Mahoney becomes the second Saugus runner in the last four years to claim an individual championship. The team bests its own state mark by running 90 minutes, 6 seconds, defeats its next-closest competitor by 109 points, which is the greatest girls cross country team in California history. Mahoney’s first-place time is 17 minutes, 34 seconds. Right behind her is Brianna Jauregui, who posts a personal-best time of 17 minutes, 48 seconds, which places her fourth overall.

Dec. 3
The Centurions girls basketball team holds off a late comeback by Taft, winning 42-36, in the Valencia High Five Classic at Valencia High School. Gabby Conn leads all scorers with 18 points. Conn hits two clinching free throws with 19 seconds left to help seal the win.

Dec. 4
The Saugus girls basketball team advances to the Valencia High Five Classic title game with a win over Nordhoff, 66-40, at Valencia High School. Saugus entered halftime with a 22-point lead. Nicole Hicks leads all scores with 14 points. Gabby Conn adds 12 points and Katelyn Smither has 10.

Dec. 5
Saugus football gets routed by St. Bonaventure in the CIF-SS Northern Division semifinals, 35-8. It is still the most successful season in program history, as the team won the Foothill League title for the first time. Running back Ryan Zirbel finishes the game with 19 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Desi Rodriguez has 57 yards rushing on 19 carries, completing 13-for-26 passes for 128 yards,

Dec. 6
The Centurions cross country team loses places second for the second straight year at the Nike Cross Championship in Portland, Ore.  Saugus finishes with an improved time from last year with 93 minutes, 33.24 seconds. Saugus runners finish 11th (Kaylin Mahoney, 18:04.10), 56th (Amber Murakami, 18:47.40), 61st (Stephanie Bulder, 18:49.20), 65th (Brianna Jauregui, 18:51.50), 66th (Anne Randall, 18:52), 97th (Karis Frankian, 19:11.60), and 112th (Keri Molt, 19:23.40).

Dec. 19
The Saugus boys soccer team beats Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, 3-1. Erick Esquivel scores two goals and Manuel Garza has a goal and an assist.

Jan. 13
The Saugus girls basketball team gets a big win against Valencia, 55-53, to open the league season at Valencia High School. Kaitlyn Smither makes a shot with 26 seconds left in the game to secure the lead for good. Gabby Conn finishes the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Nicole Hicks gets 15 points.

The Saugus boys basketball team wins a double-overtime thriller against Valencia 69-65, in the season opener at Valencia High School.  Saugus’ Joey Fredricks drains a three-pointer to send it to a second overtime. Mark Watanabe scores a game-high 26 points.

The Centurions girls soccer team loses 4-2 in its Foothill League opener against Valencia, which scores all four of its goals in the opening 20 minutes of play against Saugus.

Jan. 16
The Saugus boys basketball team improves to 2-0 in league with a 70-63 win against West Ranch. The Centurions hit 12-of-16 three-pointers. Noel Mansour hits seven 3s in the game and finishes with 27 points.
Saugus girls soccer beats West Ranch 7-2 as Jilian Allen and Jamie Molacek score two goals apiece.

Jan. 20
Saugus boys basketball begins to see its season take a turn for the worse as the Centurions trail by as many as 29 points to eventual Foothill League champion Golden Valley. They later cut the deficit to just three points but wind up losing the game 92-87. Mark Watanabe scores a game-high 29 points.

Jan. 23
Despite struggling during the pre-league season, the Saugus boys soccer team remains undefeated in the Foothill League after beating eventual league champion Canyon 3-2. Manuel Garza, Matt Sanders and Erick Esquivel all score for Saugus.
Saugus girls soccer breaks through against stingy Canyon. Jamie Molacek scores Saugus’ lone goal in a 1-0 win. It is the first goal Canyon allows in league play.

Saugus girls basketball moves to 4-0 in league with a 62-49 win over Canyon. Nicole Hicks scores 25 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter.

Jan. 27
Saugus boys soccer suffers a stunning 2-0 defeat to Hart, which wins its first league game.

Jan. 30
The Saugus girls basketball team loses 81-70 to Valencia, its first loss of the league season. Three Saugus starters foul out in the fourth quarter. Nicole Hicks scores 32 points.

Feb. 6
Gabrielle Conn scores 18 points in leading the Saugus girls basketball team to a 78-28 win over Golden Valley. She ties the school’s all-time scoring record of 1,225 points.

Feb. 10
Saugus girls soccer is eliminated from league-title contention after a 1-0 loss to Canyon.
The girls basketball team loses 60-53 to Canyon, despite Gabrielle Conn becoming the school’s career scoring leader. A win would have given the Cents a league title.

Saugus boys soccer defeats Canyon for the second time in the regular season with a 1-0 shutout. Erick Esquivel knocks home the game-winning goal.

Feb. 12
The Centurions girls basketball team defeats Hart 50-36 to claim the Foothill League title. Nicole Hicks breaks the school’s single-season scoring record of 447 points.

Feb. 18
The Saugus boys basketball team’s season ends with a 78-52 loss to La Mirada in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIA playoffs. The Centurions finish 10-17. Joey Frederick leads the Cents with 15 points.

Feb. 19
The Saugus girls soccer team opens the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs with an 8-1 win over Highland in Palmdale. The Centurions, who finished third in the Foothill League, get a pair of goals from Nicole Penick,

Feb. 20
Manny Padron’s goal in sudden death leads the Saugus boys soccer team to a 2-1 win over Paramount in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division III playoffs.

Feb. 21
Newbury Park ousts the Saugus girls basketball team from the CIF-Southern Section Division IIA playoffs. Saugus loses 69-53 despite 29 points from Nicole Hicks.

Feb. 24
Saugus girls soccer edges Flintridge Sacred Heart 1-0 after a goal in the 73rd minute by Ysabel Padron in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Feb. 25
Coachella Valley proves too strong for the Centurions boys soccer team, which falls 4-0 in the second round of the Division III playoffs.

Feb. 26
Saugus girls soccer downs Crescenta Valley 1-0 in the third round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs as Erin Ortega scores off a throw-in.

March 3
Saugus girls soccer defeats Redlands 2-1 in the Division II semifinals. Senior captain Erin Ortega and junior midfielder Jamie Molacek each scored for the Centurions.

March 6
The Saugus girls soccer team defeats Harvard-Westlake 2-1 to win the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship. It is the first outright CIF soccer title in Santa Clarita Valley history. Jamie Molacek scores the game-winner in the 47th minute. Erin Ortega scores the game’s first goal in the third minute.

March 10
Saugus girls soccer loses to Buchanan of Clovis 3-2 in the CIF-Southern California Regional Division I playoffs. Jamie Molacek scores both of Saugus’ goals.

March 20
Saugus baseball starts the Foothill League season with a 7-1 win over eventual league champion Valencia. Pitchers Darren Schweitzer and Kyle Hooper combine to hold the Vikings’ bats down.

March 25
Saugus baseball continues its hot start in league play by dominating West Ranch 15-3. Stefan Cordes doubles and homers for the Cents.

March 26
The Saugus boys track and field team opens the Foothill League schedule by defeating Valencia 76-60, while the girls track and field team beats Valencia 80-56. Brandon and Briana Jauregui each win their respective 3,200-meter runs.

March 31
The Saugus boys swim team defeats Canyon 96-73. Luke Rowley takes home victories in the 50 and 100 freestyle and contributes one leg of the 400 freestyle victory. Leeanna Walter swims a CIF consideration time in the 100 breaststroke despite her team’s loss to Canyon.

Andrew Moore, Gary Steinhoff and Justin Hancock all shoot 78s at the second Foothill League boys golf match as the Centurions finish in fourth place overall.

April 2
Saugus track and field doubles up on Canyon. Brandon Jauregui wins the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 on the boys’ side, while Saugus’ distance runners also sweep on the girls’ side.

Centurions boys tennis loses 14-4 to Valencia, but No. 3 singles player Alan Calderon wins a pair of sets.

April 14
Saugus softball has a field day in the league opener with a 20-3 victory over Golden Valley. Jenna Kelly smacks a three-run home run.

The boys volleyball team defeats Golden Valley 3-1, Ryan Mason has a big match with 27 assists, six kills and seven blocks.

April 23
The Saugus boys track and field team defeats Golden Valley 83-53 to clinch at least a share of the Foothill League title, its first league title since the school competed in the Golden League in 1986. The girls track and field team has little trouble in beating Golden Valley 102-34, and clinches a share of its fourth straight league title.

April 28
Saugus softball defeats first-place Valencia 5-4. The Centurions score four runs in the seventh inning, including home runs from Sara Shier and Jackie Shimamoto that helped send the game to extra innings. It is the program’s first win over Valencia in three years.

April 29
Saugus’ boys and girls track and field teams win outright league titles with convincing victories over Hart. The boys win 102-35 and the girls win 107-29. Josh Coefield wins the 100- and 200-meter dash and the long jump. Daniel Swarbrick wins the discus and shot put. Amber Wright wins the 100 and 200 for the girls and Alex Ecsedy wins the throwing events.

May 1
Saugus baseball defeats Hart 3-0 for a crucial victory. The Centurions stay in third place in the Foothill League, which guarantees them a spot in the postseason. Tommy Kister and Kyle Hooper combine for the shutout.

May 7
By virtue of defeating Hart 3-1, the Saugus boys volleyball team earns a spot in the postseason. Kyle Eaton contributes a team-high 15 kills.

May 8
Daniel Swarbrick wins the Foothill League discus and shot put titles at the league’s track and field finals. Josh Coefield becomes the 100- and 200-meter champion. League champions on the girls’ side are Kaylin Mahoney (3,200), Stephanie Bulder (1,600), Alex Hampton (400), Amber Wright (100), and Alex Ecsedy (shot put).

May 15
Saugus boys volleyball’s season ends with a 3-1 loss in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division II playoffs to Saddleback. Ryan Mason contributes 32 assists and Sean Picard adds 17 kills.

Centurions baseball defeats Valencia 14-10 in the league finale and secures third place in the Foothill League. Zachary Vincej hits two home runs, drives in four and scores three runs.

Eleven Saugus athletes finish high enough at the CIF-SS Division II prelims to qualify for the finals.

May 19
Saugus baseball defeats Oxnard 4-2 in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs. Stefan Cordes hits a three-run homer in the game.

May 21
Thousand Oaks knocks Saugus softball out of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs. Alexis Tellez and Sara Shier each collect a hit in the 5-0 loss.

May 22
Saugus baseball loses 6-2 to Mater Dei in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Justin Sheehan goes 2-for-2 with an RBI.

May 23
Kaylin Mahoney wins the CIF-Southern Section Division II title in the 3,200-meter run with a time of 10 minutes, 38.91 seconds. Daniel Swarbrick wins the discus title with a toss of 178 feet, 8 inches.

May 26
Saugus girls soccer coach Lisa Rollo resigns to pursue a job in San Diego.

May 29
Stephanie Bulder, Anne Randall, Karis Frankian and Kaylin Mahoney qualify for the CIF State Track and Field Championships with their performances in the 3,200-meter run in the CIF-SS Masters Meet. It is the first time in the state meet’s history that four girls from the same school qualify for the 3,200 finals. Daniel Swarbrick qualifies for the state meet in the shot put and discus.

June 5
Daniel Swarbrick qualifies for the final round in the shot put and discus at the CIF State Track and Field Championship. Anne Randall fails to qualify for the 1,600-meter run final.

June 6
Kaylin Mahoney finishes third in the CIF State Track and Field Championships in the 3,200-meter run, while Stephanie Bulder finishes fifth. Daniel Swarbrick medals with a fourth-place finish in the discus and a fifth-place finish in the shot put.

June 10
Saugus senior pitcher Kyle Hooper is selected in the 28th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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