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The Age of Excellence: Hard luck in 2002

Posted: December 21, 2009 11:29 p.m.
Updated: December 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Hart wide receiver Todd Wilson (27) is tackled by a pair of Mission Viejo defenders during the Indians' 10-6 loss in the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship, which snaps Hart's 35-game unbeaten streak.

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For every up, there is a down, and in 2002, the Santa Clarita Valley saw plenty of both.

Five teams made it all the way to a CIF-Southern Section division championship only to taste defeat, while another won its first title.

Some of the teams will be familiar and some of the names will resonate, like those of Jake Coash, Cody Kase, Alysia Johnson, Chad Eichten and J.J. Arrington.

It was also basketball greats Ashlee Trebilcock and Kelley Tarver’s first year on the court.

No matter the case, 2002 evoked its share of emotion.

Jan. 13 — Saugus High School athletes Sheldon Bell and Robert Smith are tragically killed in a high-speed car accident on Bouquet Canyon Road. They are memorialized later in the day. Both students were 17 years old.

Feb. 5 — Canyon girls soccer clinches the Foothill League title with a 7-0 win over Burbank led by five goals from senior Jamie Rendich. She would go on to be a standout player at Brigham Young University.

Feb. 6 — Hart’s Kyle Reynish (UC Santa Barbara), Matt Moore (UCLA) and Chris Frome (Notre Dame) sign collegiate letters of intent. Moore currently starts for the Carolina Panthers, Frome spent time with the Chicago Bears and Reynish won the 2009 MLS Cup as a backup goalkeeper with Real Salt Lake.

Feb 7. — Kase scores 26 points to lead the Indians over Canyon 74-66 to win the Foothill League boys basketball title in the season finale. Both teams would be in for eventful playoff runs. Kase went on to play football at the University of New Mexico, where he was an Academic All-American linebacker before graduating in 2008.

On the same day, Hart and Saugus girls basketball split the league title, Hart and Saugus boys soccer share the Foothill League title, and SCCS boys soccer, undefeated throughout the season, loses its season finale 3-0 to Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills. The Cardinals will eventually finish 14-2 after a CIF-Southern Section Division V opening-round loss.

Feb. 8 — SCCS girls basketball wins its first Westside League title with a win over Hillcrest Christian of Granada Hills, while the SCCS boys earn a share of the title with a loss to Hillcrest.

Feb. 13 — Valencia boys soccer wins program’s first postseason game with 1-0 victory over Rio Mesa thanks to Huey Park’s penalty kick.

Feb. 26 — Canyon girls soccer’s undefeated run through the season comes to an abrupt end when a controversial call awards a goal to Crescenta Valley, ousting the Cowboys 2-1 in the CIF-SS Division II semifinals. The game-winner is called when the ball is headed off the crossbar, but deemed to have been inside the goal. Canyon finishes the season 18-1-5.

Canyon boys basketball’s improbable run in the CIF-SS Division IA playoffs comes to an end with an 81-60 loss in the semifinals to Loyola, despite 32 points from Jeremy Haggerty and after an already-injured Eichten sprained his ankle. The Cowboys had beaten No. 1-ranked Mission Viejo 66-56 to advance to the semifinals.

March 2 — Hart girls basketball loses 67-60 to San Clemente in the CIF-SS Division IA championship game at Long Beach State, falling victim to Lady Triton Lindsey Pluimer, who came into the game averaging 23.4 points and 11.8 rebounds per game. Trebilcock is held in check, as her first season with Hart comes to a close.

March 3 — Tom Kite outduels Tom Watson to win the SBC Senior Classic at Valencia Country Club. This is the second year of the Champions Tour professional golf event at Valencia Country Club. Jim Colbert won it in 2001. Kite would go on to win the event in 2006 as well when it’s called the AT&T Classic.

March 14 — SCCS softball beats Bethel Christian 42-6 in three innings. When the umpires call the game, more than two hours have elapsed.

March 22 — College of the Canyons football hires former Hart High quarterback and offensive coordinator Dean Herrington to become the program’s offensive coordinator.

Additionally, Valencia baseball edges Hart with a 7-6 comeback victory to beat the Indians for the first time in 21 attempts. The Vikings are led by Matt Aidem, who goes 2-for-3 and strikes out the final three Indians batters.

March 23 — COC baseball rallies from a 14-3 deficit with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Ventura College 15-14.

April 11 — Valencia boys tennis ends Burbank’s Foothill League winning streak at 116 matches with an 82-77 victory on games. The last time Burbank had lost a league match was 1990.

April 24 — Hart girls swimming wins its 100th straight Foothill League dual meet, beating Canyon 133-37. The last time the team lost a league meet was 1982.

April 25 — Canyon’s boys and girls track teams finish the season undefeated in dual meets. For the girls program it is the 49th consecutive league victory dating back to 1996. To this point, Canyon sophomore Alysia Johnson has not lost to a Foothill League opponent in any event in which she has competed.

May 2 — Valencia boys tennis finishes the Foothill League season 10-0 after beating Burroughs 16-2. The win gives the Vikings the league title for the first time in the program’s history.

May 7 — Valencia softball clinches its second straight Foothill League title with 2-0 win over Saugus.

May 10 — Canyon baseball beats Valencia 5-4 to earn a share of the Foothill League title.

At the same time, Saugus senior Matt Romero knocks in a school-record 32nd RBI of the season in a 10-2 win against Burbank. The hit comes in his final at-bat as a Centurion.

May 11 — Hart boys swimming wins the CIF-Southern Section Division II title — the program’s first division title — at Belmont Olympic pool in Long Beach. Senior Mike Linn leads the way with gold medals in the 50-yard freestyle, 100 freestyle and as a member of the 200-medley relay and 200-freestyle relay. The only other Hart swimmer to have accomplished such a feat is 2000 Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin.

May 13 — College of the Canyons men’s golf wins its third California Community College State Championship. Earlier in the season, the team recorded its fifth straight Western State Conference title.

May 21 — Valencia boys tennis’ breakout season comes to a close with 14-4 loss to Santa Barbara in the CIF-SS Division II quarterfinals.

May 25 — Foothill League champion Valencia boys volleyball falls to Esperanza of Anaheim in three games in the CIF-Southern Section Division I championship game. A victory would have been the Vikings’ first-ever CIF-SS division championship.

June 1 — Canyon baseball loses 3-2 to Villa Park in the CIF-SS Division II championship game. Cowboys senior starting pitcher Jake Coash leaves the game with a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh, but Canyon is unable to record the final outs. Coash would eventually be drafted in the 18th round of the Major League Baseball Draft in June by the Detroit Tigers. Hart graduate Andy Davidson is drafted in the 22nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals and Valencia graduate Brady Burrill is selected in the 34th round by the Seattle Mariners. Coash would later decide to play for COC. Valencia standout Jimmy Rohan would go undrafted, but sign with the Dodgers.

July 9 — Saugus graduate Jamie Gillies is named head softball coach at Loyola University.

Aug. 29 — Valencia boys volleyball coach Walt Ker resigns.

Oct. 3 — Valencia girls tennis beats league rival Burbank for the first time in the program’s history, winning 11-7.

Oct. 5 — Santa Clarita Christian football beats Windward 20-6 to end a 13-game losing streak dating back to 2000.

Oct. 25 — Hart football beats Canyon 35-9 in a battle of Foothill League unbeatens. It is the Indians’ 55th consecutive league win dating back to 1990. The Indians would eventually clinch their 12th straight league title with a 39-15 against Valencia.

Oct. 26 — Hart graduates Kyle Matter, Matt Moore and Kyle Boller get respective starts at quarterback for Stanford, UCLA and Cal. UCLA and Moore, who was a backup for Matter while at Hart, beat the Cardinal 28-18. Moore throws for 142 yards and one score, while Matter only manages 75 yards and is sacked six times and picked off once. Earlier in the day, Boller and Cal lose to Oregon State 24-13. Boller passes for 284 yards, giving him 7,281 on his Golden Bear career — third place on the program’s all-time list.

Oct. 27 — College of the Canyons quarterback Kyle Bauer throws six touchdowns to tie the school record in a 61-19 win over Ventura.

Oct. 31 — Valencia girls tennis edges Hart in games 81-73 to win the Foothill League title.

Nov. 1 — Valencia running back Charles Burnley breaks Manuel White’s single-game rushing record of 303 yards with 313 in a 34-0 win over Saugus.

Nov. 4 — Saugus golfer Melanie De Leon wins the Foothill League MVP after leading the Centurions to a 36-0 overall record. De Leon wins by five strokes over teammate Stephanie Aston and Valencia’s Marie Roscigno.

Nov. 5 — Valencia girls volleyball clinches the Foothill League title with a 3-0 win over Burroughs.

Nov. 7 — Saugus’ Yasaman Sakhakorn beats Valencia’s Ashley Herrera to win the Foothill League tennis title. The doubles final is postponed due to rain, and is eventually won by Hart’s Sarah Jacobs and Amy Davidson.

Additionally, Canyon wins the boys and girls Foothill League cross country titles. Johnson fights through a leg injury to take the individual girls championship, while fellow Cowboy Troy Werner takes the boys title. The Canyon boys came into the meet missing Ryan Morgan and Mark Bingham, two of the team’s top runners.

Nov. 8 — Santa Clarita Christian football makes it to the playoffs for the first time since 1999.

Nov. 16 — COC running back J.J. Arrington scores a school-record five touchdowns in a 65-31 win over L.A. Pierce College. Arrington would go on to star at Cal before being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in the second round in 2005. He played four seasons with the Cardinals before being injured in the NFC championship game against Philadelphia. He would play through knee pain to record one rush and two catches for 35 total yards in a 27-23 loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLIII.

Nov. 23 — Heritage League champion Santa Clarita Christian girls volleyball falls 3-1 to Hesperia Christian in the CIF-SS Division VAA championship game.

Dec. 14 — Hart football’s 35-game unbeaten streak ends with a 10-6 loss to Mission Viejo in the CIF-SS Division II championship game. The loss in the defensive grudge match also ends the Indians’ steak of four straight CIF-SS division championships.

The day gets darker as College of the Canyons football loses 35-15 to Reedley College in the COA State Football championship game. It is the lowest scoring output for the Cougars all season.

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