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The Age of Excellence: In with the new

SCV Sports: The Decade in Review

Posted: December 23, 2009 10:54 p.m.
Updated: December 24, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Valencia head boys volleyball coach Mark Knudsen celebrates the Vikings' second straight CIF Championship with his team after beating Santa Barbara 3-0 on May 29, 2004, at Cypress College.

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In 2004, it was out with old and in with the new.

Valencia football toppled Goliath that season, ending Hart’s 65-game Foothill League winning streak with a 29-10 victory on Oct. 29.

Two news schools came on the scene in Golden Valley and West Ranch. The Grizzlies started as a ninth and 10th grade and West Ranch just had freshmen.

J.J. Arrington starred at Cal while his former teammates at COC won a National Championship.

The Olympics in Athens put the Santa Clarita Valley on the international stage, and it starred. Crystl Bustos, Nicole Giordano, Kim Rhode and Allyson Felix all medaled.

There were struggles, though.

Hart and Valencia football had their seasons ended by a Mission Viejo team that was arguably the best in the nation that year.

Another Orange County foe, San Clemente, ended the season of Hart girl’s basketball for a third straight year in a CIF title game.

Jan. 13 — Saugus center B.J. Wilkomm scores 26 points against Valencia in an 87-77 win at Saugus, and in the process he becomes the school’s all-time leading scorer. Wilkomm ended his career as Centurion with 1,261 points, which is still the school record. He is also tied with Major Sherard for most points in a game with 42. Wilkomm completed his senior season as a thrower for the track and field team at Humboldt State in 2009.

Feb. 10 — The Canyon girls soccer team clinches its third straight Foothill League title with a 3-2 win over Valencia. Nini Loucks led the Cowboys that season before going on to play for four years at USC, and earning an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention her sophomore year.

Dave Munroe earns his 300th win as the head coach of Hart girls’ basketball. His team also earned a third consecutive Foothill League championship with the win, a 77-32 victory over Saugus.

Feb. 11 — Carlton Spencer and Durell Davis lead College of the Canyons men’s basketball to its first Western State Conference championship in 10 years with a 69-65 win over Citrus College. Spencer won his second straight conference MVP award that year before going on to play for two years at San Jose State University. Spencer currently plays in a professional league in Hungary.

Feb. 20 — Santa Clarita Christian boys soccer gets its first ever playoff win with a 9-2 victory over Rolling Hills Prep.

Mar. 6 — Hart girls basketball loses a third straight CIF-Southern Section Division IA championship game to San Clemente, this time 56-53 at the Long Beach Pyramid. Ashlee Trebilcock leads the Indians with 34 points. Trebilcock would go on to play at UCLA and then Ohio State.

Apr. 13 — Valencia softball pitcher Christina Ross throws a perfect game in a 2-0 win over Canyon. It was her third no-hitter in four tries. Ross went on to play at San Diego State and became only the second Aztec to ever win All-American honors when she was named to the Easton second team after the 2008 season.

Hart’s Robyn Kontra leads her team in a 3-1 win over Saugus. Kontra would go on to pitch at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Apr. 20 — Canyon’s Max Bellissimo, Duante Davis, Louis Montano and Sean Ballek set a school record in the 4x100-meter relay. The efforts of Alisha Thompson and Alysia Johnson also help Canyon clinch a fourth straight Foothill League title in girls track and field.

Apr. 28 — A late home run by Saugus’ Travis Babin helps lead the Centurions past the previously undefeated Valencia baseball team. Babin went on to play at Sonoma State, where he earned California Collegiate Athletic Association MVP honors his junior year. The relief pitcher/third baseman was drafted by the New York Mets in the 16th round of the Major League Baseball Draft in 2008.

May 11 — Valencia’s Jared Clark helps the Vikings to a third straight Foothill League baseball title with a 5-0 shutout over Burroughs High School. Clark also played for the 2008 Team USA squad that finished a perfect 24-0 en route to the FISU World Championship gold medal in the Czech Republic. Clark was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 12th round of the 2009 MLB draft.

May 13 — Three teams split the Foothill League crown for softball. Neither Valencia, Saugus or Hart could separate themselves, so all three took home a share. Kyla Sullivan helped lead Saugus and recently became an assistant softball coach at Utah State.

May 22 — Johnson races to gold in the 800 meters at the CIF Division I Track and Field Championships for Canyon at Cerritos College with a time of 2 minutes, 11.95 seconds. Thompson clears 5 feet, 6 inches on her first try to win the high jump event.

May 29 — The Valencia boys volleyball team repeats as CIF-SS Division II Champions by defeating No. 2 seed Santa Barbara in three games, 25-21, 25-16, 25-17 at Cypress College.

June 3 — Santa Clarita Christian’s baseball team wins the school’s first ever CIF championship with a 9-6 win over Joshua Springs in the CIF Division VI final. Pitcher Nick Dashnaw and Stephen Mercier help lead the Cardinals.

June 5 — After four trips to the state championships, Canyon’s Johnson earns a title in the 800 meters with a personal-best time of 2:08.97. That year, Johnson’s mark was also the fourth-best time in the nation.

Aug. 23 — Canyon alum Crystl Bustos bats .345, and knocks in five home runs and 10 RBIs in the final six games to help lead the United States to the gold medal in the Sydney Olympics, along with Saugus grad Nicole Giordano. Bustos homers twice against Australia in a 5-1 win in the final game, and she sets a single Olympics record for home runs.

Aug. 29 — The 2004 Olympic games comes to a close in Athens, and four Santa Clarita Valley athletes earn Olympic medals. Felix, who grew up in the SCV, earns a silver medal in the 200 meters with a time of 22.18 seconds. She also won the World Championship for her event this year. Bustos and Giordano team up to win gold with the softball team and Kim Rhode, an SCV resident, earns the gold in double trap shooting.

Sept. 4 — Two SCV running backs, Valencia’s Manuel White and COC’s J.J. Arrington, get their Pac-10 careers off to strong starts. In UCLA’s season-opener, White rushes for 145 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-20 loss to Oklahoma State. Arrington rushes for 181 yards and three touchdowns in Cal’s 56-14 win over Air Force.

Sept. 7 — West Ranch girls volleyball frosh/soph team gets the school’s first ever athletic win by defeating Hart in three sets, 15-25, 25-23, 15-9.

Sept. 9 — The first ever West Ranch football game ends in a 35-0 loss to Saugus at the freshman level.

Sept. 11 — Golden Valley football starts its first season with a 45-13 win over St. John Bosco. Grizzly Julian Easley scores four touchdowns and intercepts three passes. Easley later transfers to Kennedy of Granada Hills before his senior year.

Sept. 19 — Hart grad Todd Zeile hits a single against the Pirates for hit No. 2,000 in his career. Zeile’s final hit as a pro comes Oct. 3, 2004, in the Mets’ season finale. He hits a three-run home run against the Expos’ Claudio Vargas. Zeile played for 11 teams in a 14-year career and finished with a .265 batting average, 2,004 hits, 253 home runs and 1,110 RBIs. He started as a catcher and also played first and third base.

Oct. 23 — College of the Canyons football team escapes a huge upset to Los Angeles Valley College with a dramatic 48-45 come-from-behind win at Valley. There are five lead changes in the second half before sophomore running back Will Caldwell scores a late touchdown. Quarterback Cory Miles throws for a career-high 449 yards on 22-of-37 passing. He currently plays for the Corpus Christi Hammerheads of the Indoor Football League.

Oct. 28 — Valencia girls tennis had already clinched the Foothill League title, but it puts an exclamation point on the season with an 18-0 win over Canyon.

West Ranch freshman football wins its first game, a 14-6 victory over Lancaster. Future Valencia and COC football standout Josh
Gibbs scores a touchdown and converts a two-point conversion in the game.

Oct. 29 — Valencia football defeats Hart 29-10, ending one of the valley’s most storied winning streaks. It is Valencia’s first win over Hart in 11 tries. Hart’s Foothill streak ran 65-games win streak and dated back to Oct. 26, 1990. Hart lost that day to Schurr High 42-35. Valencia’s Anthony DeFilippo, whose 24 sacks is still a single-season school record, led the Vikings’ defense with 4 1/2 sacks on Hart quarterback Tyler Lyon.

Nov. 1 — Valencia wins its first ever Foothill League girls golf title, led by Stevy Loy, who earns MVP of the Foothill League. Loy would go on to play at Columbia, where she was named to the All-Ivy League First-Team in 2008.

Nov. 2 — Valencia girls volleyball clinches its third straight Foothill League title by defeating Hart in five sets, 25-13, 25-13, 20-25, 23-25. 15-8. The Vikings were led by Taryn Robertson, who would go on to play at UC Irvine.

Nov. 3 — Saugus’ Nadia Sakhakorn breezes through the Foothill League tennis season undefeated and she garners the Foothill League singles title at the Burbank Tennis Center. She defeats Valencia’s Cassie Strange 6-1, 6-0 in the finals.

Nov. 9 — In the first ever West Ranch-Golden Valley football came, the Wildcats come out on top 26-22. At one point, Golden Valley leads 22-0 in the second quarter before the West Ranch comeback. Wildcat Tyler Casepo rushes in the winning score.

Nov. 12 — The Cowboys finally beat the Indians. Canyon gets its the first win over Hart since 1990 with a 21-17 victory. Quarterback Will Brogan scores on a 1-yard run with less than six minutes to go to seal the win.

Nov. 26 — Hart football has its season ended by a 50-20 loss to Mission Viejo in the CIF-SS Division II quarterfinals. It is the third straight time the Diablos end Hart’s season, the other two were in the two previous CIF title games. The 30-point loss was the worst in Indians head coach Mike Herrington’s career, but it was to a worthy adversary. The Diablos, who were ranked No. 3 in the nation by USA Today, were led by Chane Moline and future New York Jet Mark Sanchez. Moline amasses more than 230 yards in the game before heading to UCLA. Lyon would go on to Arizona and become the sixth consecutive Hart quarterback to play for a Division I team, following in the footsteps of David Neill, Kyle Boller, Kyle Matter, Matt Moore and Sean Norton.

Dec. 11 — Valencia football falls to national No. 1 Mission Viejo in the CIF-SS Div. II championship. The Vikings lose 49-21 despite a 23-of-33 passing effort for 350 yards from Michael Herrick. As a junior, he finishes the season with a school-record 4,085 yards.

Herrick started at quarterback as a junior for Northern Arizona this season. Vikings sophomore Shane Vereen, who would go on to star at Cal this season, was held relatively in check.

COC football finishes a perfect season with the school’s first ever national championship. With a 39-32 victory over City College of San Francisco in Visalia, COC became the only junior college team to ever complete a 14-0 season. The Cougars jumped out to a 19-0 lead before a thick fog rolls into the State Championship game. COC’s defense uses a last-second play to save its perfect season and earn national-title recognition from JC Gridwire, a nationally respected community college media outlet.

Dec. 12 — Hart grad and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller earns NFL Offensive Player of the Week for his 18-of-34, 219-yard passing effort. Boller also throws for a career-high four touchdowns in the 37-14 win over the New York Jets.

Dec. 16 — Valencia’s Shane Morales and Michael Herrick are named co-MVPs of the Foothill League. Ryan Wolfe, a senior at Hart, was named Back of the Year. Wolfe went on to become a three-time All-Mountain West Conference selection at UNLV. Morales went on to play at Oregon State, where he was an All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention his senior year.



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