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The Age of Excellence: New heights

SCV Sports: The Decade in Review

Posted: December 26, 2009 10:59 p.m.
Updated: December 27, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Saugus golfer Nick Delio advanced to the CIF-SCGA Tournament in 2007, along with Hart's Johnny MacArthur

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Santa Clarita Valley sports reached new levels in 2007 in several respects, and some returned to familiar summits.

The Valencia softball team garnered national recognition. The team’s 32-1 record earned them the title of national champions according to USA Today and StudentSports.com.

Saugus girls cross country won a second straight state championship while smashing the previous record for team time.
Golden Valley and West Ranch accomplished some program firsts.

Meanwhile, Hart girls basketball coach Dave Munroe earned a 15th league title in his 18th and final season as the team’s head coach.

The Hart football team won its first Foothill League title since 2003, the end of its 13-season run atop the league.

College of the Canyons’ women’s golf team was back on top again, a year removed from finishing second.

Here’s a look at how local sports scaled both new and familiar mountains.
 
Jan. 9 — A pair of firsts happen on this day. The West Ranch girls soccer team defeats Valencia 1-0 and Golden Valley boys soccer beats Canyon 2-1. Both are the first Foothill League victories for each program ever. West Ranch went undefeated through 16 contests that year before losing to Canyon on Jan. 16.

Jan. 11 — Hart graduate Kyle Reynish is taken in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft by Real Salt Lake. In 2009, Reynish was a backup goalie on the MLS Cup-winning team.

Jan. 12 — Sarina Coutin sets Hart’s all-time career goals mark by netting her 75th in a 2-0 victory over Valencia. Coutin, just a junior, adds 29 to the total to finish her career with a Santa Clarita Valley-record 104. The state record belongs to Erin Martin of Temple City, who scored 286 from 1990 to 1993.

Jan. 30 — Munroe wins the 15th league title in his 18 seasons with a 58-44 triumph over Valencia. He had already announced that his 18th season as Hart girls basketball head coach would be his last.

Feb. 2 — Two days after five players quit the Saugus boys basketball team in a dispute with head coach Jeff Hallman, the short-handed Centurions beat a quality Valencia team 67-56. Saugus had only seven players suited up for the emotional game.

Feb. 6 — Hart boys basketball, led by future Major League Baseball first-round draft pick Michael Montgomery, sew up the Foothill League title with a 93-64 win over West Ranch. Montgomery scored 18 points in the game.

Feb. 8 — Saugus boys soccer defeats West Ranch 7-0 to claim the Foothill League title — its fourth league title in the school’s 31-year history. One of the greatest goal-scoring duos of the decade, Larry Guizar and Kyle Ernsberger, both score in the game. Guizar scores three times and Ernsberger scores once.
Hart girls soccer claims its second straight title with a 1-0 win over Canyon.

Feb. 14 — Golden Valley boys basketball wins its first-ever playoff game by defeating Bishop Amat 59-30 in the wild card round of the CIF-Southern section Division IIAA playoffs.

Feb. 20 — Hart girls soccer reaches a playoff quarterfinal for the first time since 1999 with a 4-1 win over Irvine in the CIF-SS Division II playoffs. The win is Hart’s 24th on the season, tying a team record established in 1997.

Feb. 21 — Saugus becomes the first SCV Foothill League boys soccer squad to make a playoff quarterfinal. The Centurions beat Santa Barbara 4-2 in the second round of the Division II playoffs.

Feb. 24 — The Amgen Tour of California, a fledgling professional bike race, has its sixth stage end in Santa Clarita. J.J. Haedo wins the stage. Levi Leipheimer is the eventual event winner.

Feb. 27 — The greatest run in local boys soccer history ends as Saugus loses 4-3 at Palos Verdes High in the Division II semifinals.
Hart girls soccer is knocked out in the Division II semifinals with a 1-0 loss to Redlands East Valley.

Also, Munroe’s coaching career seemingly ends as the Indians lose 50-40 to Mira Costa in the Division IA semifinals. Munroe would later get a reprieve as the Indians are invited to play in the CIF state tournament.

March 3 — It’s an up-and-down day for College of the Canyons basketball. The women’s team reaches the state tournament in Fresno with a 67-61 victory over Mt. San Jacinto College in the Southern California Regional final. Melissa Tachias scores 25 points and point guard Leslie Ortiz adds 17. The men, though, fall 86-72 to Compton in their final.

March 8 — Hart girls basketball defeats Perris 58-53 in the CIF Division I Regional Quarterfinal to reach the Southern California semifinal.

The William S. Hart Union High School District approves the naming of Canyon High’s football stadium as Harry Welch Stadium, just three months after he helped lead Canyon football to a state championship.

March 10 — Munroe’s career at Hart ends with a 71-41 loss to Long Beach Poly in the CIF Division I Southern California Regional Semifinal. Hart’s Megan Ford scores 13 points.

COC women’s basketball sees its season end in the state Final Four with a 59-42 loss to Mt. San Antonio College.
Canyon graduate and University of California, Berkeley runner Alysia Johnson wins the NCAA 800-meter run title in Arkansas with a time of 2 minutes, 3.47 seconds.

March 18 — Tom Purtzer outlasts Loren Roberts in a four-hole playoff to win the 2007 AT&T Champions Classic at Valencia Country Club. Purtzer also won the event in 2003.

On the same day, the Los Angeles Galaxy ties the Columbus Crew 1-1 in an exhibition game played at College of the Canyons. The game benefits the Michael Hoefflin Foundation.

April 17 — The College of the Canyons softball team rewards head coach Ray Whitten with a victory in his final regular season game. COC beats Glendale 3-0. Whitten retired after 21 seasons. This was his 453rd career victory.

April 27 — Welch resigns as head coach of Canyon football. Welch led the Cowboys to five CIF division crowns and a state title in 2006, but his success over 18 seasons didn’t come without controversy. His tenure at Canyon ends after a squabble with Principal Bob Messina. Chris Varner would take over as Canyon’s head coach. In 2009, Varner led the Cowboys to their first playoff appearance since 2006. Welch, currently at St. Margaret’s in San Juan Capistrano, led the Tartans to their third CIF divisional title with him at the helm.

April 29 — Hart graduate Matt Moore signs with the Dallas Cowboys as a free agent. He goes through an entire training camp with Dallas before being cut. He latches on with the Carolina Panthers where he is currently the team’s starting quarterback.

April 30 — The Golden Valley baseball team wins its first Foothill League game with a 6-4 victory over West Ranch. Kyle McAtee hits a walk-off home run.

May 1 — Hart sophomore swimmer Jordan Danny breaks her own league record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:04.92. Canyon’s Kearsten Livingstone breaks a 23-year old Foothill record with a time of 58.97 seconds in the 100 butterfly.
Jordan Taylor pitches her second consecutive no-hitter in a 12-0 Valencia win over West Ranch.

May 2 — Matt Warr and Kenny Shanahan hit back-to-back home runs for the fourth time during the season in a 9-3 Canyon win over West Ranch.

May 3 — Foothill League records are broken at the league finals. Danny breaks three records — the 200 individual medley (2:06.92), the 100 breast (1:04.25), and the 400 freestyle relay (3:41.10), in which she swam a leg. Valencia’s Garrett Nugent swims the 100 fly in 51.33. Livingstone breaks her own record in the 100 butterfly (57.81). The Valencia 200 medley and 200 free relay teams break records as well.

May 19 — Shannon Murakami wins CIF-SS Division I track and field titles in the 1,600 (4:42.50 — a new Division I record) and the 3,200 (10:31.24).

Chuck Lyon resigns as COC head football coach to take over as the school’s athletic director. Lyon led the team to a national title in 2004. Garett Tujague is named his successor.

May 23 — Valencia boys volleyball loses to Santa Barbara 3-1 in the CIF-SS Division II semifinals. It is the first time Valencia has failed to make a CIF final since 2000.

Saugus’ Nick Delio and Hart’s Johnny MacArthur advance to the CIF-SCGA Tournament with solid performances in the Southern Section golf championship. Delio shoots a 1-under 71, MacArthur ends with a 1-over 73.

May 24 — Valencia softball defeats Marina 1-0 to advance to the CIF-SS Division I semifinals. Alyssa Ishibashi has the game-winning hit in the 10th inning as Taylor throws another gem.

Hart softball knocks out No. 2 seeded Camarillo 5-4. Melissa Brown has the game-winning hit in the seventh.

May 29 — Taylor improves to 31-0 on the season and leads the Vikings into the Division I finals with a 1-0 victory over Santiago. Valencia’s opponent in the title game is Hart after the Indians upset Norco 5-2 as Destiny Rodino strikes out 14 batters. It is Hart’s first championship game appearance since 1992.

June 2 — Valencia softball, ranked No. 1 nationally, wins its first CIF title, the fourth in school history, with a 1-0 win over Hart.  Taylor, who would have her jersey retired later in December, finishes the year 32-0 from the circle. Taylor would be named Gatorade’s California Player of the Year later in the week. Hart softball fell to 0-3 in CIF title games, also losing in 1982 and 1992. Boys volleyball won Valencia’s other three CIF titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006.

June 7 — The Detroit Tigers select Valencia grad Danny Worth in the third round with the 91st overall in the 2007 MLB draft. Joining him as other locals drafted were Hart grad John Curtis with pick No. 449, Valencia’s Jared Clark at pick No. 647, Hart grad Steve Susdorf with pick No. 841, Valencia grad Virgil Hill at No. 856, Valencia’s Garrett Rieck at No. 887, COC’s Brian Chavez at No. 992, Canyon and COC product John Hay at No. 1,184 and COC’s Tyreace House at No. 1,424.

July 19 — Valencia resident Alison Lee finishes second in the AJGA Hanmi Bank Open.

July 28 — Hart grad Jerry Owens hits a two-run homer which ends up being the game-winner in a 2-0 White Sox win over the Blue Jays.

Aug. 26 — Hart grad Mike Caso makes his Major League Soccer debut for the Los Angeles Galaxy as a center midfielder in a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids in Commerce City, Colo. It was less than a month after he signed a mid-season developmental contract. Caso was an all-conference player at the University of San Diego.

Aug. 31 — Santa Clarita native Allyson Felix becomes the first woman to run the 200 in under 22 seconds in eight years in Osaka, Japan. It was the second world title in a row for the 21-year-old Felix.

Sept. 1 — Tujague makes his head-coaching debut for the Cougars a successful one by beating Long Beach City College 31-21.

Sept. 3 — Four local players are now on MLB rosters with the recent addition of Chris Seddon to the Florida Marlins. After Seddon was called up from the Double-A Carolina Mudcats, he pitches an inning of relief against the Washington Nationals. He surrendered a hit and struck out two. Seddon joined James Shields, Dana Eveland and Jerry Owens. Shields finished the season with 31 starts for the Tampa Bay Rays. He finished 12-8 with a 3.85 ERA and 184 strikeouts.

Sept. 7 — Golden Valley football gets its first win since 2005 with a 42-7 win over Hoover High in Glendale. Trevon Smith and Josh Benevente lead a defensive effort for the Grizzlies, which earns them their first win in 666 days, the last being a 28-20 defeat of St. Genevieve on Nov. 10, 2005.

Sept. 23 — Hart graduate and The Master’s College product Jerry Owens goes 5-for-6 with three RBIs for the Chicago White Sox in an 8-3 win over the Minnesota Twins.

Sept. 28 — A much-anticipated girls tennis match draws a crowd at Hart. While the final outcome was decidedly less than close, many were there to see the showdown between Valencia junior Isabella Fraczek and Hart freshman Anne Susdorf. Susdorf picked up the lone set for the Indians that day, but lost to Fraczek 6-3. Susdorf’s first win over Fraczek would come in the Foothill League singles final. Fraczek currently plays tennis at Cal State San Bernardino.

Oct.5 — Hart football head coach Mike Herrington picks up win No. 200 by defeating Loyola 21-13. Herrington coached Bellflower to eight wins before taking over at Hart in 1989.

Oct. 9 — Hart’s Johnny MacArthur, a senior first-year football player, kicks a 43-yard field goal with .5 seconds left in the game to earn a 31-28 win over Canyon. The kick was MacArthur’s first ever, and it ended a 22-point rally by the Cowboys.

Oct. 13 — Santa Clarita Christian sophomore Collin Keoshian rushes for a touchdown, throws a touchdown pass and returns an interception for a touchdown in a dominant 66-25 win over Southlands Christian. Keoshian would help lead the team to back-to-back CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man Championships, and he verbaled to Brigham Young University in 2009.

Oct. 24 — Hart freshman golfer Amanda Corr is named Foothill League MVP. Corr edged Valencia senior Jasnin Samson by a stroke — 138 to 139.

Oct. 25 — Valencia girls tennis clinches it sixth straight Foothill League title with a 16-2 win over Golden Valley. Fraczek and Thalia Wilczynski kept perfect seasons alive with three-
set sweeps.

Oct. 27 — Zirbel rushes for a Santa Clarita Valley-record 387 yards against Golden Valley in a 70-27 Saugus win. Zirbel adds five touchdowns in the effort. The previous high of 354 yards was set by Valencia’s Shane Vereen on Oct. 13, 2006, against Golden Valley.

Oct. 31 — Saugus has a banner day at the Foothill League Cross Country Finals, with both boys and girls taking titles. Katie Dunn paced the girls with a time of 17 minutes, 54 seconds, which was 33 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, Saugus teammate Anne Randall. Jimmy Kelley of Hart won the boys individual title.

Nov. 1 — Valencia junior Shelby LeDuff helps lead a three-game sweep of Hart with 15 kills for the Foothill League-champion Vikings in their final league match. LeDuff currently plays for the University of California Riverside. Valencia fell 3-0 in the second round of the playoffs to Notre Dame Academy of Los Angeles on Nov. 8.

Nov. 3 — COC cross country runner Alfredo Coronado takes second place at the Southern California Regional Finals at Mt. San Antonio College with a time of 20:57. The men’s team finishes third overall out of 33 teams, qualifying them for state. COC’s women’s team also advances with a ninth-place finish at the storied four-mile course.

Nov. 5 — COC’s women’s golf team shoots a two-day total of 601 to advance to the state final with a first-place finish at the Southern California Regionals. Five of the top eight scores came from COC golfers at the par-72 Alisal Course in Solvang. COC’s Jenny Lee leads the team’s lowest round of the season as the event’s medalist with a 72-73.   

Nov. 9 — Hart football reclaims the Foothill League title with a 24-21 win over Saugus, denying the Centurions their league title in football. MacArthur hits a 29-yard game-winning field goal with 16 seconds remaining at Cougar Stadium. Linebacker Patrick Larimore helps lead the defense despite having torn ligaments in a heavily bandaged thumb. Running back Delano Howell helps lead the offense. Howell currently plays safety at Stanford, and Larimore is now a linebacker at UCLA. It was Hart’s first title since 2003, as the Indians had previously won it every year from 1991-2003. The title was the Indians’ 20th in Foothill League football.

Nov. 10 — Keoshian continues to put up impressive numbers as he rushes for 325 yards on 39 carries to break the Cardinals’ single-game rushing yards record. He also rushes for six touchdowns, throws another and contributes 23 tackles on defense in a 49-42 upset of Rolling Hills Prep in the first round of the CIF-SS 8-Man Division I playoffs.

Nov. 13 — A year removed from a runner-up finish, COC women’s golf team, led by four Hart golfers, earns a state championship by defeating the Santa Barbara College team that denied them the previous season. COC shoots a two-day total of 619. COC freshman Jenny Lee leads the way with a three-under 70 and an even-par 73, which head coach Gary Peterson calls the lowest two-day total ever in the state’s community college championship.

Nov. 19 — Valencia girls tennis loses in the CIF-SS Division III finals for the third year in a row, falling 11-7 to defending champion Chadwick of Palos Verdes. The loss also snaps a 22-match win streak for the Vikings.
Also, Valencia’s Layne Castro is named Foothill League Player of the Year in volleyball.

Nov. 24 — Saugus cross country runner Kaylin Mahoney’s time of 17:47 seconds is the fifth-fastest time by a freshman girl in the state championship meet’s history. Saugus earns a second straight CIF State Division I title with a team time of 90:49 seconds, which also breaks Ventura’s state championship record by more than two minutes. They would later break their own record in 2008, and win their fourth straight state title in 2009. Team captain Katie Dunn paces the Centurions and finished fifth overall.
The Cougars fall to Bakersfield College in the Southern California semifinals 48-45 in double overtime, despite an impressive showing by COC running back Fred Winborn. Winborn scores five touchdowns — four rushing, one receiving — in a 157-yard effort that sets up a great season for Winborn in 2008. Winborn left COC with virtually every rushing record, including career yards (3,158), single-season yards (1,634) and career touchdowns (43).

Dec. 1 — Saugus football has its deepest playoff run ever ended by St. Bonaventure in a 55-36 loss in the CIF-SS Northern Division semifinals.

Dec. 8 — Hart quarterback B.R. Holbrook plays through the pain of an injured sternum, but it isn’t enough to lift the Indians past St. Bonaventure in a 42-28 loss in the CIF-SS Northern Division Championship game. Howell would go on to be named Foothill League Player of the Year and Northern Division Player of the Year.

Dec. 14 — Eveland is one of six players sent to the Oakland A’s from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for 2007 All-Star starter Dan Haren.

Dec. 22 — Moore throws his first NFL touchdown in the Carolina Panthers’ 20-13 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

Dec. 26 — Valencia graduate and quarterback Michael Herrick announces his intention to transfer from the University of Mississippi.

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