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2009-10 Signal Sports Awards: And the nominees are ...

Posted: July 2, 2010 9:30 p.m.
Updated: July 3, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Hart junior Nikki Prichard and the Hart girls golf team are up for Team of the Year.

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The reason we watch these young Santa Clarita Valley athletes is for the present.

But another major reason is for the future.

It wasn't that long ago that you read in this newspaper about Taylor Lilley, Michael Montgomery, Shane Vereen, Matt Moore, Ryan Wolfe, Danny Worth, Alysia Johnson, Shane Harper and others while they were prep athletes.

Now they're making the WNBA, being named the top prospect for a Major League Baseball team, shining in a bowl game, becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL, signing an NFL contract and breaking collegiate records, making a Major League debut.

Here's where you can take a breath.

Burning up tracks on the biggest stages, signing with an NHL organization and so on.

That's the dream of many of the prep athletes we cover on a daily basis.

Do they have a chance?

These people local athletes proved that they do and they all made their accomplishments this year.

It wasn't that long ago that they were the best athletes in the Santa Clarita Valley on the best teams, maybe in the best program.

So lets see how these prep athletes, who we nominate to be the best of the best in 2009-10, do in the years to come.

But for right now, we reward them for the present.

Over the next six days, we will recognize the best.

Here are the nominees for The 2009-10 Signal Sports Awards.

Newcomer of the Year
Drew Wolitarsky - Canyon football, freshman

Wolitarsky had one of the best freshman years ever for a Santa Clarita Valley football player. He caught 40 passes for 773 yards and scored six touchdowns. Wolitarsky had four 100-yard receiving games.

Kylie Sorenson - West Ranch softball, freshman
Helping lead the Wildcats to the playoffs for the first time in program history, Sorenson posted a Foothill League-high .454 batting average with three home runs, 10 doubles, 14 RBIs and 20 runs scored. Sorenson had 13 mulit-hit games, including four contests with three hits and one with four.

Billy Fredrick - Golden Valley baseball, freshman
Fredrick was the igniter for an upstart Golden Valley team and was not overmatched in the Foothill League. He batted a team-high .427 with two home runs and 14 RBIs. He also scored 21 runs.

Mohammed Roknipour - Canyon football and soccer, junior
Roknipour opened eyes during the fall when he was blasting 50-yard field goals through the uprights during practice (he made five field goals on the season). But he opened them wider by scoring a school-record 25 goals for the soccer team. He also added 13 assists.

Kevin Enge - Canyon track and field
The junior proved his past success at the frosh/soph level was no fluke, winning the CIF-Southern Section Division II championship in the high jump after a dominant run through league. He was also a valuable member of Canyon's sprint team.

Steven Manfro - Valencia football, sophomore
Manfro ran over, ran through and ran around defenderes for a total of 1,666 yards in his varsity debut. He topped the 100-yard mark nine times and also caught 41 passes for 753 yards. Manfro scored 34 touchdowns and was out All-Santa Clarita Valley Football Player of the Year.

Coach of the Year
Mary Keen - Hart girls and boys volleyball

Keen didn't win league championships with either team, but led her teams closer to the top. The girls finished league in third place and the boys in second. What is most remarkable is what she has done with a boys team that last decade was one of the valley's biggest strugglers.

Randy Smith - West Ranch cross country, girls basketball and track and field
Despite his busy schedule, Smith continued to win with all three of his teams. The girls cross country team finished second in its first trip to the CIF-State Division II meet, and the girls track and field team sent its first representative to the state meet in school history. In between, Smith led the girls basketball team to a runner-up finish in the Foothill League.

Christian Standley - Saugus track and field
Standley was the mastermind behind the first CIF-Southern Section girls team championship in valley history. The much-improved sprint corps - Standley's specific area of expertise - came to the forefront to carry the Centurions to their fifth straight league title and their historic afternoon at Cerritos College at the CIF-SS Div. II finals.

Rene Paragas - Saugus cross country and track and field
No cross country head coach had ever piloted his girls team to four straight CIF state championships before Paragas did last November. But that's just part of the story. Paragas also guided the Saugus boys to the top of a loaded Foothill field, and his girls distance runners were their typically strong selves in the spring.

Scott Drootin - Golden Valley baseball
In two years, Scott Drootin has seen his program rise from doormat to on the doorstep. Golden Valley baseball was in the playoff hunt until the last week of the season. During the season, the Grizzlies went on a stretch where they beat Valencia for the first time ever and handed second-place West Ranch its worst loss of the season.

Khris Savage - Canyon soccer
Savage mixes in with his teams better than most coaches in the area. His enthusiasm and guidance helped Canyon reach the CIF-Southern Section Division III semifinals - only the second time in Santa Clarita Valley boys team had gone that far. Canyon also won its third straight league title.

Female Athlete of the Year
Jamie Molacek - Saugus soccer and track and field, senior

Molacek was one of the league's best soccer players, leading the Foothill soccer champs with 21 goals and chipping in 10 assists. She was also a member of Saugus' sprint team, and she advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals as a member of the 4x100-meter relay squad.

Maggie Hanson - Hart girls swimming, senior
The Oregon State-bound swimmer overcame a season-long foot injury to become the league champion in the 200-yard individual medley and as a member of the 200-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. At the CIF-Southern Section Division I finals, Hanson turned in All-American times in the 200 IM and 100 butterfly.

Kaylin Mahoney - Saugus cross country, junior
Mahoney may not have repeated as individual state champion, but her third-place finish at Woodward Park in Fresno led the Saugus girls to their fourth straight CIF state title. Mahoney also dominated the Foothill League again and repeated as CIF-SS Div. II individual champion.

Jennifer Owen - West Ranch cross country and track and field, junior
West Ranch is a growing force in girls cross country and track and field, and Owen is a big reason why. She finished fourth in the state in the 1,600-meter run during the spring, and she was the cross country team's top finisher at the CIF-Southern Section Division II finals, when the Wildcats advanced to their first state meet.

Madison Shipman - Valencia softball, senior
Shipman took home three top prizes in 2010 - the CIF-SS Division I, Foothill League and All-SCV player of the year awards. She batted .444 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs for the runaway league champion Vikings and led her squad to a semifinal appearance in the Division I postseason.

Male Athlete of the Year
Andrew Wilson - Canyon soccer, senior

Wilson repeated as the Foothill League's Player of the Year in 2009-10. Wilson allowed just two goals during Foothill League play as the goalkeeper led the Cowboys to their best season in school history. He had 15 shutouts in Canyon's 25 games.

Alex Bishop - Valencia football and baseball, junior
Bishop had one of the most remarkable football seasons in valley history and that's saying a lot considering the great quarterbacks the valley has had. His 74.6 completion percentage is third best in state history and his regular season mark of 78.4 percent is tops in state history. He passed for 3,416 yards and a school record 36 touchdowns and led the Vikings to a league title. The Foothill champion baseball team's starting catcher, Bishop batted .291 with 23 hits and 16 RBIs.

Collin Keoshian - Santa Clarita Christian football, senior
Keoshian completed one of the greatest 8-Man Football careers in state history with a second straight CIF title. He rushed for 1,709 yards and scored 36 touchdowns. He also threw seven touchdown passes and caught four more. On defense, he added tw sacks and two interceptions to go along with nearly 100 tackles. This, despite missing a short stretch of the season due to injury.

Seth Totten - Golden Valley cross country and track and field, senior
Thanks to Totten's seventh-place individual finish, the boys cross country team wound up third in the state at the CIF State Division III meet and improved on its breakout season in 2008. Totten followed up with a league title in the 3,200 during track season a trip to the CIF-SS Div. III finals.

Manny Padron - Saugus football and soccer, senior
Padron was a bright spot in an otherwise forgetful season for Saugus football. He caught 40 passes for 630 yards and four touchdowns and made 34 tackles and five interceptions. He was also the team's primary return man on special teams. On the soccer field, he made a similar impact, scoring 13 goals in leading the Centurions to the postseason.

Team of the Year
Hart girls golf - Hart girls golf has likely the greatest assemblage of girls golfers in valley history. All season, the Indians broke record after record and breezed through the Foothill League. For the second straight year, Hart won the CIF-SS Northern Team Divisional. The Indians also finished second at the Southern Section final, before bowing out of the playoffs one round before the state championship.

Saugus girls cross country - The Centurions are the first team to win four straight CIF state cross country championships and are also riding four-year streaks atop the Foothill League and CIF-Southern Section. The best sign of how far the program has come? Anything less would be a disappointment.

Saugus girls track and field - After years and years of elite distance runners, it was the sprinters that pushed Saugus to the first CIF-Southern Section girls team title in the history of the Santa Clarita Valley. The distance team was still formidable, along with the throws.

Santa Clarita Christian football - By midseason, with the team ravaged by injuries, there was little hope for the Cardinals. But that was from the outside. Inside, SCCS stayed faithful and overcame obstacles to win its second straight CIF-SS 8-Man Division I title.

Canyon boys soccer- The Cowboys enjoyed one of the greatest boys soccer seasons in valley history, becoming the second team to reach a CIF-SS semifinal. The Cowboys lost the game in heartbreaking fashion on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw through 100 minutes. Canyon finished 20-2-3 overall and 9-0-1 en route to a third straight league title.

 

 

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