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Prep sports: Females of the Fall

Posted: September 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 12, 2011 1:55 a.m.

(From left) Saugus cross country runner Karis Frankian, Hart golfer Jamie Corr, Saugus volleyball player Jaclyn Clark and West Ranch tennis player Ana Cecilia Fuentes are four standout female athletes from the fall sports season.

In the fall, Fridays are reserved for prep football in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Every other day of the week belongs to the four other high school sports during a season largely dominated by girls.

Girls volleyball, girls tennis and both girls and boys cross country are all getting started, and it’s mostly happening in the shadow of fall football mania.

For that reason, The Signal gathered some of the area’s best and most proven athletes in their respective sports to recognize their accomplishments.

Saugus High seniors Jaclyn Clark and Karis Frankian were chosen for volleyball and cross country, respectively. West Ranch junior Ana Cecilia Fuentes represents tennis and Hart junior Jamie Corr is the featured golfer.

The four of them were invited to participate in a photo shoot on Wednesday at The Signal offices, and they showed up promptly wearing uniforms and smiles — though slightly confused ones.

“What is this for?” some of them asked as they arrived one-by-one.

Others quietly followed the direction of the photographers as the camera clicked away in seemingly endless fashion.

About 20 minutes later, the clicks finally stopped.

The smiles on their faces turned into looks of relief.

“My smile hurts,” Clark joked afterward.

These four girls aren’t models. They don’t train all year long to pose for the camera.

They train to win competitions.

All four athletes were involved in some form of postseason play last year, and all four were key components to their teams’ success.

Frankian took fifth place individually at the CIF State Division II Cross Country Championships last year as part of Saugus’ fifth consecutive state championship team.

Two of the four runners she finished behind at the competition, Stephanie Bulder and Kaylin Mahoney, have since graduated.

“We lost so many girls last year, so it’s just the motivation to be able to keep going,” Frankian said.

And while attaining greatness on a team level is the focus of some, individual achievements are on the minds of others.

“Hopefully I’ll get MVP again, but I don’t have my sister to beat this year so it’s a little less competition,” Corr said, “but I still push myself to do my best.”

Corr beat out her older sister Amanda for the 2010 Foothill League MVP award. Amanda graduated earlier this year, so now Jamie moves into the center stage.

Fuentes is in a similar situation after her older sister Ana Lucia graduated, leaving Ana Cecilia as the assumed top singles player for West Ranch this year.

“My sister left, so now I’m No. 1 varsity,” Ana Cecilia said. “I just feel like I have to step it up, and I think we have great new players and I’m hopeful that we’re going to win league this year.”

For Clark, the goal is simple this season: win a league title and end Valencia’s nine-year streak at the top.

“I think it makes we want to play the best that I can play,” Clark said, “because it’s my last year and right now our whole team is pretty much seniors. We’re all at our peak right now, so it’s exciting to be in my senior year and play with this group of girls.”

With league competition approaching in all four sports, this already-decorated group of athletes is more than ready to take the reins for their teams.

Karis Frankian, Saugus girls cross country

In three years running for Saugus cross country, Frankian has been a part of three CIF State Cross Country Championships and three CIF-SS Div. II team championships. She’s also been a part of The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley girls cross country team every year she’s been in high school. As a sophomore in 2009 and a junior last year, Frankian finished fifth individually in the Division II state championships. Last year, she also recorded her best time at the state meet, with a time of 17:49 at Woodward Park in Fresno.

First Foothill League meet: Sept. 22 at Central Park

Last Foothill League meet: Nov. 3 at Central Park

CIF postseason begins: Nov. 12 at Mt. San Antonio College

The Signal's 2011 cross country preview: Sept. 19

Jamie Corr, Hart girls golf

In addition to claiming the Foothill League MVP, Corr was a scorer during Hart’s third-place finish at the CIF-Southern Section Northern Team Divisional on Oct. 27, 2010. Just a sophomore, Corr was part of a group of four talented golfers — three of them seniors — which led to Hart’s league title and a playoff run into the CIF-Southern Section team championships. She was named to The Signal’s All-Santa Clarita Valley Girls Golf team for 2010.

First Foothill League match: Sept. 20

Last Foothill League match: Oct. 20 at TPC Valencia

CIF postseason begins: Oct. 27

The Signal's 2011 girls golf preview: Sept. 20

Jaclyn Clark, Saugus girls volleyball

As a junior, she was named the 2010 All-SCV Girls Volleyball Player of the Year by The Signal. She led a talented Saugus team to a 28-6 season and an appearance in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IA playoffs. She led the Foothill League with 353 kills and also added 341 digs as the Centurions finished second in league.

First Foothill League match: Sept. 27

Last Foothill League match: Nov. 1

CIF postseason begins: Nov. 7

The Signal's 2011 girls volleyball preview: Sept. 27

Ana Cecilia Fuentes, West Ranch girls tennis

One of the best singles players in the Foothill League as a sophomore, Fuentes was a key player that led West Ranch to a co-league title with Valencia and a CIF-Southern Section Division III semifinal appearance for the first time in school history. She swept her three sets 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 against Sage Hills of Newport Beach in the semifinal match on Nov. 18.

First Foothill League match: Sept. 22

Last Foothill League match: Oct. 27

CIF postseason begins: Nov 2. at Paseo Club

The Signal's 2011 girls tennis preview: Sept. 21


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