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History in the making?

National title, divisional crown and right to play in divisional and state finals up for grabs

Posted: December 1, 2008 9:44 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Saugus tight end Mario Lara dives into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown against Thousand Oaks on Nov. 28. The Centurions match up with St. Bonaventure Friday in Ventura.

It's shaping up to be one of the biggest weekends in Santa Clarita valley sports history.

Two championships will be determined and three teams will be competing for a spot in a championship game.

The big day is Saturday, with three local teams taking the field.

Bigger and farther away than any event, the Saugus girls cross country team - fresh off its third straight state championship - will compete for the sport's prep national championship Saturday morning in the Nike Cross Nationals in Portland, Ore.

The Centurions, ranked No. 2 in the country, finished second in last year's nationals and 18th in 2006.

Both years, Fayetteville-Manlius of New York took the national title.

Manlius is again favored to win the national title, with Saugus next in line.

The course is different from the typical five-kilometer surface the Centurions are used to.

Hay bails and mud will force the Saugus girls to not only run, but manuever and hurdle.

"I had asked (Saugus High principal) Bill Bolde if we could flood one of the back fields for 30 days to prepare," said Saugus head coach Renen Paragas on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Centurions that was not possible.

There's a good possibility that the College of the Canyons football team could return to the state championship for the first time since its national championship season in 2004.

The state's No. 1 ranked Cougars will play No. 4 Mt. San Antonio College at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Cougar Stadium.

Mt. San Antonio defeated Fullerton 34-27 in two overtimes last Saturday.

The Cougars defeated El Camino College 36-27.

Also on Saturday, Valencia will host 11-1 Moorpark at Dr. Paul A. Priesz Stadium at 7 p.m in the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division Semifinals.

The Musketeers defeated Atascadero 6-0 last Friday.

They are the likely favorite in this game.

The winner of that semifinal will meet the winner of Friday's game between Saugus and St. Bonaventure.

St. Bonaventure will host the game at Ventura High in Ventura at 7:30 p.m.

The Seraphs defeated Paso Robles 32-7 last Friday.
They are also favored to win.

The other local team playing Friday night will be Santa Clarita Christian.

The Cardinals will play Faith Baptist for the CIF-Southern Section Division I 8-Man football tile in a rematch of a Nov. 1 game that saw Faith win 46-32.

SCCS will host the game Friday at 7 p.m. at Canyon High's Harry Welch Stadium.


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