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First-day fuel

Posted: January 14, 2009 9:18 p.m.
Updated: January 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
There was a lot of motivation going around in the Foothill League after The Signal's Winter Sports Previews, which ran from Saturday through Tuesday.

We're not taking credit for anything, but certainly those editions rubbed some local athletes the wrong way.

Because of the perceived slight, Canyon High boys soccer players, one Saugus girls basketball player and at least one Foothill League boys basketball player (whose father called in Wednesday noting his son was disappointed) were affected and took their frustrations out on opposing teams.

Canyon soccer players took it personally that the West Ranch boys soccer team was determined to shut teams out.

There's nothing wrong with the thinking, but the Cowboys proved a team will use anything for motivation.

Canyon defeated West Ranch 2-1 in the Foothill League opener for both teams.

Gabby Conn of Saugus girls basketball took umbrage to her team being mentioned third after Valencia and Canyon in a preview and took it out on the Vikings in a 55-53 Centurions victory.

Don't think Saugus boys basketball felt it was undersold either, as it took out a more highly touted Valencia team 69-65 in double overtime Tuesday.

Lets get a couple of things straight, though.

We didn't make any predictions in any of the previews.

We measured the pulses of the league's coaches and relayed them in the story.

Now, if the players would like an honest opinion, we did feel - based off of projections - that Golden Valley boys basketball was the favorite to win league.

The Grizzlies are rated highest of any Santa Clarita Valley team in any boys basketball poll.

I thought both Valencia basketball teams would prevail over Saugus - sorry Gabby.

But Canyon girls basketball and Valencia were the higher-rated teams.

Nonetheless, Saugus deserves a ton of credit for its twin wins.

The Centurions are now on the radar.

With boys soccer, we didn't anoint West Ranch as a favorite.

Canyon was impressive offensively and defensively, so maybe the Cowboys have jumped ahead.

Golden Valley made the biggest splash, though, knocking off Hart 6-1.

But boys soccer will come down to the wire.

The girls soccer teams were quiet after the previews.

No complaints.

Valencia, Hart and Canyon all picked up wins.

We expect girls soccer to also come down to the wire.

Alas, there is one team that has a legitimate gripe.

We sent one of our reporters to cover West Ranch-Canyon boys basketball Tuesday night.

He came back with a funny story.

Wildcats head coach Sean LeGaux explained to him that his team's name was West Ranch - spelled W-E-S-T, space, R-A-N-C-H.

The Signal hasn't covered many West Ranch pre-league games over the past couple of years because many of those contests have been on the road and we tend to cover road games in the playoffs, not during the regular season.

There are exceptions, but that's not the point.

LeGaux sarcastically alluded to the fact that we haven't covered the Wildcats much.

West Ranch defeated Canyon Tuesday night 61-49.

Then, one of our new staff members writes the headline: "WR earns rare league victory."

It slipped by.

I know West Ranch was one of the best teams in the Foothill League, winning six league games last season.
The mistake is unfortunate.

I just feel bad for Saugus.

The Centurions play the Wildcats on Friday.

There we go, motivating teams again.

Cary Osborne is The Signal's sports editor. He can be reached at cosborne@the-signal.com. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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