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.
Golden Valley looked impressive in the pre-league season, but the Grizzlies still had to hear about how they hadn't won a league game in almost two years.
If Tuesday night was any indication, we are in for an exciting 2009 Foothill League girls basketball season.
Saugus shocked Valencia at Valencia High 55-53 in a 32-minute battle of wills.
The Canyon boys soccer team had a sack full of motivation coming into its league opener at West Ranch High.
In typical fashion, Cowboys head coach Khris Savage took every opportunity to use it.
There's an imaginary geographical line that separates part of the Santa Clarita Valley.
That line indicates whether one plays basketball for Saugus or Valencia high schools. It's a very thin marker, considering the rivalry these two teams fought down to the wire last season, with the Vikings grabbing the league crown by just one game.
The Valencia girls soccer team opened Foothill League play with an emphatic statement Tuesday, storming into Saugus and scoring four goals before the first half was even 20 minutes old.
The Vikings ended up with a 4-2 victory.
With only 10 league games, you must defend your home court.
That was the point made by West Ranch Tuesday in its Foothill League-opening 61-49 victory against Canyon at West Ranch High.
At this time last year, the Golden Valley boys soccer team began to dig itself a hole.
Chances are the Grizzlies are much happier with this season's start.
The explanation as to why he loves the game is hard to come by.
Simply, Trevor Wiseman just likes to hear the ripping sound as a basketball travels through a net.
For years, Foothill League boys basketball has had a definitive upper tier.
But the talent seems to be spread across the league this season, and because of the parity, 2009 could be a different from the past.
The road to a Foothill League championship in girls basketball has gone through Newhall Avenue.
Hart High has won seven straight titles, including a share of the crown last year with Saugus.
Hart High head basketball coach Zach Koebel goes one-on-one with a select few of his players at practice.
Megan Ford, now a center at Cal Poly Pomona, was one of his favorites last year in his first season leading the Indians.
Talk to any coach and they will tell you the same thing.
Whoever finishes as the league champions will have been the last team standing.
As Erin Ortega goes, so does Saugus.
If you don't recognize Foothill League boys soccer this season, you're not alone.
The biggest message Golden Valley girls basketball head coach Kerri Garland tried to convey to her team was how good they were.
The West Ranch Wildcats boys basketball team was hot to end the regular season.
QUARTZ HILL - As Rocket Collins sat on the bench in pre-game warmups, the Valencia Vikings boys basketball head coach had an inkling that one of his players was about to have a big night.
Trinity Classical Academy boys basketball hit the century mark in points for the first time in school history and won by 45 points.
The Canyon Cowboys took it to Loara High of Anaheim on the road on Friday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IIAA playoffs.
The Canyon Cowboys girls soccer team will think about this one for a while.
Down by one early and maybe too close for comfort at halftime, the Hart Indians pulled away Friday at Hart High and defeated the Beckman High Patriots of Irvine 92-61 in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division IIA playoffs.
The Valencia Vikings girls soccer team wanted to quickly erase the memory of falling just short of a Foothill League title last week.
Hart girls soccer wasn't about to be pushed around on its home field in the playoffs.
Here was the reward for Albert Einstein Academy boys basketball.
All it took was one goal to calm all the playoff nerves.
In the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division IV playoffs, the West Ranch Wildcats boys soccer team ran into an offensive buzz saw.
Santa Clarita Christian boys basketball couldn't wait to get its playoff run started.
For the first nine minutes of the game, Hart boys soccer was on fire.
The first playoff experience for Albert Einstein Academy girls basketball was quick and straight forward.