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.
Hart junior starting pitcher Jack Ralston has been dominant so far this season.
Valencia's Dylan Thomas said he wasn't feeling well when he woke up on Friday morning.
Casey Burrill, head baseball coach at West Ranch, called his team's 2-1 win over visiting Saugus on Friday a "baseball connoisseur's dream."
Coming off a frustrating, five-game loss to Valencia to start league play, the Saugus Centurions boys volleyball team was determined to rebound in a big way.
Saugus head track and field coach David Russell knew coming into Thursday's first Foothill League meet of the season against Valencia that a lot of the scoring burden would fall on his distance runners.
The Valencia Vikings boys tennis team has sliced through a hot knife through butter thus far in Foothill League play.
It was April 19 of last year when Golden Valley and Canyon boys track and field went at it.
After building up its program for years, the Golden Valley girls track and field team finally reached the pinnacle last year by winning its first Foothill League championship in school history.
The Hart baseball team took advantage of some costly mistakes and rallied to beat visiting West Ranch 5-2 on Wednesday and remain perfect in Foothill League play.
Coming into Wednesday's contest at Golden Valley, Canyon senior first baseman Vincent Fitzgerald hadn't been able to get more than one hit in a game all year.
Valencia Vikings baseball is going to have to pitch to be a Foothill League title contender in 2014 and the Saugus Centurions are going to have to hit to do the same.
The wind didn't seem to bother the Valencia boys tennis on Tuesday as the Vikings beat the Golden Valley Grizzlies 16-2 on a blustery day at Golden Valley High.
It was about as wild an affair as a high school swim meet could possibly be on Tuesday afternoon in the Foothill League opener for Valencia and Saugus at the Santa Clarita Aquatics Center.
It only took one game for West Ranch boys volleyball to get back into its Foothill League groove.
For the first time in years, the waters look murky for the Hart boys swim team.