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.
To begin the Foothill League girls soccer season, the Valencia Vikings squeaked past the Saugus by a single goal in a thriller at Valencia High School on Jan. 14.
Golden Valley girls basketball kept going after Canyon.
There's one word that described what Hart Indians boys basketball was on Friday against the West Ranch Wildcats at Hart High - overwhelming.
It's one thing to play teams in higher playoff divisions, it's another to beat them.
It's about a half hour before practice is supposed to start at Hart High School.
Few teams have tested the Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals girls soccer team this season.
The Foothill League's Offensive Player of the Year will be playing football for one of the most pass-happy college football teams in the nation.
Foothill League soccer coaches constantly reiterate the lack of predictability during the season, and Tuesday's action reinforced and refuted those claims simultaneously.
This is when everyone can take a step back and take a breath.
JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - Beast Mode was Least Mode again.
The last team to defeat the Hart Indians in the Foothill League was the Canyon Cowboys.
It took the Golden Valley Grizzlies girls basketball team 15 tries and eight seasons, but they finally beat the Saugus Centurions.
There was no reason for the defending league champions to panic after a loss last week.
With both teams entering Tuesday's contest at Golden Valley High School without a Foothill League win, the Saugus Centurions and Golden Valley Grizzlies girls soccer teams saw in each other an opportunity for a major breakthrough.
The kids were excited.