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Valencia No. 2 in CIF poll

Hart ranked fifth, Saugus seventh in Northern Division

Posted: August 29, 2008 8:03 p.m.
Updated: October 31, 2008 5:00 a.m.

The CIF Southern Section preseason football polls have been released, and three Foothill League teams are in the northern division's top ten.

Valencia was ranked above Hart (No.5) and Saugus (No.7) at No. 2 behind St. Bonaventure, who was No. 1.

In 2007, the Vikings finished behind Hart and Saugus in the race for the league crown. Valencia finished third, with the Centurions second and the Indians first.

This season, however, the road to No. 1 will come with a fight.

Valencia head coach Larry Muir said the 2008 league title is wide open to anyone.

"I think it's going to the small, intangible things that will make the difference in those key games during the year, and that's going to separate teams. Anybody's got a shot at it."

In last year's CIF-Southern Section playoff, Valencia was eliminated in the quarterfinals, losing 29-28 to Newbury Park.

Valencia has made three CIF finals appearances, losing twice to Hart. The first came in 1999, with Hart winning 34-6 and again in 2001, where the Vikings again lost in a large deficit, 42-13.

For Muir, the goals for this season are pretty clear cut.

"We just want to win the Foothill league championship."


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