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2011-2012 SCCS Year in Review: The tides of change

Posted: July 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Senior pitcher Ryan Fullarton was a rock on the mound this season for the Santa Clarita Christian baseball team. Senior pitcher Ryan Fullarton was a rock on the mound this season for the Santa Clarita Christian baseball team.
Senior pitcher Ryan Fullarton was a rock on the mound this season for the Santa Clarita Christian baseball team.

It’s hard to narrow it all down to a single theme for Santa Clarita Christian School.

It was a year of transition for the school’s athletics, and at the same time, it was a year of redemption and surprise.
For one team, it was mostly a season of introduction, and, at times, harsh doses of reality.

That was the experience of the 2011-12 SCCS football team.

In its first 13 years of existence, the team played 8-man football, but the school, along with head coach Garrick Moss, decided to make the leap to 11-man for the first time this season.

The season didn’t come without a few trials, but the Cardinals turned it on late and earned a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Northeast Division playoffs after finishing second in the San Joaquin League.

An injury-riddled SCCS team had a rude awakening it its 11-man playoff debut, losing on Nov. 18 69-0 to Salesian High, the division’s fifth-ranked team. It concluded a 5-6 season for the Cardinals, who battled injuries throughout the year, namely to starting quarterback Conner Harvey and starting running back Trevor Lopez.

There were hopeful signs for the team’s future in the 11-man ranks, though. SCCS won two of its three league games and had three shutout victories on the year, including a 42-0 win over Animo Leadership on Nov. 5.

Football was one of seven sports SCCS took part in this season, and all but one of them made the postseason.

The deepest run was accomplished by the baseball team, another squad coached by Moss.

SCCS baseball started fast, at one point reaching a No. 1 ranking in the CIF-SS Division VII poll after a 6-0 start.

After that, the team was humbled a bit during Heritage League play, finishing fourth, but it was given an at-large nod for a wild-card spot in the playoffs.

The roller coaster season continued, as SCCS blasted crosstown rival Trinity Classical Academy 21-1 in the Division VII wild-card game, then rattled off upset wins over Animo Leadership in the first round and Temecula Prep in the second round.

With that, SCCS advanced to its first CIF quarterfinal since 2004, eventually falling 4-1 to Dunn High on May 25 to end a 16-7 season.

Ryan Fullarton was a standout player on the team, going 6-3 with a 1.79 ERA on the mound while also batting a team-best .491.

On the girls side, both volleyball and soccer stood out.

Junior midfielder Megan Gallagher was one of the school’s two All-CIF selections. She was named to the CIF-SS

Division VII girls soccer team while classmate Chad Latch made the Division VII boys soccer team.
Gallagher and the girls soccer team finished second in the Heritage League and ended the season at 10-6-0 after losing 3-1 to Vistamar in the first round of the Division VII playoffs.

Junior Christina Keoshian played goalkeeper for that team and joined Gallagher as an All-Heritage first-team selection.
Keoshian — the school’s Female Athlete of the Year — was also a Heritage first-teamer in girls volleyball, which finished 6-12 and didn’t make the playoffs.

Among those SCCS teams that won playoff games was boys soccer and softball.

Led by Latch and the Heritage League MVP Daniel Stratton — who scored 33 goals on the year — the Cardinals beat La

Sierra Academy 8-0 in the first round of the CIF-SS Div. VII playoffs Feb. 16.

Two days later, SCCS was eliminated by Academy for Academic Excellence 2-1 in the second round to finish the season 11-6-2.

In softball, SCCS dispatched Bethel Christian 18-0 in the wild-card round of the Division VII bracket, only to fall 23-0 in the first round against the division’s top seed, Pomona Catholic.

It was the softball team’s first year as a member of the Coastal League, where it finished third.

The boys basketball team went one-and-done in the playoffs, while the school went without a girls basketball team this year due to a lack of participation.

As the athletic climate continues to change at SCCS, with teams being thrust into new leagues and new divisions, adjustments can prove difficult.

Fortunately, these are adjustments the school is more than willing to make moving forward.


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