The Santa Clarita Christian athletic department continued to thin this week, but the Cardinals’ rivalry with crosstown Trinity Classical Academy might have thickened in the process.
Trinity announced Monday that SCCS Athletic Director Ali Aguilar will leave to become the Knights’ assistant athletic director next school year.
“Hearing their passion for athletics and their strive for excellence and their vision as a whole was so appealing and attractive for me,” said Aguilar, who became SCCS’s athletic director for the 2009-2010 school year and also coaches the school’s softball team.
The move comes one month after longtime SCCS baseball and football coach Garrick Moss announced he’d be leaving for a position at Legacy Christian Academy in Valencia.
Aguilar’s position at Trinity will focus on providing oversight to the school’s kindergarten through eighth grade athletic teams but will also involve helping Athletic Director Matt Dixon with high school sports.
“The title to me (isn’t important),” said Aguilar of the title change, “being part of (their vision) means more to me.”
Aguilar expects the transition to be that much easier because of the friendship he’s developed working with Dixon in the Heritage League over the years.
“I’m just excited,” Dixon said, “and I’m looking forward to it. I can’t wait to start in the summer planning and working this out with Ali. That’s going to be a tremendous help to myself and to our families.”
As for adding to an already healthy rivalry between the Santa Clarita Valley’s Christian high schools?
“The point wasn’t to build the rivalry,” Dixon said of the move. “If it has that effect, I don’t think that would necessarily be a bad thing in that I think it can be fun as long as it’s good, healthy competition, which I think our schools have been able to have.
“I think there is potential for (this move to fuel the rivalry), and we’ll have to see what happens.”
Aguilar said he didn’t expect it to be awkward when he coaches SCCS’s softball team in Heritage League games against Trinity on May 8 and 9.
“No, I have a lot of friends at that school, and it’s always been fun playing Trinity,” he said.
Aguilar also acknowledged that his daughter Hailey graduating from SCCS this year impacted his willingness to leave.