Six Santa Clarita Valley prep football teams will continue their seasons Friday, with the CIF-Southern Section revealing its 11-man football brackets over the weekend.
Valencia (9-1), Golden Valley (5-5) and Santa Clarita Christian School (10-0) enter the playoffs seeded in their respective divisions. Valencia is seeded at No. 3 in Division 2, Golden Valley at No. 2 in Division 6 and SCCS at No. 1 in Division 13.
“Our kids are excited, you know, it’s a brand new season with the playoffs,” said Golden Valley coach Dan Kelley, who’s led the Grizzlies to their first-ever postseason berths over the last two seasons. “We got to bring some younger kids up to practice with us today. There’s a lot of excitement around at this time of the year.”
With the Vikings winning the Foothill League, Hart (7-3) and Saugus (4-6) picked up the league’s other automatic bids, finishing second and third, respectively. Hart will compete in Division 3 with Saugus in Division 6, along with Canyon (4-6), which picked up a Division at-large bid.
The Indians will have an advantage in the form of coach Mike Herrington’s brother, Dean, whose Paraclete team is coming off a 26-7 win over Sierra Canyon. The Indians play Sierra Canyon (8-2), which finished second in the Gold Coast League, at Granada Hills in the first round.
“(Paraclete) has played them a couple years in a row know, so we discussed game plan, film and things they like to do,” Mike Herrington said. “We thought we might have gotten an easier draw since we were ranked 10th in our division going into the final week.
“But we’ll make due with where we’re at and we’ll be prepared to play.”
Golden Valley’s high seed didn’t shield it from having to travel 150-plus miles to play at Nipomo (4-6), the second-place finishers in the Northern League.
“That’s the process, I guess,” Kelley said. “We didn’t get an automatic bid so we kind of had to be prepared to play wherever on the road.
The Vikings will host Great Oak (5-5) in the first round with a potential rematch against Calabasas, the only team to beat Valencia this season, in the semifinals. Sierra Canyon handed Calabasas its only loss of the season.
Saugus will be at home to face Sonora, which received an at-large bid in Division 6 and Canyon will play at San Gorgonio (6-4), winners of the San Andreas League.
Canyon and Golden Valley could potentially meet in the semifinals but a matchup for either school against Saugus could only occur in the championship.
SCCS will host Hamilton (4-5), which finished second in the Arrowhead League, at Canyon.
The Cardinals, who finished their first undefeated regular season in school history, will likely be without Caden Brenner and Ethan Schwesinger. Both missed the team’s regular-season finale with injuries.
The team’s leading receiver, Blaike Orth, and leading rusher, Lucas Pettee, also exited their win over Southlands Christian last Thursday with injuries.