2017-18 Signal Sports Awards: And the nominees are…

Canyon's Ethan Danforth runs the 3200 meter run at the CIF Southern Section Masters meet at El Camino College in Torrance on May 26, 2018. Danforth was fourth in the 3200 at the CIF state finals on Saturday. Katharine Lotze/For The Signal

Every summer, The Signal recognizes the fastest of fast, the toughest of tough and, well, the best of the best when it comes to sports in the Santa Clarita Valley. Every year a new standard of sport is set in the area, and there are always a handful of athletes at the front of the charge. Without further ado, here are the candidates for this year’s Signal Sports Awards.


Newcomer of the Year

Antonio Abrego

Despite being the only freshman in the field of competitors for the 800, Abrego pulled off a seventh-place performance at the CIF-Southern Section Masters Meet. He came in third in the event at the CIF-SS finals, recording 1:57.02 and was a crucial piece of the Grizzlies 4×400 team that reached the Masters Meet.

Lawrence Luna

Leading the Hart boys soccer team to a Foothill League title, the sophomore led the team with 15 goals. Playing in 16 games this year, Luna netted a goal in every game he played except two, saving his best for last, scoring two goals in the last game of the league season in a 4-3 win against Saugus. Luna finished with 34 total points on the year. (All the stats listed were during the regular season and do not include playoffs.)

Haley Mihut

The Saugus freshman ranked third on the softball team with 24 hits in 62 at-bats. Managing to hit three home runs on the year, Mihut finished the season with 16 RBIs and was third with 22 runs. The Ole Miss commit ended her first varsity season with a batting average of .387 and a slugging percentage of .629.

Nick Perez

The West Ranch catcher finished fifth on the baseball team with a .341 batting average and third on the team with 28 hits. Hitting three home runs on the year, Perez was not only a solid hitter, but a slick base runner, finishing the year tied for second on the team with eight stolen bases in 10 attempts. His best game came against Golden Valley, where he went 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a run scored.

Shelbi Schauble

After trying out a plethora of events in an attempt to find her niche, Schauble found her calling in the triple jump. With a leap of 38 feet, 8.25 inches, Schauble was able to qualify for the CIF state meet. Additionally, she was a key runner on West Ranch’s 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams.


Coach of the Year

Rene Paragas

Bringing at least one team to the state championships since 2005, Paragas led the Saugus girls cross country team to a second-place finish before leading the boys cross country team to the podium with a third-place finish at the state meet. The Centurion coach also had the pleasure of coaching Mariah Castillo, the 2018 All-SCV Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year, to numerous victories.

James Mosley

Leading the Santa Clarita Christian School boys basketball team to a CIF-SS Division 5AAA Championship and a CIF Division 5 state championship game, Mosley’s team made an unprecedented run into the playoffs, winning 19 straight games culminating in the two titles.

Larry Muir

Finishing 12-2 overall and 5-0 in Foothill League, Muir coached the Valencia football team to its ninth-straight league title, reaching the CIF-SS Division 2 title game. Outscoring opponents 730-265 on the year, the Vikings finished the year ranked 81st nationally and 15th in the state California.

Dan Kelley

Developing the Golden Valley talent over the past four years, Kelley guided the Grizzlies’ football team to an 8-6 record on the year and into the CIF-SS Division 7 title game against Bishop Diego.


Most Exciting Athlete of the Year

CJ McMullen

Finishing the season with 82 total tackles, 43 of which were solo, McMullen anchored the Indian defensive line creating nightmare matchups against opposing lineman. Recording at least one sack in every game played (12), McMullen finishes his senior season with 24 sacks. In games against St. Bonaventure and Sierra Canyon he ended up getting to the quarterback five and seven times, respectively. In track and field, McMullen took his discus abilities to a new level, placing first at the CIF-SS Masters Meet in the event and sixth at the state meet.

Adrian McIntyre

Throughout his sophomore year, McIntyre proved that he was not to be taken lightly by averaging 24.5 points per game, 6.4 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game to lead the Centurions to a second-place Foothill League finish.

Jalin Lewis

First on the Golden Valley football team in all-purpose yards with 1,651, Lewis played both sides of the ball fielding punts and kickoffs. Lewis caught 58 receptions for 886 yards and six touchdowns and ran 43 times for 374 yards and four touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, Lewis recorded 55 total tackles and intercepted four passes for the Grizzlies. Lewis also holds an offer from Wyoming.

Taylor Moorehead

Scoring 10 goals and tacking on nine assists in her senior season, the San Diego State commit helped guide Hart girls soccer to an undefeated 9-0-1 record to win the Foothill League title for the fifth straight year.

Will Chambers

Tying West Ranch’s single-season home run record with nine on the year, Chambers finishes his senior year at West Ranch batting .372 in 78 at-bats, finishing the year with 40 RBIs on 29 hits. Leading the Foothill League in both home runs and RBIs, the Wildcats’ slugger lands second in West Ranch history in home runs with 11.


Male Athlete of the Year

Ethan Danforth

He won the Foothill League and CIF-SS Division 2 titles in the boys 3,200, then followed up with a second-place finish at the Masters Meet. At the state level, he placed fourth in the event with a time of 9:30.00. In cross country, Danforth won the Division 2 finals and took second place in Division II at state.

Whitten Dominguez

A Biola University commit, Dominguez was the most consistent performer on an Indians basketball team that finished in first place in the Foothill League. Averaging 19 points per game, five rebounds per game and two assists per game, one of Dominguez’s most memorable moments came against West Ranch where he hit the game-winning shot to avenge an early-season loss.

Bryce Collins

Battling through adversity this season for Hart baseball, Collins finished his senior campaign posting an ERA of .98 in 57 innings of work, allowing 28 hits while striking out 86 batters in the process. The University of Arizona commit was drafted in the 39th round of the 2018 MLB First-Year Draft, but looks to further his career at Arizona.

Lukas White

Dominating on both sides of the ball, White managed to hit a .378 batting average, recording 28 RBIs and five home runs on 37 hits in 98 at-bats during his senior season for Valencia baseball. Going 7-3 with a 2.51 ERA on the year, White pitched three complete games and struck out 71 batters in 75.1 innings of work.

JaCore Johnson

In his first year at Valencia, Johnson managed to win Foothill League titles in the 200, 400 and 4×400 relay team with Valencia track. Competing in the CIF state meet, Johnson broke the Foothill League record in the 400 with a time of 47.62 seconds, placing fifth in the state race.


Female Athlete of the Year

Mariah Castillo

Set to continue her track & field career at Texas Christian University, Castillo came in first at the Brooks PR Invitational and placed third at the Nike Cross Nationals during cross country season. Breaking Saugus records in the 800, 1,200, 1,600 and 3,200 Castillo was the most reliable and dominant girls runner in the Foothill League.

Shea O’Leary

Capturing another Foothill League title, the University of Texas commit was a consistent figure on the mound for the Vikings’ softball team, finishing her senior season with an ERA of 1.30 in 214.67 innings. She managed to strike out 288 batters in the process.

Zoe Campos

Committing to the University of California, Los Angeles in September, the West Ranch freshman turned some heads on the golf course by helping the Wildcats win the Foothill League title as well as capturing the individual title for herself. Capping her first varsity year, Campos took home the CIF state title by carding a 2-under 69 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach.

Talia Taufaasau

The floor general for the Cowboys, Taufaasau led the girls basketball team to an undefeated Foothill League season, going 10-0 to win the league title. In her senior season, Taufaasau averaged 14.6 points per game, 7.6 assists per game and 3.3 steals per game. Finishing with 1,356 points in her time at Canyon Taufaasau shot 42 perfect from the field to close out her career.


Team of the Year

SCCS boys basketball

Winning the CIF-SS Division 5AAA title and the CIF Division V State title, the Cardinals started the unprecedented year off by going 12-0 in the Heritage League to win the title outright. The Cardinals finished the season racking up 19 straight wins, finishing 25-9 overall, proving that they belong in the conversation for most dominant team in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Valencia football

Ending the season atop the Foothill League for the ninth straight time, the Vikings only dropped two games on the season, losing by a combined total of three points. Averaging 49.4 points per game on offense, the Valencia defense was staunch to say the least, allowing 18.9 points per game. Reaching the Division 2 title game they fell 20-19 against Oaks Christian.

Saugus girls basketball

Winning nine more games than the previous year, the Cents finished with an overall record of 22-9 and third in the Foothill League. Making a run into the CIF-SS Division 3A tournament, the Centurions reached the semifinals where they lost to eventual champion Beverly Hills by four points. The team earned a bid to the CIF Division III state tournament, but lost in the first round to Sunny Hills.

Hart boys soccer

Going undefeated in league play at 9-0-1, the Indians started the season off shaky, but managed to get their act together, going on a 14-game undefeated streak to end the season and into the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs, where they fell to Indian Springs in the semifinals.

Golden Valley football

Making the CIF-SS Division 6 playoffs, the Grizzlies finished the season going 8-6 overall with a 2-3 record in the Foothill League. Taking down the first three playoff opponents by a combined score of 76-34, the Grizzlies reached the program’s first-ever CIF title game, but fell to Bishop Diego.

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