Nestled in the northwest corner of the Santa Clarita Valley in Castaic lies Santa Clarita Valley International. Making a name for the smaller schools, the Stallions have excelled in softball, baseball, cross-country and swim and it’s evident as numerous athletes topped the All-Omega League lists for the spring sports.
Taking over softball head coaching duties last season, Ken Erenberg had a vision to one day transform SCVi athletics not only into a winning program, but a long-lasting one.
After back-to-back undefeated Omega League seasons, Erenberg and company have done just that on his way to winning the Omega League Coach of the Year.
“When I came here two years ago, one of my main goals was to be able to restructure all the teams and change the whole ideology of the school from we just have teams to we have winning teams,” Erenberg said. “Really, it was just getting the kids to buy into the programs and believe in what we were doing.”
Finishing the season with a 6-2 overall record, 5-0 in league play, the Stallions have won 15 Omega League games in a row dating back to 2017.
With a determined group of senior girls, led by two-time Omega League MVP Kylie Martinez and first-team selection Beatriz Panduro, SCVi softball finished with its second-straight league title, ranking No. 4 in CIF-Southern Section Division 7.
As the only pitcher on SCVi’s roster, Martinez recorded all six wins in the circle for the Stallions, finishing with a 2.97 ERA, striking out 37 batters and walking 27 in 33 innings of work, according to MaxPreps.com.
At the plate, she led the team with 16 hits and had a batting average of .889 in 18 at-bats.
“It means a sense of accomplishment knowing that I was able to help my team become who they were as team captain,” Martinez said. “It felt like a great accomplishment knowing that we came together as one.”
Panduro paced the team in almost every other statistical category, posting a .652 batting average while hitting 33 RBIs and was top 10, according to Erenberg, with six home runs on the year.
“I got it from my dad when I was young,” Panduro said of her hitting abilities. “I used to play at Mission Hills Little League and Northridge Little League and I didn’t grow up with money so they used to recruit me for the camps at different parks so I used to go to that and I would get a lot of practice there. I used to have a ball that wrapped around a pole so at the house. It was a routine after school. It was two hours hitting and then an hour of fielding every day. I’ve always been around the sport a lot.”
What is even more impressive is that all 12 players were selected to the first or second All-Omega League list.
Joining Martinez and Panduro as first-team choices are Kayla Coster, Halleigh Ritter, Jordyn Rolfe, Emily Bradford and Alina Garcia.
Amparo Lopez, Kiara Gallegos, Jayni Rolfe, Tiffany Aguilar and Lea Villa-Gomez made the second team.
“The desire to win, the desire to repeat,” Erenberg said. “Actually, it wasn’t my battle call, it was the senior girls’ battle call of no school in SCVi history has ever won back-to-back league titles and they wanted to be the first. They really were the pushing factor, it wasn’t me, it was them, which is really nice to have.”
Four SCVi baseball players made it onto the list as Beau Conrad and Christian Roehn were first-team selections while Robert Gonzalez and Ricky Jimenez landed on the second team.
Deciding that he was going to play loose and free in his senior year at SCVi, Conrad did it all for the Stallions. Making nine appearances on the mound, Conrad finished the season with an ERA of 5.19, the lowest of any SCVi pitcher, 51 strikeouts and 14 walks in 31 innings of work.
He also paced the team with a .379 batting average on 11 hits and seven RBIs to go with the team’s only home run of the season in 29 at-bats.
“This year I finally decided that I shouldn’t focus on all the pressure,” Conrad said. “I’m a senior and I’ve been playing since freshman year, so I decided that I’m just going to play the way that I know how to play. I just needed to realize that I’m here to play the game and I’m just going to try to show my skills so that’s what I tried to do this year and it worked.”
Contributing mightily to the growth of almost every spring sport, senior Oscar Alcala, an All-Omega League cross-country selection, was named SCVi’s Athlete of the Year.
“I couldn’t have done it without my facilitators, teammates and family that is always supporting me,” Alcala said. “Sports plays a huge factor in my life. I have three little brothers and all we do is play sports. It’s an honor and a privilege to win the Athlete of the Year, it just shows that with hard work, you can accomplish anything.”
Playing a vital role on the soccer, basketball and baseball teams, Alcala was hailed as an all-around great student-athlete.
“Oscar is just an incredible kid and an incredible athlete,” Erenberg said. “He was All-League and qualified for CIF in cross-country and then he was a member of the soccer team, he also played on the basketball team when they needed help. He was on the baseball team and he even offered to help out with swimming, but he couldn’t because it was baseball season.
“He’s just one of these kids that you really wish you can have forever. He’s a great kid that’s willing to participate and an all-around great athlete too.”
SCVi’s first-year swim team also got an All-League bid as Jax Malcom was selected to the All-Heritage League first team for the year he had.