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STEVEN GEORGES, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Santa Ana's Jonathan Briseno has helped the Saints start the season with a 7-0 record. The Saints are trying to win their first league title since 1991.

Fryer: Santa Ana making this a season to remember

STAFF WRITER

The last time somebody wrote “Santa Ana is 7-0” it might have happened on a typewriter.

Maybe it has not been that long. Certainly it has been a while.

The Saints improved to 7-0 overall after beating Ocean View, 28-21, in overtime last week. The win was their closest win of the season.

Santa Ana is 2-0 in the Golden West League. So are Segerstrom and Westminster. Santa Ana plays Segerstrom this week, at Segerstrom, and plays Westminster next week.

From 2010 to 2014, Santa Ana had a total of seven victories – six of those came in ’14 when the Saints went 6-5 and made the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

That ’09 season was the last time the Saints got to seven wins. The last time they won a league championship was in 1991, when Santa Ana won the Sunset League championship. That’s right, Santa Ana was in the Sunset League that year when the late-great Dick Hill turned in of his more amazing coaching performances.

The last time Santa Ana won a playoff game was in ’89.

Any discussion of Orange County coach of the year must include Santa Ana’s Charlie TeGantvoort, especially if the Saints do two things they have not done since any of this year’s players were born: win a league championship and win a playoff game.

TWICE AS GOOD

Trinity League schools usually have enough talent and depth that very few players must play on offense and defense. Once in a while, there is a Trinity League player so good at both that his team needs him to play both ways.

That describes running back/linebacker Matt Mark of Santa Margarita. He is the second-leading rusher on the Eagles. He is pretty much a between-the-tackles, short-yardage guy, but he did burst for a 35-yard touchdown run last week in their 28-21 win over JSerra.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound senior also had eight tackles last week, giving him a team-leading 64..

WE’RE NO. 25

Ranking teams 1-24 was easy this week. Figuring out who is No. 25 was not.

Last week’s No. 25, Pacifica, lost to Kennedy on Friday. I did not put Kennedy at No. 25, because Kennedy lost to Fullerton and El Modena.

I did not put Fullerton at No. 25. The Indians lost to Troy. I did not put Troy at No. 25 because Troy lost to Yorba Linda – a 38-0 loss on the field that became a Troy win by forfeit.

Yorba Linda is not at No. 25. Yorba Linda lost to Brea Olinda, which last week lost by a 69-0 score to Villa Park.

El Modena? The Vanguards look better than Brea Olinda, having lost to Villa Park by only one point. But El Modena lost to Yorba Linda.

And to bring it full circle, El Modena beat Kennedy.

Garden Grove? Lost to Westminster. Westminster? Lost to Pacifica, which, again, lost to Kennedy.

What about University, which is 7-0? Uni beat Northwood by two points last week.

Ah, but Katella, also 7-0, beat Northwood by 37 points. So the choice for No. 25 is Katella.

See the stuff I go through to make you happy, or mad, or sometimes both?

THE BARONS

The fastest rising team in the county top 25 is Fountain Valley. The Barons started 0-2 with losses to Servite and Long Beach Wilson, and has won five in a row, including a 20-7 win over Los Alamitos that put them in great shape for the playoffs. Fountain Valley was out of the top 25 for a week and now is at No. 14.

ABOUT TIME

Teams in the Century Conference finally play league games this week. The conference of schools that are, for the most part, in the northeast section of Orange County, is divided into two leagues, the Crestview and North Hills leagues with league membership varying from sport to sport. For example, Canyon is in the Crestview League, the better of the conference’s two leagues, for boys basketball and is in the North Hills League for football.

Villa Park (7-0) looks significantly superior to the other three Crestview teams, Esperanza, Foothill and Yorba Linda. In the North Hills League, Brea Olinda, Canyon and El Modena all look good enough to win the league title with El Dorado still building.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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