`Itâ€™s playoff time in high school sports and plenty of teams from the Santa Clarita Valley are right in the mix of things.
Letâ€™s start with football.
The Valencia football team is the No. 2 seed in the CIF Southern Section Northern Division playoffs. The Vikings won their first-round game, but had to rally to do it.
Down nine points in the first half, Valencia scored two touchdowns in the third quarter against Paso Robles and won, 46-36.
Canyon rolled in its first-round game, 42-9, against visiting San Luis Obispo.
Hart had the toughest first-round test, on the road against Arroyo Grande. The Indians weathered a three-hour bus ride and pounded Arroyo Grande, 48-6.
All three teams from the Foothill League advanced to the quarterfinals. Hart and Valencia are on the same side of the playoff bracket and could meet in the semifinals.
Third-seeded Palos Verdes, the champion of the Bay League, faces Hart at College of the Canyons on Friday night.
Valencia travels to play Quartz Hill, the second-place team from the Golden League.
Canyon has an interesting match-up against Atascadero in the quarterfinals. Atascadero, an at-large team from the Pac-7 League, upset top-seeded Palmdale in the first round. Palmdale entered the playoffs with an undefeated 10-0 record and as champion of the Golden League.
Canyon has an explosive offense, but its defense has been suspect all season. Atascadero only scored 26 points against Palmdale. Canyon has posted 50 points in a game twice and scored more than 40 points in a game nine times this season.
Atascadero will need more than four touchdowns to beat Canyon.
The Trinity Classical Academy football team is in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division II 8-man playoffs, but they have a tough test coming up.
The Knights play top-seeded Joshua Springs in the semis. Trinity, the fourth-seeded team in the playoffs, is averaging 64.5 points per game in the playoffs. Joshua Springs is putting up 72 points per game. The score in this one might look more like a playoff basketball game than football game.
Canyon receiver Drew Wolitarsky (pictured at right) not only has his team in the quarterfinals of the CIF football playoffs, he is doing it in record-breaking fashion.
Wolitarsky broke the state record for career receptions against San Luis Obispo. He caught nine passes and broke the record held by Steve Smith when he played at Taft in Woodland Hills.
Smith, a receiver with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, caught 271 passes in his high school career. Wolitarsky has 277 and at least one more game to play.
Wolitarsky broke Smithâ€™s record for career receiving yards earlier in the season. Still no word on where Wolitarsky will play in college.
The high school cross country postseason is proving fruitful once again for the teams from the Foothill League.
Six teams from the Foothill League qualified for the CIF Southern Section Finals at Mt. San Antonio College.
The Golden Valley, Saugus and Hart boys are in the Southern Section Finals. The Saugus, Golden Valley and Canyon girls are also heading to the Southern Section Finals.
The Golden Valley boys are the reigning Southern Section Division II and state champions.
The Saugus girls are ranked No. 1 in the Southern Section Division II poll and are the favorites to win the meet. But they will be tested by Simi Valley, which won the Division II championship last year. Saugus is no stranger to CIF championships. The Centurions won five CIF titles in a row before losing to Simi Valley last year.
Valenciaâ€™s Olivia Pear qualified for the girls Division I race after finishing in third place at the Southern Section prelims race.
The surprise of the Southern Section prelims was that Canyonâ€™s Zach Wims did not qualify for the Southern Section Finals. He was 18th in his Division II heat race.
Believe it or not, the UCLA football team has a chance to play for a Rose Bowl bid. The Bruins have to get past USC on Saturday and win the Pac-12 championship game to get there. But itâ€™s not impossible. Improbable, yes, but stranger things have happened.
USC will have its Rose Bowl hopes dashed when the Trojans lose to UCLA on Saturday.
The Lakers have a new coach. Mike Dâ€™Antoni, who coached the Lakersâ€™ nemesis, the Phoenix Suns, and the New York Knicks, beat out Phil Jackson and a courtesy call to Mike Dunleavy for the Lakers coaching job.
The Lakers fired coach Mike Brown after a slow 1-4 start and a winless preseason.
Dâ€™Antoni is going to run the aging Lakers. They are going to score with reckless abandon and give up points at an even more reckless rate.
Hereâ€™s to hoping these Lakers have enough gas at the end of the season to make it to the NBA Finals.
Speaking of gas, the NHRA has an African-American champion. Antron Brown won the Top Fuel championship at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona on Sunday.
He is the first African-American to win an NHRA Top Fuel championship. He is being touted as the first African-American to win a major American racing series championship.
He had a painful and dramatic day in the NHRA season finale. Brownâ€™s car blew up in the first round of eliminations. His hands and legs were burned in the crash. Not only was Brown out of the races, he had to watch as one of the Top Fuel championship contenders worked his way through the field.
Tony Schumacher needed to win the season finale to capture his eighth Top Fuel championship. He nearly pulled it off, losing to Brandon Bernstein in the final race.
Brown narrowly won the title. In his post-race news conference with reporters, Brown wore gloves to protect his hands from blisters he suffered in the fire when his car exploded.
But Brown downplayed his milestone championship. The NHRA is no stranger to diversity. Women were winning NHRA championships in the 1970s.
Even at the finals in Pomona, an American of Hispanic descent, Cruz Pedregon, won the Funny Car races. He beat Courtney Force, the daughter of celebrated Funny Car champion John Force, in the final race.
There is plenty of diversity in the NHRA, a model that the other racing series in America could follow.
Tim Haddock in the sports director at KHTS AM 1220. He also writes for the Ventura County Star, the Team USA website and SB Nation. He can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @thaddock.