On November 15th, the West Ranch football team advanced to the semifinals of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Division 7 after beating the Woodrow Wilson football team, 57-56, on Friday night at Valencia High School. West Ranch was coming off a win from the previous week, but it was also coming out of a tragedy following the heartbreaking events after a shooting at Saugus High School, which is also in the William S Hart District. On Friday night, players from West Ranch High School changed their regular warm up routine. Players rushed the field holding flags with the letters “S,” “H,” and “S,” on them in support of Saugus High School and the events that left three students dead and three more injured. Each player donned a “Saugus Strong” sticker on his helmet and miles away, Hart football players sported similar stickers on their helmets as they took the field to play San Juan Hills in the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs.
The football game was very emotional, and was dedicated to honoring the victims of the tragic Saugus school shooting. I had a chance to ask a fellow Sophomore, Ethan Liao, how he felt throughout the game. He said, “The game was such a great experience. It was very heartwarming to see all of the students supporting our team and getting the win for the spirit of Saugus.” Fans from various schools in the valley packed the bleachers and showed their remembrance of the shooting by wearing blue and holding #saugusstrong banners. A moment of silence was also held during halftime, and several blue balloons were released, honoring the number of victims resulting from the tragedy. The football game was among many events where the community of Santa Clarita came together to honor the victims and overcome the horrible events that occurred. During the vigil that was held, the community came out to support the families who have lost their loved ones. People lit thousands of glow sticks and left various items to show their comfort and support for the victims. Speakers praised students and community members for showing strength even through these tough times. One of the victim’s brother delivered a touching speech that honored his sister who had passed away. The Santa Clarita mayor, Marsha McLean, also came out and spoke in honor of those who passed away and thanking the community of Santa Clarita for their support.
This shooting was a very shocking event that was thought to be unheard of in our relatively safe community. Although the shooting was very tragic, it has brought the community together and helped spread a call to action against gun violence.
10th West Ranch High School