What West Ranch High School Student Section and the rest of the William S.Hart School District Student Section did gave us hope for humanity.
The sad and tragic news last Thursday broke the hearts of many and shook a community.
On Thursday, November 14, a student fired shots on the Saugus High School quad, killing two students before turning the gun on himself.
Thank you to all the first responders and Saugus Staff who protected our students today. We will not let this senseless act define us. Our strength and resolve will be felt across the world. #SaugusStrong pic.twitter.com/hLEd7IfEbR
— Saugus Athletics (@SaugusAthletics) November 14, 2019
Covering Sports and Student Sections for several years, you fear that this will happen to a school you’ve been to or covered, but this hit too close to home.
I’ve been to the Santa Clarita area for more reason than sports. While I used to be a freelance writer for the Santa Clarita Signal, I also I have family in SCV and a cousin that attends West Ranch of Valencia.
But, instead of staying in grief, the West Ranch Pack went with a different and positive route
What West Ranch did was absolutely beautiful.
With the Wildcats preparing for their CIF-SS Division VII Quarterfinals against Wilson of Long Beach, the West Ranch Pack changed their theme to blue in support for Saugus High School.
This story gets much better as West Ranch invited the Saugus Blue Crew to cheer and unite as one.
West Ranch Pack changed their name to “The District”
This story gets better.
The District brought in the other four student section in the Hart School District, including last week SoCal Student Section of the Week Champion, the Valencia Viking Nation.
“Bringing all the student sections together for Saugus was extremely powerful,” Viking Nation said. “To squash all the rivalries to support them, was just one example of how supportive the community of SCV is. VNat and all of SCV is Saugus Strong!”
The Foothill League is considered one of the best leagues when it comes to student sections and every game is a rivalry, but the rivalries were put on hold as all six student sections from the school spirit filled league united to make a powerful student section.
Even one of the student sections showed up despite having their football team in the quarterfinals.
Hart of Newhall went on the road to San Juan Hills of San Juan Capistrano, so while that drive was too far, the drive to West Ranch was more than worth it to show their support to Saugus.
— Hart High School (@HartHigh) November 16, 2019
“This community will never be the same since the shooting in Saugus,” The Hart Tribe said. “SCV is a place of love and a safety net to all of us. We will not let this define us, but it’ll make us only stronger. We are proud to be SCV. The way we all united showed us that we are stronger than the situation itself. Saugus is our brother school. All of the schools have rivalries, but at the end of the day we all are one. We represent SCV. We are proud to be SCV.”
With the Hart School District student sections filling the seats, the Wildcats had motivation and may have been motivated to not only win for themselves and their school, but for Saugus as well.
The community cheered on as West Ranch pulled off a huge comeback to defeat Wilson 57-56 to advance to the CIF Semifinals for the first time in school history.
“It was one of the best games we’ve ever been to,” the Canyon Green Machine of Canyon Country said. “We were there in support of West Ranch. It helped a lot of people. There were a lot of Saugus people there. As far as Saugus, we don’t even have any words. We can’t imagine what they are going through, especially the kids who witnessed it, but we love the Centurions.”
The community wasn’t done yet as voting began for the SoCal Student Section of the week.
With fantastic student sections like the Etiwanda Red Zone, Sunny Hills Lancer Nation of Fulerton and the Oceanside Ship, the SCV community went to the polls and with a record number of votes of 3,316, the West Ranch “The District” took the SoCal Student Section of the Week title.
This victory is for Saugus.
The community continued to show their love and support for Saugus on Sunday with a Vigil as over 10,000 people arrived to show their love and support for the Centurions.
We are #SaugusStrong, #DominicStrong, #GracieStrong, and we will never forget. Thank you to all who helped make this vigil possible. All of the staff, teachers, students, alumni, organizations, groups, etc that came as one. Like Andrei said, today is pain, tomorrow is purpose. pic.twitter.com/dYj4X1M2xa
— Sebastian Cazares🇲🇽🇵🇷 (@SebCazares) November 18, 2019
“We will NEVER forget this game and evening!” the Saugus Blue Crew said. “West Ranch High School are our newest heroes! Our community became one on Friday. Saugus students were chanting and cheering for our crosstown school to win for all of us. The student section was unbelievable, we came up with a new name for that night, “The District”…we chanted “Saugus Strong” and beat Long Beach Wilson by one point. Our town showed up and it was unbelievable. We are so thankful to everyone who made that evening possible! That game started out healing process. It was unforgettable.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
We spoke to the West Ranch District on how they won as a community and took the SoCal Student Section of the Week title.
— KHTS Sports (@KHTSSports) November 16, 2019
You guys are the So Cal Student Section of the Week, beating out the Etiwanda Red Zone, Sunny Hills Lancer Nation and the Oceanside Ship. What did it take to stand out as one of the best in Southern California?
The District: The support we had from the entire William S. Hart School District with kids from all different schools in the student section, as well as Saugus Strong theme with everyone wearing blue, made us easily the best student section in Southern California.
The horrific news on Thursday at Saugus High School broke the hearts of many. What was the reaction at your school?
The District: The horrific events that took place on Thursday at Saugus High School will forever affect our community and all the kids at saugus highschool. At first, I know a lot of students were in shock and didn’t believe that this could happen in SCV, we had always felt so safe and many kids felt that bubble pop that day. Sitting in class, watching the news as we were placed on lockdown a flood of emotions feel over us. This was really happening, we sat quiet and mourned that tragic events that were taking place. I know a lot of kids were deeply affected over this event and it was honestly erie. However we will stand strong as a community and will forever mourn the loss of innocent lives.
What came about the idea to unite with the Saugus Blue Crew and the other four Student Sections in the District?
The District: The idea to unite the sections came after we had thought of the idea to make the theme blue to honor Saugus. We realized this would be a great opportunity for us as a district to come together to show our support for both Saugus and the football team. This idea lead to us making a fundraiser at the frontgate and the half time tribute.
What has been the reaction in the community and all over Southern California with uniting the Student Sections?
The District: The reactions to the game have been all positive and even the opposing team was very happy to see such a united District and a group of students stronger than hate. The news also picked up our story and have been saying that it was a great sight to behold and was a very positive force in our community.
What you guys did is incredible and heartwarming. Is there anything you would like to say to everyone who got involved or showed support to you and Saugus High?
The District: We would just like to thank everyone who came out to the game and showed support for Saugus, and because of this support the District Student Section as a whole demonstrated just how united our community is for Saugus.