July 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Santa Ana Valley football team prepares to compete in new Sigma League

Santa Ana Valley players break a huddle during a game last season. (Photo: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Santa Ana Valley High School players are working hard as they prepare to compete in the new Sigma League, part of a major re-leaguing plan for most Orange County programs in 2024.

“Our players and coaches are eager to begin summer football in preparation for the upcoming season,” said Falcons Coach Alfredo Macias. “Our weight training started in January, and we are confident that the strength and mobility our players have developed under the new strength and conditioning coach will be on full display during the season.”

In the new league, the Falcons will compete against Calvary Chapel, Ocean View, Rancho Alamitos, Los Amigos and Estancia.

“We will face some teams we have familiarity with like Calvary Chapel and Ocean View, but we are also matched against programs that Valley has not played in recent years such as Los Amigos, Estancia, and Rancho Alamitos,” Macias said.

“All teams in the league are led by excellent coaching staffs, and the league title should come down to the final week of the season. Our non-league schedule is designed to challenge us against teams several divisions above us in hopes it will lead us to make a run at the league title. However, our ultimate end goal is to make the playoffs and compete for a CIF title. We have been fortunate to have back-to-back playoff appearances and look to make it three in a row.”

Santa Ana Valley was 5-6 overall last year and finished second to league champion Western in the Orange League to earn a berth in the CIF playoffs.

This year’s team will be led by quarterback Noe Hernandez.

“He is a poised and intelligent leader for that group and started two games for us last season,” Macias said. “At running back, we have two explosive ball carriers in Fernando Dircio and Alex Vargas. Daniel Salas and Jason Aviana will lead our wide receiver group; both display breakaway speed and exceptional hands.

“Additionally, we have two solid tight ends in Eduardo Vivas and our newest addition Marcial Vigil-Ortiz. Our O-line has a mix of young and experienced guys that will be anchored by returning starters Angel Garcia and Martin Covarrubias. We have full confidence in our boys upfront as they finished second to Segerstrom at our first annual Battle of The City Linemen competition.”

Macias said he is counting on the “defensive unit to impact games by setting the tone with a fast and aggressive style of play. Our defensive line returns four starters in Lorenzo Ibarra, Sammy Zuniga, Francisco Ortega, and our anchor up front, three-year starter Edwin Diego. The majority of our secondary either started or played significant snaps last season, so we are expecting a sound discipline style of play from them. The linebackers are young but strong, fast, and determined to showcase their abilities.”

The Falcons are also looking forward to seven on seven and linemen competitions this summer, Macias said. 

Santa Ana Valley’s first home game is Friday, Aug. 23 vs. Beckman.

2024 SCHEDULE

Friday, Aug. 23, (H) Beckman

Friday, Aug. 30, at Segerstrom

Friday, Sept. 6, (H) Westminster

Friday, Sept. 13, at Godinez (SAV)

Friday, Sept.. 20, (H) Santa Ana

League

Thursday, Oct. 3, at Calvary Chapel (Segerstrom), 7:30 p.m.,

Friday, Oct. 11, at Ocean View

Friday, Oct. 18. (H) vs. Rancho Alamitos

Friday, Oct. 25, (H) vs. Los Amigos

Friday, Nov. 1, at Estancia

(Fifth in a series of summer football previews)

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com