Saddleback Men’s Basketball Wins State Championship!


The Saddleback men’s basketball team captured the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) state title on Sunday afternoon, defeating East Los Angeles College, 50-47, in dramatic fashion during the championship game played in the Cerritos College gymnasium.

It was the third state title for the Gauchos men’s basketball program, adding to the titles won in 2002 and 2010. Head coach Andy Ground was an assistant coach on the 2002 team but the head coach in 2010 when Perry Webster, TJ Lipold, and Kyle Wallace were a few of the players which helped the team win a title that year. Ground got his second state title this past weekend with Webster, Lipold, and Wallace on the bench as assistant coaches. Darryl Brown was an assistant coach on both the 2010 and 2015 teams.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “Congratulations to the Gauchos men’s basketball team, which played a terrific season and have made Saddleback College very proud. I must also congratulate the fine work of our first-rate coach, Andy Ground, and the entire coaching team for true leadership in coaching fine players who are also taught the importance of academic excellence.”

The Gauchos led only once in the first half against East Los Angeles in the title game and found themselves down 28-25 at halftime. Saddleback would never take the lead in the second half until Dusty Baker’s jump shot with just under three minutes to play gave the Gauchos a 46-45 lead. Baker added another jump shot to extend the lead to 48-45 and Maleke Haynes would add a lay-up to account for Saddleback’s final points. Meanwhile, Saddleback’s stingy defense gave the Huskies trouble in the second half. After taking a 44-40 lead with 8:35 to play, the Huskies would not score another field goal for the remainder of the game and converted only three free throws to give them their 47 total points.

“The mark of a great basketball team is how it responds when its back is against the wall,” Ground said. “This weekend our backs were against the wall a lot and we kept fighting. We just continued to battle through it.”

Sophomore center Conor Clifford had 16 points and six rebounds in the championship game while Andrew Bournes added 14 points and four rebounds. Baker ended up with eight points and five rebounds while Maleke Haynes piloted the offense with seven assists.

The 50 points Saddleback scored in winning the state title, the 47 points allowed on defense, and the 97 combined points were the lowest totals for a championship game in 30 years and was a testament to Saddleback’s emphasis on playing fundamentally sound defense.

The Gauchos reached the championship game in dramatic fashion, edging Canada College, 75-68 in overtime, during a semifinal game on Friday. The Gauchos trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half and never held the lead in the second half until Baker’s 3-point shot at the buzzer tied the game at 63’s to send it into overtime. Saddleback took control of the final minute of the overtime period, breaking a 68-68 tie to score the final seven points of the game and advance to the state championship. Clifford had 20 points in the semifinal game while Baker added 16 points and Josh Mishler came off the bench to add 13 points and grab five rebounds.

“Whenever we’re looking for a last shot, I want to take it. I want it to be me,” Baker said of the buzzer-beater at the end of regulation. “I wanted to get my legs under it. As soon as I flicked it off my wrist I knew I had a great touch on it and a great arc. I just knew it was going in.”

For his efforts, Baker was named as the state tournament MVP while Clifford and Haynes were also awarded all-tournament honors. Saddleback completed the season with a 33-2 overall record, one victory shy of the school record. It was the fourth time the men’s basketball team has won over 30 games.

161 Students Named to Fall 2012 Athletic Honor Roll

Congratulations to the 161 student athletes who were named to the Fall 2012 Athletic Honor Roll. This list includes 20 athletes who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA! To be named to the Athletic Honor Roll, students must earn at least 12 units with a minimum 3.0 GPA. We are all proud of the hard work that these students put into their studies as well as the dedication to their sport; they make us all proud to be Gauchos!

Saddleback College Fall 2012 Athletic Honor Roll Continue reading

Men’s Basketball Team Captures Conference Title

2012-2013 Men’s Basketball Team (Photo by Brad Hoiseth)

Congratulations to the men’s basketball team, which captured the Orange Empire Conference title with a perfect 12-0 conference record and has been seeded No. 1 in the upcoming Southern California regional playoffs. The Gauchos will host Citrus College this Saturday, March 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the campus gym. This is the first time Saddleback has captured back-to-back conference titles since winning three straight titles during the 2001, 2002 and 2003 seasons. – Written by Jerry Hannula

Saddleback Inducts 78 into Hall of Fame

Saddleback College inducted 78 new members into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, September 29th, during halftime of its Homecoming football game against Santa Ana College.

Congratulations to our Athletic Hall of Fame inductees, who have made all of us proud for their impressive accomplishments, both in their performance in their sport and in the classroom.  It was a pleasure to see them back on campus for this Saddleback College tradition.

”This is always a great opportunity for us to recognize our former student-athletes who excelled at Saddleback.  It was paired with our Homecoming event to make this a fun event for everyone and I think those alumni we inducted really have grown to appreciate what we do here at Saddleback.  The foundation we set helps them be successful down the road,” said athletic director Tony Lipold.

Saddleback only holds this Hall of Fame ceremony every four years and selected this year’s induction class from those student-athletes who participated during the 2004-2008 school years.  Eighteen of the college’s 19 teams were represented, including 12 former football players, 11 former baseball players, and 12 former golfers.  Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the coaches and athletic director and must have been named o the all-conference team in their sport at least once.

The induction class of 78 brings the total number of Athletic Hall of Fame members up to 655 since the Hall of Fame was established in 1982.  The names of these new members will be added to the college’s Athletic Hall of Fame wall in the lobby of the Kinesiology and Athletics Department.

Inductee                                          Sport__

Armando Carrasco                       Baseball
Pat Ferguson                                 Baseball
Dan Goldberg                                Baseball
Ben Lasater                                    Baseball
Scotty McKnight                           Baseball
Colin Rooney                                 Baseball
Sean Rooney                                 Baseball
Robby Ross                                     Baseball
Shevis Shima                                  Baseball
Jon Townsend                               Baseball
Kyle Walton                                    Baseball
Gerard Anderson                         Men’s Basketball
Tremaine Ford-Townsend       Men’s Basketball
TJ Lipold                                           Men’s Basketball
Dominique Ricks                           Men’s Basketball
DJ Smedley                                     Men’s Basketball
Perry Webster                              Men’s Basketball
Carly Andrews                               Women’s Basketball
Rekeshia Jones                             Women’s Basketball
Cassie Klockgether                      Women’s Basketball
Kyle Hughes                                   Men’s Cross Country
Jess Beets                                       Football
Colt Brennan                                  Football
Zach Clarke                                     Football
PT Gates                                          Football
Ian Hammond                               Football
Andrew Larson                             Football
Quincy Lever                                  Football
Derik Martinez                              Football
Rasheed Prescott                        Football
Jerard Rabb                                    Football
Rico Russo                                       Football
Cheyne Verhagen                       Football
Kris Assawapimonporn              Men’s Golf
Mike Bench                                    Men’s Golf
Robbie Berton                               Men’s Golf
Tim Joerin                                       Men’s Golf
David Kendall                                 Men’s Golf
Kevin Kim                                        Men’s Golf
David Lyons                                    Men’s Golf
Gavin Reid                                      Men’s Golf
Linda Baad                                      Women’s Golf
Sami Freitas                                    Women’s Golf
Connie Gonzalez                          Women’s Golf
Camille Guyton                             Women’s Golf
Leila Brewster                               Soccer
Danielle D’Amico                          Soccer
Kylie Duszynski                             Soccer
Annie Lacko                                    Soccer
Katie Povey                                    Soccer
Torri Catalano                                Softball
Brooke Elkins                                 Softball
Traci Everett                                   Softball
Emily Hillis                                       Softball
Jenn Von Pohlmann                       Softball

Saddleback College Gears Up for Homecoming 2012

On Saturday, September 29th, Saddleback College will host its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events, entertainment and food, an Athletics Hall of Fame induction ceremony at halftime, and the first 2012 conference football game versus Santa Ana College. Pre-game tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  Admission to the game is $10.00 for general admission and $6.00 for students, seniors, children, and active-duty military; on-campus parking will be free. Several of the pre-game festivities are free but some will require admission into the stadium.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which will feature a live band, Waffle-icious food truck, kids’ games, a bounce house and ball pit. During the tailgate, donations will be collected for several local charities.

During halftime, 74 Saddleback College alumni will be presented with medallions and inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame was started in 1980 and new members are inducted every four years.

Dr. Tod A. Burnett, President of Saddleback College, stated, “All are invited to attend what will be a great Homecoming football event where the Gauchos are sure to play a great game against the Santa Ana Dons. The work of our students and athletics department in the planning of fun pre-game and halftime festivities will help to make this an event to remember.  I encourage all students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members to come out for this wonderful annual tradition.”


Athletic Department Releases Fall 2011 Honor Roll

By: Jerry Hannula, Assistant Athletic Director  for Sports Information, Eligibility and Compliance

The Saddleback College athletic department is pleased to announce that 162 of the college’s 371 student-athletes have been named to the Fall 2011 Athletic Honor Roll, including 16 student-athletes with a perfect 4.00 grade point average.

“This is, by far, the largest number of student-athletes that we’ve ever had listed on our Athletic Honor Roll,” said Tony Lipold, Dean and Athletic Director at Saddleback College.  “We really push the importance of doing well in the classroom to our student-athletes and this past fall semester is a testament to all of our efforts.  We should really be proud of how well these student-athletes are doing academically, especially knowing how much hard work and extra time they spend practicing for their sports each week.”

The 162 student-athletes on the honor roll represent 44 percent of all student-athletes at Saddleback College this year.  In order to make the honor roll, student-athletes must have passed at least 12 units during the Fall 2011 semester with a 3.00 GPA or higher.

Saddleback College Fall 2011 Athletic Honor Roll

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Presidents’ Cup Basketball Tournament Proceeds to Go to One of Saddleback College’s Own

Students, faculty, staff, and management are all invited to attend the Presidents’ Cup on Friday, February 3rd at the Saddleback College gymnasium.  The women’s game will begin  at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game will begin  at 7:30 p.m.  As in years past, proceeds from the event will go to Coaches vs. Cancer, but this year the proceeds will directly benefit one of the college’s own: Director of Student Development Audra DiPadova, whose young son is undergoing chemotherapy.

This will be the fourth  Presidents’ Cup Tournament, a friendly basketball competition between the Saddleback College Gauchos and the Irvine Valley College Lasers.  Admission is $5. The Gauchos won the first round of the Presidents’ Cup at  IVC and will work to clinch the trophy on February 3rd.

Come to the game and cheer on your Saddleback College Gauchos!

Go Cards!

This year, the Saddleback College community has a special interest in the World Series – there is a college alumnus playing! Nick Punto, the starting second baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, attended Saddleback after graduating from Trabuco Hills High School and was inducted into our Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997. Nick is averaging a .500 hitting average thus far in the World Series and has already been a part of many key plays.

Game three of the series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. and I will be cheering for the National League Champs!

Gauchos Celebrate Homecoming with a Tailgate Party and a Win!

On Saturday, September 24th, Saddleback College hosted its annual Homecoming celebration, featuring family-friendly tailgate events and food, halftime entertainment, and a football game versus Victor Valley College. The Gauchos won the game 48-14 and increased their record to 4-0. Saddleback quarterback Ben Gomez threw for a school, sing-game record 487 yards and three touchdowns. The team went into the game rated No. 4 in the latest Dirty 30 national rankings. Go Gauchos!

Photo Courtesy of Associated Student Government

The Associated Student Government hosted pregame tailgating activities will begin at 4:00 p.m. and kick-off for the game is at 6:00 p.m.  The tailgate events will be located in front of the stadium and are free. Admission to the game is free with an ASB Stamp or $5.00 for general admission; on-campus parking will also be free.

Homecoming King Jordan Larson and Queen Sydne Ames. Photo courtesy of ASG.

The Saddleback College Associated Student Government is sponsoring a pre-game tailgate event, which featured a DJ, Chomp Chomp Nation and Panfinity food trucks selling dinner and the Sea Salt Candy Company selling dessert. There was also a bounce house and an obstacle course for kids. During the tailgate, $200 in donations were collected for Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) and Max Wilford, son of Saddleback College Student Development Director Audra DiPadova, to help the family following Max’s recent brain surgery.

The Homecoming King and Queen were named before the game and a donation was made to the club of their choice. Jordan Larson made his donation to Chess Club and Sydne Ames made her donation to ASG. Congratulations to the winners and their clubs!

100 Student-Athletes Make Honor Roll

Assistant Athletic Director Jerry Hannula just let us know some exciting news… 100 of the college’s 332 student-athletes have been named to the Spring 2011 Athletic Honor Roll, including 14 student-athletes with a perfect 4.00 grade point average! A complete list of the incredible student-athletes can be found here.

In order to make the honor roll, student-athletes must have passed at least 12 units during the semester with a 3.00 GPA or higher.

The Spring 2011 semester numbers are in line with the Fall 2010 numbers, where 115 student-athletes where listed on the Honor Roll including 15 with a perfect 4.00 grade point average.

“The success of our athletic teams is apparent when they are in actual competition.  What isn’t quite as apparent to the community is how well these student-athletes are doing in the classroom.  At Saddleback, we take great pride in the academic accomplishments of our student-athletes,” said Tony Lipold, Dean and Athletic Director.