SPORTS PREVIEW: President’s Cup rivalry comes together to help the fight against cancer

This year, both teams are starting out strong going into conference play. (Andrew Bennett / 2009)

Sarah Black, Editor-in-Chief

There’s nothing better than friendly rivalry to make a sporting event more interesting, especially when it’s between sister schools.

The President’s Cup is a doubleheader basketball competition between Saddleback College’s Gauchos and Irvine Valley College’s Lasers men’s and women’s teams. During halftime, players and student club members participate in a basketball long-shot competition to win prizes. The third annual event takes place Friday, Jan. 21 in the Saddleback College gymnasium, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

“The Gauchos have won the first two President’s Cups and we are all eager to make it a three-peat,” said Saddleback president Tod Burnett.

There is no entry fee, but the American Cancer Society will be accepting donations for Coaches vs. Cancer, a fundraising collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches to help fight cancer.

There will be no admission to the games, but donations are encouraged and will be accepted at the door. All donations will be added to the California Community College men’s and women’s basketball coaches association’s efforts in the Coaches vs. Cancer program. Players and officials will be wearing pink shoelaces to support the cause and pink bracelets will be provided to those making donations.

Saddleback and Irvine Valley appear to have the two best men’s teams in the Orange Empire Conference this season and the women’s programs have been equally matched in the past several years, according to the Saddleback Athletics‘ website.

“The Presidents’ Cup has become a great tradition for both Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College,” said Irvine Valley College president Glenn Roquemore. “The Gauchos and the Lasers both have excellent men’s and women’s basketball teams this year and I anticipate that all four games in the competition will be exciting.”

The President’s Cup, a friendly wager between the presidents of the two colleges with the winner of the four-game series receiving the perpetual trophy.

The rivalry also includes The Battle for the Irons, an all-inclusive supremacy challenge between Saddleback and Irvine Valley colleges in all the sports which both colleges compete. This trophy is a combination of the branding irons used by the ranches on which the colleges now sit – the Mission Viejo Company for Saddleback College and the Irvine Company for Irvine Valley College.

The Saddleback and Irvine Valley women tip off at 5:30 p.m. with the men’s teams squaring off at 7:30 p.m.

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