Championship team of 85′ reunites

Coach Ken Swearingen speaking during the halftime show as the championship team of 85' was honored. (Kseniya Taranyuk/ Lariat)

Coach Ken Swearingen speaking during the halftime show as the championship team of 85′ was honored. (Kseniya Taranyuk/ Lariat)

This year’s Saddleback College Homecoming football game celebrated the championship team of 1985, bringing back alumni and members of the coaching staff. The festivities included a barbecue before the game to celebrate the team and the halftime show, which honored four football alumni who were being inducted into the California Community College Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame this spring.

“The Gaucho Alumni football club was put together really to bring Gauchos back to get us together to celebrate the outstanding things our [Associated Student Government] president just talked about,” said Charles Wright, president of GFAC and football alumni. “This is such an impactful community college that really does give students an opportunity to have a first crack at college and first crack at life.”

Out of the seven trustees on the South Orange County Community College District, six attended the BBQ to show their support along with a speech from our ASG President William Vasseti.

The BBQ let the championship team reunite and reconnect with old team members, followed by a halftime show that continued the celebration. The halftime show started with a performance by the Saddleback Pep Squad, who were then followed by the championship team who made their way to the field.

“One thing I realized after all this time is it’s a great game, but it’s not the game that’s great, it’s the people you associate with,” said former coach Ken Swearingen. “I think what an honor it’s been for me my whole life to work with young men like this, these are my guys.”

Under Swearingen, Saddleback won another state championship in 1992 and is the winningest coach in junior college history. Swearingen also helped dominate the Mission Conference, and feature 19 players that season who received full ride athletic scholarships.

During halftime, Francesca Oliva, a nursing and psychology major, was named Homecoming Queen and Daniel Presnillo, kinesiology major, was named Homecoming King. They both selected the Appreciation of Filipino American Culture club to receive the $250 prize donated by the Saddleback College ASG.