Emari Demercado fends off a Golden West College defender as he works his way down field. (Austin Weatherman/Lariat)
The Southern California Football Association posted the national division southern league all-conference team on Saturday, Nov. 25 starring 19 of Saddlebacks players. Seven Gauchos made the first team and 12 earned spots on the second team.
The seven that made the all-conference first team included offensive center Babak Ghadaksaz, offensive tackle Tim Anderson, wide receiver Clinton Allen, running back Emari Demercado, defensive end Chris Evagues, safety Donte Hamilton and kick returner DaQu’an Davis.
“It’s a pretty cool deal to be noticed as one of the best in the conference because there’s a lot of talent too,” Allen said. He is no stranger to all-conference teams, though, being recognized for all-conference his junior and senior years with Bishop Blanchet High School as well as making all-state his senior year.
In order to make the all-conference teams, players have to be recognized and hand selected by coaches in the division. Of the seven making the first team, three Gauchos earned a unanimous spot including Clinton Allen, Emari Demercado and Donte Hamilton.
There were also 12 Gauchos who made the all-conference second team including quarterbacks Cam Humphrey and Max Gilliam, outside linebacker Korey Mariboho, kicker Mateo Thompson, all purpose back Chris Spiering, defensive tackle Kimani Keith, defensive end Jake Hudson, linebackers Zachary Brumbaugh and Brad Toepfer, cornerbacks Darryl Wyrick and Kyle Corder and punter Harrison Avila.
“Its nice to have someone acknowledge that you worked hard,” Corder said. “It’s cool to get an award.”
Missing two conference games due to injuries, Corder said he could have played stronger if those injuries had not held him back but is still excited he made the team. This is his first time being recognized for an all-conference team.
Being recognized for an all-conference team shows coaches and recruiters how each player did throughout the season rather than with just one single game.
“It helps to show more of your potential since you’re one of the top players,” Demercado said. “I’m pretty sure coaches recognize that.”
One Gaucho and all-conference second team player, Jake Hudson, has already committed to the University of Toledo. Other players like Allen are getting official and unofficial offers thanks to making the all-conference teams.
“I got my first offer a couple weeks ago from Middle Tennessee State,” Allen said. “I’ve had a couple coaches talk to me but no official offers yet.”
Allen plans to stay at Saddleback another year to get his Associates Degree before transferring.
The Gauchos as a team finished the season with a 8-3 record. Saddleback football made it to the first round of playoffs where they played the undefeated Fullerton College Hornets and lost 33-21.
“During the summer we had a lot more depth but for the overall season I think we did good for the guys that we had,” Corder said.
The first official signing day is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 20. This is just the beginning for possible athletic transfers as players and coaches are communicating with other schools for transfer offers and scholarships and will be doing so throughout the year.
For a full list of all-conferences players and postseason awards, you can visit scfafootball.com