The Saddleback football team is back on the news as it was just announced by the California Community College Football Coaches Association and the JC Athletic Bureau that three members of the 2017 squad have been given All-America status. Emari Demercado, Clinton Allen and Donte Hamilton were named to the team on Friday in Visalia, California.
Saddleback went 8-3 in 2017 and lost in the Southern California semifinals. With the success comes recognition, and the Gauchos were one of five programs to have at least three players on the squad.
Demercado had a big year for Saddleback, leading the team in scoring and rushing while finishing second on the team in receptions. He had 1,026 yards on the ground and scored 15 rushing touchdowns while catching 54 balls for 443 yards and two scores through the air. Demercado's 1,026 yards on the ground was the 10th best season in Saddleback history while his 104 points scored ranks sixth. He made the team as a utility player.
Allen led Saddleback in receiving this season and also pushed his name into the record books. He finished with 76 receptions for 1,218 yards and 12 touchdowns, ranking No. 1 in the state in receiving yards-per-game (121.8). His 12 touchdowns was the fifth most by a Gaucho receiver in program history. Allen was one of three wide receivers selected to the team.
Hamilton played in all 11 games and led Saddleback with 55 tackles for the year. He also tied for the team lead in interceptions (3) and was fourth on the team with four pass break-ups. Chosen as a defensive back, Hamilton's biggest performance of the season came against El Camino College when he finished with six solo tackles and three assists in a 48-45 win.