After an exciting four-game series that ended Wednesday night at Saddleback College, the Gauchos captured the Presidents’ Cup, an annual tradition highlighting men’s and women’s basketball between intra-district rivals Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College. At the game, the Gauchos men’s team, which is ranked second in the state and first in Southern California, won 51-49, their tenth straight win of the season. The women’s team won 52-44, with guard Myishia Watkins leading the charge, scoring 14 of her team-high 21 points in the first 20 minutes of play.
Two hundred student athletes and coaches attended the event, which was held this year in tribute to Tom Padberg, a longtime supporter of Saddleback College athletics and known to many as the Gauchos’ number one fan. Between games Tom was honored with a ceremony, where the crowd stood and chanted his favorite yell: “Let’s Go Gauchos!” The proceeds from the game went to the Tom Padberg Memorial Endowment Scholarship, with $1,000 raised for student scholarships.
South Orange County Community College Board President Nancy Padberg and her daughter, Nicole, were introduced, as well as Trustee T.J. Prendergast, the presidents of both colleges, and Doug Barr, a Saddleback College counselor and good friend of Tom Padberg. Nicole Padberg sang the National Anthem in honor of her father.
Dr. Tod Burnett, president of Saddleback College, stated, “What started five years ago as a friendly competition between Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College has become an annual tradition to celebrate the athletic achievements of both colleges. It is a great pleasure to work with President Roquemore for the benefit of our students and community.”
“We always appreciate the support from IVC alumni, faculty, staff and students of the Presidents' Cup. This year, Saddleback took three out of four games in the series and we congratulate them. We look forward to reclaiming the cup next year,", said Dr. Glenn R. Roquemore, president, Irvine Valley College.
Donations can be made to the Tom Padberg Memorial Endowment Scholarship by visiting www.saddleback.edu/foundation or by calling the Saddleback College Foundation at 949-582-4968.