Coming off a senior campaign that ended with a state football championship, four Cougars are getting ready to start a new chapter. And hopefully, it will see them continuing to suit up together for action on the gridiron.
Escalon High School head football coach Andrew Beam said seniors David Camacho, Kaden Christensen, Damien Tom and Jacob Walden are all interested in playing for Delta College in Stockton.
“I am extremely excited to see a good group of our senior players headed to San Joaquin Delta College next year. Coach (Gary) Barlow, as well as former Cougar and now QB Coach at Delta, Phillip Kimble have done a great job recruiting our players and making them feel a part of the Mustang program,” said Beam. “We have three former Cougar coaches who went through the Delta College Football Program and we know that it is a pipeline that works for both schools.”
All four players figured prominently in the 2019 season that ended with the Cougars bringing home the state championship for Division 4A.
Coach Beam offered these brief summaries for the players, including the recognition they received for their gridiron efforts and a highlight from the season.
Kaden Christensen: 1st Team All State, 1st Team All Section, TVL Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year, Modesto Bee Player of the Year, Front Row Preps Player of the Year. Three-year starting Running Back and Defensive Back for the Cougars.
“The saying goes, ‘Big time players make big time plays in big time games’ and there was without a doubt in the last three games of the year, Section Game against Hilmar, Nor-Cal Championship vs. Pleasant Valley, and the State Game, Kaden’s play making ability was elevated to another level,” Beam pointed out.
David Camacho: 1st Team All State, 1st Team All Section, TVL Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, 1st Team All District, 1st Team Front Row Preps.
“One of the hardest working Cougars on and off the field. His work ethic and leadership is what held this team together. David was a coach’s dream, did everything that was asked of him, while also being a true captain to his teammates,” Beam said. “David was one of the best two way offensive and defensive line players in our section. One of the more impressive things was watching David drive block opposing players 15-20 yards down the field and just bury them in the ground.”
Damien Tom: 1st Team All District, 1st Team All League, 2018 TVL Lineman of the Year.
“Damien had a tremendous three-year varsity career. Damien has so much potential to grow into his body and be an impact player for Delta College. I believe, as great of a high school player as he was, that Damien’s best days of football are to come, and I cannot wait to watch him at the next level,” said the coach. “Damien two different times this year in big games, as an offensive tackle would be 20-30 yards down the field having the key play block to spring our running backs into the end zone. Without that type of effort, we would not have had the success we did this year.”
Jacob Walden: 1st Team All State, 1st Team All District, 2019 Defensive Lineman of the Year, 2018 TVL Defensive Player of the Year.
“It is hard to put into words how special Jacob was to our team the last three years. One the hardest working, most coachable kids I have ever been around. Jacob was never the biggest or the fastest player on the field, but he outplayed anyone he was ever matched up against. He outsmarted and out played his opposition,” Beam explained. “Jacob’s highlight reel can rival anyone else. One of Escalon’s career sack leaders. But his fumble recovery touchdown run against Sonora may have been the turning point of our season. One of the most special highlights for our team and him.”
Next Week: A look at college plans for volleyball standouts Hannah Boyd and Tess Cosby.