Putting the finishing touches on a 14-1 season, one that included the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 6 title and the State Division 4-A crown, the Escalon Cougars have had several football players recognized for their contributions during the campaign.
The team and Trans-Valley League awards were announced at the Escalon High School Sports Awards night earlier, but the team just wrapped up the long season on Dec. 14 when they defeated La Jolla, 52-21, for the state championship. Escalon was 4-0 in the preseason, 5-1 in TVL play to earn a share of the title, and then marched through the playoffs with wins over Hughson and Sonora, defeating Hilmar for the Section title. They defeated Pleasant Valley in Chico in the CIF North Regionals and then hosted La Jolla for the state championship game on Saturday evening, Dec. 14.
Honors chosen by the team and coaches included: Eli Lattig, coaches award and most improved player; Wyatt McCune, coaches award; Colton Panero, most valuable back and most inspirational player; David Camacho, most valuable lineman and co-defensive player of the year; Jacob Walden, co-defensive player of the year; Kaden Christensen, offensive player of the year.
At the Trans-Valley League level, there were many honors as well. Selected as first team All-TVL players were Bryan Hale, linebacker; Damien Tom, lineman; Luke Anderson, running back; Kaidence Trejo, defensive back. Also, Walden was selected as the TVL Most Outstanding Defensive Lineman of the Year.
Panero, Camacho, Christensen, Tom and Walden were this year’s team captains for the varsity squad.
Two Cougars were tapped for the league’s top honors, noted head coach Andrew Beam, with Escalon players Kaden Christensen and David Camacho the recipients. Christensen was voted the Trans-Valley League Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year while Camacho was voted the TVL Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year.
The team will gather for its annual banquet a little later than normal this year, putting it off until January because of the length of the football season, which started in August and didn’t end until mid-December.