Saddleback honors “Scholar Ballers” with luncheon – Orange County Register

The Saddleback College athletic seasons came to a close earlier this month, and with the end of the school year fast approaching it was time to honor those athletes that have achieved academic success.

The college acknowledged over 100 athletes at its “Scholar Baller” Luncheon.

Saddleback has placed a high priority on academics in recent years as Saddleback Athletics Dean/Athletics Director Tony Lipold started the Scholar Baller program over a decade ago in order to place a higher emphasis on academics.  The program has grown in priority and emphasis, with seven teams winning the conference award for academic success this past year and one of the programs winning the top academic team in the state.

Scholar Baller status is earned when an athlete achieves a 3.0 GPA or higher.

The Fair Play Awards were given to football player Jojo Binda and cross country and track athlete Angel Vallier. The Scholar Athletes-of-the-Year Awards were given to women’s soccer player Breanna Taboada and men’s tennis player Michael Park.

The Tom Padberg Character Award was also given to Vallier while the Richard McCullough Character Award was given to Taboada and football player Jonathan Hernandez.

In addition, four different athletes were recognized as having a perfect 4.0 GPA for every semester while at the school as women’s tennis player Maria Battel, women’s water polo player Sarah Duke, men’s swimmer Max Gonter and men’s tennis athlete Michael Park were recognized.


The Saddleback men’s basketball team announced earlier this month that guard Kevin Miller has signed a letter of intent to play at Hastings College.

Saddleback basketball now has three players moving on after Miller made his decision. He joins Breaon Brady (Houston) and T.J. Shorts (UC Davis) as the third member choosing a new home.

Miller averaged 5.2 points and 1.0 rebounds-per-game, playing in 28 of 29 games this past season. He shot 46.4 percent from three-point range…

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