Vaqueros earn All-WSC honors

By some measures, the Glendale Community College football team's 2011 season fell well short of success. By other qualifiers, the Vaqueros still had their share of triumphs to celebrate.

When compiling the All-Western State Conference honor role, the conference's coaches recognized that there was more to Glendale than its 1-9 record, voting 10 Vaqueros onto the team, including a pair of unanimous offensive first-teamers in sophomores Sam Campbell and Joseph Wiggan.

"They did a great job for us," Glendale Coach John Rome said of Campbell, an offensive lineman, and Wiggan, a running back. "Great effort, hard work, I can't say enough about them. They were properly rewarded for their efforts."

Campbell anchored an offensive line that landed four total members on the all-conference tally after paving the way for a rushing attack that averaged 226.5 yards per game, the second-best among Southern California teams.

"I was very excited, it's a big blessing to me and I'm just glad that it happened this year," said Campbell, a Crescenta Valley High graduate.

Leading the Vaqueros' rushing attack was Wiggan, who was fourth in Southern California in rushing yards with 1,109 in 194 carries and scored 12 touchdowns on the ground and another through the air. Helping clear the way for Wiggan's gains were sophomore guard Ronnie Marquez (Glendale High) and freshman center Spencer Lee, who were both first-team offense, and freshman tackle Steven Escaboza, voted onto the all-purpose second team.

"When you have guys like Ronnie Marquez and Spencer Lee and Steven Escaboza, that's one of the best offensive lines in, I would say, Southern California," Campbell said. "I'm so glad that Ronnie got it, he has worked so hard. Spencer came in as a freshman and made a big impact and Steven had come while he was still in high school and he worked his tail off."

Glendale's lone first-team defense nod went to sophomore tackle Ivan Abarenov, a Hoover High graduate, who recorded 47 tackles (25 solo), 4 1/2 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

"Ivan got better every week," Rome said. "From a football standpoint, he was a late bloomer that continued to improve."

Second-team accolades also went to sophomore running back Timothy Broughton on all-purpose and sophomore defensive end Daniel Cruz, defensive back Osa Aikhionbare and freshman defensive back Scott Plescia on defense.

Broughton rushed for 643 yards and six touchdowns, while also catching 16 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He logged 512 yards in kick returns, as well.

Cruz recorded 49 tackles (17 solo), including a team-high 15 1/2 tackles for a loss and a team-high 10 1/2 sacks and forced two fumbles, while Plescia had 54 tackles (21 solo) and recovered two fumbles.

Aikhionbare registered team-leading stats in total (68)and solo tackles (38), interceptions (two), punts (22) and punting yardage (748) and punt return yardage (96 yards), while also returning 20 kickoffs for a team-high 550 yards.

"All these men worked incredibly hard for their success," Rome said. "All of those guys never missed a workout, they never missed the time to practice and academically there were no issues."

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