East County Sports





By Dave Dickens



CHULA VISTA (8-27-2018) – According to some expert rankings, the Southwestern College Jaguars should be very competitive in 2018.

Southwestern has made a move from the American Mountain Conference, where they finished last season winning the conference at 9-2 overall and 5-0 in the conference in a tough battle with Mesa College, in which they triumphed 19-14 in 2017.

The Jaguars will now join the National Division Southern League right beside county rival Grossmont College. 

The Southwestern Jaguars have won 50 or more games over the last six years in which only four teams have accomplished that feat. 

“The one challenge in particular, is to keep our squad healthy, practiced up and ready to compete on game day,” said head coach Ed Carberry.

With all four of the San Diego County teams – Southwestern, Grossmont, San Diego Mesa, and Palomar – playing at the same level there will be a true mythical-champion crowned with bragging rights as the ultimate contender of San Diego County community colleges.

The Jaguar offensive returners, transfers, and young talent is definitely impressive on paper, and with one of the more experienced head coaches in the county leading the way, this team will be impressive.

The Southwestern Jaguar offense is led by returning starting quarterback DEMONTE MORRIS (McCluer North High School/St. Louis). Morris took over as the signal caller midway through the 2017 season and led the Jaguars to an undefeated league season and the Mountain Conference Championship. 

However, freshman THOMAS FISHBURNE (Steele Canyon) is challenging the veteran for the starting spot.

The talented young gunslinger took the Steele Canyon High School Cougars to a state championship in 2017 as a senior QB, while also spending time as a safety, kicker, and punter.

Fishburne is currently working with the 1st team offense.

Fishbourne was talking with UC Davis for most of the season, however, they had a coaching change at the receiver position, which was what they were interested in Fishburne for.

Thomas had also received offers from Baker, Missouri Valley, Western Colorado, and Waldorf University.

“I felt and still feel that I can still play at a higher level of football so that’s why I decided to go the JC route and decided to go to Southwestern,” he said. “There were several reasons I chose Southwestern, spectacular facilities, the confidence that head coach Carberry portrayed to me when I spoke to him, some of my teammates from Steele were gonna go to Southwestern and that pretty much closed the deal for me.”

Fishburne quickly moved up the depth charts.

“At first, I was kicking and returning punts, but since I’m starting to compete for the quarterback position, coach no longer allows me to play other positions.

“Community college is a lot faster pace on the field and I enjoy the high tempo of the defense so I can showcase what I can bring to the team. Coach Carberry is very similar to my high school coach at Steele, coach (SCOTT) LONGERBONE.

“They both believe if everyone does their job, the team will be successful, and very team oriented for sure.”

Fishbourne said he is also hoping for a good D1 or D2 offer, or maybe even try and play baseball again.

As far as who he looks forward to competing against this season?

“Maybe Saddleback since I have some friends playing there,” he said.

Up front, the ones that will be protecting these athletic quarterbacks is returning sophomore offensive guard JASON MILLER (Olympian High).

“I chose to come to Southwestern last season out of all four of the community colleges because it seemed like they had the best opportunity for me as an athlete and a student,” Miller said. “Southwestern actively recruited me my junior year at Olympian High School, which showed me they would use that same effort to develop me into a better football player.

“They also have state of the art facilities, like our weight room, locker room, football field and a history of success in community college football.

“We have many players on our squad that will help us reach our ultimate goal of a championship. Some of my teammates that will help us achieve that goal, just to name a few, CAMERON HANSON, our starting middle linebacker, QUENTIN WALKER, our starting defensive end, PADEN HAZUGA, who is one of our top wideouts,DeMonte Morris, one of our many talented quarterbacks, and TERRELL JOHNSON, one of our most explosive backs.

“Of course, every individual on this team will play an important part this season.

“My own personal goal in life is to graduate a four-year college with a masters in Marine Biology.

“Of course just like most football players, the dream is to play in the National Football League, which I will continue to pursue until I am no longer able to play at a competitive level.

Defensively for the Jaguars, it is a rebuilding stage.

With nearly every defensive player from last year earning scholarships, plenty of fresh faces have come aboard to start a new legacy.

Defenders leading the way as the most experienced returners including East County star from Mount Miguel High School, DURAN MILLER.

Miller led the Jags with 15 sacks last season. 

“I didn’t have any offers out high school so I chose to go Southwestern because I heard they had the great relations with great universities to get to the next level.

“I am undecided at this time what my major will be, however at the top of my list is business.

“At the college level, the game is much more fast-paced and more workouts to participate in. When at Mount Miguel Coach McDade, Coach Lee, and Coach Dewayne had a great workout for us every day while attending Mount Miguel.

“The Southwestern facilities are out of this world, one of the best in the state and have given me the best opportunity to be great. Including myself after having a 15-sack season, we have a lot of depth and really talented athletes on this team.”

Returning Linebacker JONATHAN MILSAP (Helix HS) takes over as middle linebacker this season.

Milsap was originally at Grossmont.

“It didn’t really work out,” Milsap said. “I met BRETT HUDSON at Grossmont during 2016, during the Southwestern recruiting process. In the spring of 2017, I was invited to check out the Jaguars practice. It took just one practice for me to decide that I wanted to become a Jaguar. The way practices were ran reminded me of the organized great practices at Helix.

“The academics at Southwestern are great, and I am majoring in Business Administration. If football doesn’t work out, I’m gonna finish my major and enlist in the United States Navy, to eventually become an officer.”

Returning three-year starter JANKEN AUTELE (Otay Ranch HS) will start in the middle as a defensive tackle.

Leading the way for the kicking duties is punter/kicker JAMIE MEDINA (Point Loma HS). Medina is ranked in the top 10 in the nation at his position.

The Jaguars open up the regular season against an all-familiar foe, San Diego Mesa College, as the Jags will host what should be one of the games of the year. Kickoff will be at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 1st, 2018.

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