PHOTO COURTESY AMY MUNIZZI PARTICIPATING IN CHALLENGE — These third-graders at McInnis Elementary School will be participating in the DeLeon Springs Community Association’s ninth annual Ride Into Reading Challenge, where the top boy and girl readers will win a bicycle.

On Sept. 30, the DeLeon Springs Community Association Inc. launched its ninth annual Ride Into Reading Third-Grade Challenge at McInnis Elementary School in DeLeon Springs.

The organization opened the challenge with a rally in the McInnis media center for all the school’s third-graders. The students learned about the reading-incentive program exclusively for McInnis third-graders, and learned how they could earn a new bicycle and helmet, just by reading books.

The program goes as follows: McInnis third-graders check out a book in the McInnis Reading Counts portion of the school library. They read it, take a short quiz to gauge how well they comprehended what they read, and receive points based on the quiz results.

The DSCA provides gift cards to the most-improved readers each month of the school year. At the end of the year, the top-scoring Ride Into Reading girl and boy will each earn a brand-new bicycle. The new bicycles and helmets will be on display in the McInnis media center through the whole school year, until they are awarded in May 2022.

The DSCA thanks JC’s Bikes & Boards of DeLand, who provided a generous discount on the bikes and a free helmet for each winner.

There is no school for students on Monday, Oct. 18, but faculty members will have a teacher duty day.

The first grading period of the current school year ends Friday, Oct. 15. Report-card distribution will be Monday, Oct. 25, when grades are also placed on the Parent Portal.

Middle-school cross-country

Twelve middle schools in Volusia County participated in their third cross-country meet Oct. 2. The Volusia County Middle School XC Championships will be Saturday, Oct. 16, on the course at DeLand Middle School, with the girls’ championship starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys’ at 6 p.m.

The third meet for this fall found Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts of Lake Helen taking first place in the boys’ competition, with 55 points. Southwestern Middle School in DeLand was fourth with 153 points, followed by River Springs Middle in Orange City in fifth, with Galaxy Middle in Deltona taking sixth, and DeLand Middle taking seventh. Heritage Middle in Deltona picked up 12th.

Southwestern and River Springs tied with 153 points each, but Southwestern’s sixth runner finished ahead of the sixth-place runner for River Springs, giving Southwestern fourth place overall.

Connor York of Ivy Hawn won the race with a time of 12:33.55. York won with a 35-second lead over second place. Helping him win the meet title for Ivy Hawn were Marco Acuna in fifth, Brandon Robinson in sixth, Brooks Correll-Hughes in 21st and Andrew Pullen in 22nd.

The other lead runners from the West Volusia schools included Lowell Cumming, who finished third overall for Galaxy with a clocking of 13:11.26, followed by Michael Mandell of DeLand Middle in seventh place, with a 13:31.55 time.

In ninth was Ethan Brooks representing River Springs at 13:42.88, followed by Southwestern’s Kelvin Saucedo in 17th at 14:06.93, with Nehemiah Peraza of Heritage Middle finishing 43rd at 15:50.82.

The Ormond Beach Middle School girls’ team took first overall with 67 points, followed by Ivy Hawn with 79, and DeLand with 85. River Springs was fifth, while Galaxy was seventh, and Heritage was 10th. Southwestern and Deltona did not have full teams, and therefore did not have a team score.

The top West Volusia girls in the race were Desianna Lemay of Ivy Hawn in third with a time of 15:37.82, followed by DeLand’s Emma Quick in fourth with a 15:46.83 clocking. Galaxy’s Memphis Derby was seventh at 16:12.08, while Heritage’s Naomie Torres finished 11th at 16:55.49. In 12th overall was DayanaraSuarez of Deltona Middle at 16:56.96, followed by Jaida Santiago of River Springs in 15th at 17:10.32, and Grayson Bridgewater of Southwestern in 19th at 17:56.22.

Starke Elementary School

Starke Elementary School in DeLand had its annual Hispanic Heritage Night on Oct. 8.

At 10:45 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, Starke will have a Veterans Day ceremony at which the DeLand High School Band will play.

DeLand High School

Jim Lowenstein, a teacher and coach at DeLand High School, has been named the Adobe Certified Professional in Video Design. This is an industry-recognized certification that validates Lowenstein’s expertise in creating and editing videos using Adobe Creative Cloud. It requires professional-level knowledge in at least two Adobe applications to effectively create graphics, animations and special effects.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School bowling teams topped Flagler Palm Coast last week. The girls defeated FPC, 4-3, handing them their first loss of the season, while the boys swept FPC, 7-0. Alisyn Sprague and Alyssa Burns led the way for the DeLand Lady Bulldogs. Sam Martin rolled a 236, with Sean Gaudreault collecting a 220 game for the boys.

The Lady Bulldog golfers were stopped by Seabreeze, 175-192. Sydney Fosnow had a 45 for DeLand, while Amelia Cobb of Seabreeze carded a 35 for the winning team.

The DeLand volleyball team had two good wins, defeating Spruce Creek, 3-0, and New Smyrna Beach, 3-2. The week before, NSB stopped DeLand, 3-0.

The DeLand swim teams had their last home meet of the year with Mainland and Atlantic. The boys’ team won over Mainland, 113-25, and 113-25 over Atlantic, while the girls topped Mainland 126- 46 and Atlantic 126-38. Anna Monette and Kayla Detter won two individual events each, while Massimo Brunacci was a double event winner for the boys.

Winning single events for the girls were Emory Miles, Bella Gagnier, Alana Epple and Isabella Brunacci, while single winners for the boys included Maddox Mules, Kai Vedder, Maverick Mules and Carlos Mize.

The DeLand girls won three relays, with the boys taking first in two. Those on winning relays for the girls were Monette, Miles, Gagnier, Detter, Epple and Brunacci, while Maddox Mules, Maverick Mules, Vedder, Mize, Eric Florea and M. Mercado did the swimming on the boys’ relays.

On Friday, Oct. 15, the girls’ golf team will play host to University at 4 p.m. on the course at Victoria Hills.

Saturday, Oct. 16, has the DeLand cross-country teams at the FSU Invitational Pre-State Meet in Tallahassee at 7:40 a.m.

On Monday, Oct. 18, the DeLand bowlers will host Matanzas for a 3:45 p.m. match, while the boys’ golf team participates in the 5 Star Conference Championship at 9:30 a.m. on the Daytona Beach Golf Course.

Wednesday, Oct. 20, sends the Bulldog bowlers to Pine Ridge in Deltona at 3:45 p.m., with the Lady Bulldog golfers traveling to face Father Lopez on the Daytona Beach Golf Course at 4 p.m.

At 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, the DeLand cross-country teams will play host to the Five Star Championships at Sperling Park off Marsh Road.

West Volusia high-school football

On Oct. 1, Deltona shut out Atlantic, 29-0, while DeLand was stopped by Lake Mary, 44-20. Deltona Trinity Christian was shut out by Eagle View of Jacksonville, 38-0. Orange City University, Pine Ridge of Deltona, and Pierson Taylor had an open week.

On Friday, Oct. 15, Deltona will be at Pine Ridge of Deltona for the Battle of the Boulevard. That same day, Orange City University meets Spruce Creek, Pierson Taylor goes to Crescent City, and Deltona Trinity Christian greets Winter Park Trinity, with all games at 7 p.m. DeLand has an open week.

On Friday, Oct. 22, DeLand will play host to Flagler Palm Coast for the Hall of Fame game, Pine Ridge of Deltona will welcome Seabreeze, Orange City University will go to Winter Springs, and Pierson Taylor will travel to Keystone Heights.

Stetson University

Stetson University’s DeLand campus has reached its goal of a 70-percent overall COVID-19 vaccination rate. This finds 88.58 percent of the employees and 65.72 percent of students having been vaccinated.

Stetson University College of Law’s first-time exam-takers passed the July 2021 Florida Bar examination at the rate of 78.8 percent. The state’s average was 71.6 percent.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Hatters football team saw Davidson come in the latter minutes of the game from a knotted score of 28 to claim the victory, 35-28.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Hatters play host to the University of St. Thomas of Minnesota at 1 p.m. in Spec Martin Memorial Stadium, and then travel to Drake in Iowa at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23.

The Lady Hatters cross-country team placed fifth at the UCF Invitational behind UCF, Florida, Jacksonville and Florida Atlantic, while outscoring six other teams. Stetson was led to the finish line by Madison Niederriter in ninth place at 17:16.20, while Cheyenne Durda was 10th at 17:18.2.

In overtime, the Stetson men’s soccer team downed 18th-ranked Lipscomb 3-2.

The men’s cross-country team recently traveled to the Carolinas to participate in the Coastal Carolina Chanticleer Challenge. The Hats took third overall behind Charleston Southern and Elon. Hatter Tristen Montalvo placed fifth overall with a 25:31.90 timing.

On Saturday, Oct. 16, the Stetson volleyball team greets Florida Gulf Coast at 6 p.m., while the men’s soccer team meets North Florida on the Stetson field at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 17, the women’s soccer team plays host to Jacksonville at 1 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, the men’s soccer squad will face Bellarmine at 7 p.m.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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