PLACED SECOND — The DeLand High School wrestling team placed second at the recent Master’s Academy Tournament. In the front are Joshua Folsom, left, and Marco Selph. In the front full row, from left, are Gauge Hopton, Jacob Toledo, Phoenix Krauth, Grady Bryant, Lane Wishart, Kellen Chapman, MJ Smokes and Roger Reid. Behind them, from left, are Christian Lohsen, Paul Derby, Mathias Franz, Zane Canada, Andy Knowles, Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro, Chris Folsom and Ray Knowles. PHOTO COURTESY CHRIS FOLSOM

The DeLand High School Bulldog football team will be directed by new head coach Rick Darlington. Darlington won three FHSAA state football championships while coaching at Apopka High School. He has earned 24 appearances out of 26 years while serving as a head coach. In his career in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, he has amassed 40 playoff victories. Darlington has a career record of 234-87.

Rick Darlington

While at Apopka, which includes two different stints, he directed a 167-47 record, three state championships, one state runner-up, seven regional championships with final four appearances, and 30 playoff wins, and, in 2013, the team averaged 50.1 points per game over 15 games, which set a state record.

The past three years, Darlington has been head coach at Enterprise, Alabama. He took over the program after it had two seasons of 2-8 football, and his direction led the team to the 7A playoffs all three years. This year’s team reached the Elite 8, while the team led the state of Alabama in rushing and was third in Class 7A in both scoring (41 points per game) and total offense (428 yards per game).

Coach Darlington graduated from Lakeland High School, where he played and coached under Florida’s legendary “Coach of the Century” and 400-game winner Bill Castle. He is also a Stetson graduate.

His family are members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The Darlingtons have seven children: Son Ty is a former University of Oklahoma offensive center, who was a Big 12 player and former Campbell and Wuerffel awards-winner. Son Zach is a former Nebraska quarterback; daughter Molly is an East Carolina nursing grad; daughter Gracie works in women’s and music ministry; son Jackson is a freshman quarterback at the United States Air Force Academy; son Wyatt is a high-school sophomore and will be a student-athlete at DeLand; and daughter Lilly will be a freshman student-athlete at DeLand High.

Darlington’s wife, Shelly, was a cheerleader at The University of Oklahoma.

DeLand High School

Four students at DeLand High School have been inducted into the National Honor Society: Marisa Gaeta, Ashley RowellLucas Ward and Jackson Schrier.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School Bulldog wrestling team took second place out of 18 competing teams at the Battle for the Black Top at The Master’s Academy.

MJ Smokes grabbed off the only first-place finish by the Bulldogs, while Joshua Folsom and Andy Knowles placed second.

Finishing third were Grady Bryant, Phoenix Krauth, Kellen Chapman, Lane Wishart, Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro and Marco Selph, while Gauge Hopton earned fourth.

The junior-varsity wrestlers competed at the University Clash, with Kaden Derouin and Noah Falk taking second, and Yossy Flores, Peyton Senez and Garrett Perkins earning fourth-place finishes.

DeLand High boys’ golf coach Roger Bismore reports that junior Jackson Schrier has been named to The Daytona Beach News-Journal All-Area (Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties) Team and is now in the running for Boys Golfer of the Year. Schrier earned a 36.8 scoring average for nine holes over 13 events this past fall. He advanced at the end of the season to the Class 3A FHSAA Regional Tournament, where he shot a 78.


The DeLand boys’ basketball team has had a five-game winning streak with wins over Spruce Creek, 55-45; Flagler Palm Coast, 64-40; University, 78-36; Lake Mary Prep, 74-40; and Orangewood Christian, 65-48.

Some of the highlights during these games include senior Trayvon Barbary scoring 29 points while having eight rebounds and two blocked shots against Flagler Palm Coast. Junior Nigle Cook dropped 23 points with five rebounds and four assists against University.

The Lady Bulldog basketball players were topped by Winter Springs, 55-24, while they defeated Atlantic, 50-6, with senior Chaudonae Sarpong scoring 14 points, freshman Savoiya Davis adding 12 points, and junior Elizabeth Cartin making 10 points.

Recently, the DeLand boys’ soccer team defeated Lyman, 3-1, and Deltona, 3-1, while being stopped by Spruce Creek, 5-0.

The Lady Bulldog weightlifters battled to a tie (38-38) with the Lady Panthers of Pine Ridge High School. Rian Anderson, Jendaya Talton, Summer Rank and Azariyah Hagins made first-place efforts, while Amiya Lewicki, Cheyenne Cartwright, Addison Ruocco, Leah Jensen and Hollee Brady claimed second-place finishes. Earning third in the match were Mahek Chandna, Zachiyah Banton-Dofflemyer and Diana Delgado.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Lady Hatters basketball team defeated Florida National, 91-35, with Yazz Wazeerud-Din scoring 21 points with three steals, and Jamiya Turner making 12 points. The Lady Hatters were stopped by Holy Cross, 65-50, with Wazeerud-Din getting 15 points, and Tatiana Streun adding 10 points with 10 rebounds.

South Florida also stopped the Stetson women, 69-50, with Tippy Robertson scoring 12 points and Kiya Turner adding 11 points.

Lady Hatter basketball player Ayanna Dublin was named as the ASUN Newcomer of the Week.

The Stetson Hatters men’s basketball team outdistanced Johnson University, 104-58, with Chase Johnston scoring 17 points; Christiaan Jones, 16; Alvin Tumblin, 12; and Aubin Gateretse getting 12 points with seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

Rob Perry and Alex Crawford scored 11 points each. During this game, Perry reached the 1,000 career-point plateau.

On Friday, Dec. 31, the women’s basketball team plays host to Flagler College at 11 a.m., while on Tuesday, Jan. 4, the men greet Liberty at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, Jan. 5, the Lady Hatters meet Liberty at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Jan. 8, the women travel to North Florida at 2 p.m., while the men play North Florida at 5 p.m.

College honors

Aidan Sharkey, of DeLand, was named to the Honor Roll Honorable Mention at McPherson College in McPherson, Kansas.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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