university high school seniors
CONTINUING AS STUDENT-ATHLETES — Orange City’s University High School had 16 senior students sign letters of intent Feb. 2 to continue their collegiate athletic and academic careers. They are, in the first row, Grace Taylor, Baylee Eads, Onnalee Floriano, Aminah Vega, Alondra Ayende and Elyssa Clark. In the second row are Austin DeSousa, Jacob Lowe, Chandler Powers, Elias Velasquez, Noble Thomas, Andrew Hammerle, Jeffery Walters, Todd Kniebbe, Evan Koehler and Joel Vargas.

Spring Holiday camp for children ages 5-12 will be offered in March at Gemini Springs Park in DeBary by the Volusia County Parks, Recreation and Culture Division. The camp will be 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, March 14-18, which are the same dates as Spring Holiday in the Volusia County public-school system.

Registration will be 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Feb. 26, and 4-6 p.m. Friday, March 4, in the red barn at Gemini Springs Park, 37 Dirksen Drive, DeBary. The cost is $65 per child, and includes field trips.

Payment must be submitted upon registration by check or money order. Cash will not be accepted.

For more information, call Recreation Superintendent Matt Coleman at 386-736-5953.

Through Florida KidCare, the State of Florida offers health insurance for children from birth through the end of age 18, even if one or both parents are working.

All Florida KidCare programs, including Florida Healthy Kids, cover doctor visits, checkups, immunizations, surgeries, prescriptions, emergencies, dental care and more.

If you need more information or want to apply for Florida KidCare or Medicaid, call Jeannette Pubill, Florida KidCare outreach counselor, at 386-425-7920, or email her at

Volusia County Schools has announced its first-ever Dual Language Program for the 2022-23 school year for elementary-school students at Spirit Elementary School in Deltona and at Holly Hill School.

The program will offer English-speaking and Spanish-speaking students a unique, enriching and challenging educational opportunity to read, write and communicate effectively in English and Spanish, while achieving high levels of academic success.

The program will allow students to acquire the languages naturally and to experience continuous opportunities for meaningful interactions and practice.

Students will develop bilingual skills and cross-cultural competencies necessary for an ever-changing global society and economy. Research shows that acquiring a second language at an early age enhances intellectual growth by improving performance on standardized tests and is linked to higher overall grade averages and attendance.

Certified teachers selected for the Dual Language Program are proficient in the targeted languages, giving equal status to both languages. Students will receive the rigorous core-curriculum instruction required by the Florida Department of Education and will take the state’s required standardized tests.

Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Volusia County Schools’ innovative language program at the Dual Language Program orientations: at 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, in the Spirit Elementary School cafeteria; and at 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at Holly Hill School.

Families with students in prekindergarten through fifth grade who are interested in more information can contact the ESOL office at 386-734-7190, ext. 23070.

The Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education (FAME) Sunshine Chapter, a collaborative effort among Volusia County Schools, Daytona State College, the Volusia Manufacturers Association and local manufacturers, is now taking applications for the fall 2022 semester for parents and seniors who are beginning to explore options after graduation. Applications are due April 1.

FAME is a nationally recognized program based on Toyota’s Advanced Manufacturing Technician program. The earn-while-you-learn model provides students the pathway to earn an industry-recognized degree while gaining valuable experience at a sponsoring company. The program blends classroom instruction with on-site work experience.

It is a selective-admissions program, where students are chosen to participate by a sponsoring company based on the students’ academic success, dependability and interpersonal skills during the interview process.

In two years, graduates of the program earn an Associate of Science degree in engineering technology, and log approximately 1,800 paid on-the-job hours at their sponsoring company.

An applicant must be 18 years of age by the program’s start date, have a standard high-school diploma or a GED, and be a U.S. citizen or eligible for work in the United States. Additional program requirements can be found on the FAME website at

For more information, contact Wendy Samuel, work-based learning adviser, at or 386-506-4139.

FHSAA girls’ weightlifting championships

The FHSAA girls’ state weightlifting championships were held in Port St. Joe, and DeLand, Deltona, Orange City University, Pierson Taylor and Pine Ridge high schools were represented.

DeLand High’s Summer Rank placed seventh in the 139-pound division of the snatch by lifting 105 pounds. The snatch lift is a continuous motion from lifting the weight from the floor to a stationary position over the head with no pause. The traditional lifts are the bench press and the clean and jerk lift.

Those who represented Taylor Middle-High School of Pierson were Taylor Lane, Ava Ramos, Amya Ramos, Adrianna Campusano, Deana CunninghamRiley Leblanc and Cheyene Chasez.

Deltona High was represented by Alyssa Van Riper and Payton Worner, and placed 20th out of 49 in the state in the snatch competition. Pine Ridge was represented by Jamila Santana.

FHSAA boys’ district basketball

The DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ basketball team won its district competition by defeating Orange City University, 66-64, in the semifinals, with Jermaine Rouse of DeLand scoring 31 points while collecting seven rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Bulldogs then topped Spruce Creek, 50-43, to win the district title and the right to move on to the first round of regional competition.

The Orange City University Titans first had to defeat Ocala West Port, 53-44, to face the DeLand Bulldogs, to whom they lost. Isaiah Robinson of University scored 26 points in this game while grabbing 14 rebounds. This loss ended the Titans’ season with a 10-14 record.

Pine Ridge of Deltona defeated Port Orange Atlantic, 67-55, only to lose to Lake Highland Prep, 83-54, for the district title. Pine Ridge was selected to advance to regional play to face Horizon. In the Atlantic game, Elijah Zuniga of Pine Ridge scored 30 points while getting five rebounds, four assists and three steals.

The Deltona High Wolves defeated Menendez, 69-64, to advance to the title game of the district against Mainland, who defeated the Wolves 54-25. Their season ended with a 13-11 mark.

Deltona Trinity Christian Academy was halted in the first game of district competition, 70-57, to end their season with a 3-20 record.

FHSAA soccer

In district play, Pierson Taylor stopped Umatilla, 8-0, with Jayda Baker scoring the hat trick (three goals), Aaliya Galanza scoring twice, and April Mendoza, Ava Castro and Yanetzy Mancilla each scoring once.

The Taylor Lady Wildcats then topped Trinity Prep, 2-1, with Baker and Mendoza each scoring a goal. They then ran into Tampa Berkeley Prep in regional play, losing 7-0 to close out their year at 16-4.

The DeLand High boys’ soccer team faced Oakleaf in the first round of FHSAA regional play. Oakleaf shut out DeLand, 4-0, with the Bulldogs closing out their year with a 12-5-1 mark.

National Signing Day

Besides the five DeLand High School athletes who signed national letters of intent to continue their education and athletic careers, there were some as well from Deltona Trinity Christian, Pine Ridge of Deltona, and Orange City University.

Those from Deltona Trinity Christian are Jakiryn Hawkins, Daven Woulard, Jose Westbrook and Jakin Hawkins. All four signed to play football at Atlantis University in Miami.

Two student-athletes from Pine Ridge signed to play football at Webber International University in Babson Park: Jaylon Brown and Alexander Waugh.

University High of Orange City had 16 athletes sign national letters of intent: Alondra Ayende, University of Pikeville in Kentucky, volleyball; Elyssa Clark, Trinity College of Florida, volleyball and basketball; Austin DeSousa, Ohio Northern University, football; Baylee Eads, Jacksonville State University in Alabama, soccer; Onnalee Floriano, Lynn University in Boca Raton, softball; Andrew Hammerle, Toccoa Falls College in Georgia, baseball; Todd Kniebbe, College of Central Florida, baseball; Evan Koehler, Polk State College, baseball; Jacob Lowe, Stanford University in California, football; Chandler Powers, Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, football; Grace Taylor, Mercer University in Georgia, softball; Noble Thomas, Oregon State University, football; Joel Vargas, Davenport University, football; Aminah Vega, Duke University, softball; Elias Velasquez, Greenville University in North Carolina, football; and Jeffery Walters, Ohio Northern University, football.

DeLand High School

DeLand High School’s Academic Team is currently 8 and 2 on the season. Each match consists of three parts: First are questions about historical events, mathematics, spelling and science; the second part covers humanities, with a focus on music and art, in which students must identify the artist, genre, year, nationality and title of each piece; and the last part deals with current events. Seventy questions make up a match.

The Bulldog team consists of Wendy Zhang, Austria Merritt, Cole Caven, Johnny Green, Ian Moore, Jacob Strickland, Nick Pleus and Eddie Tiberi. The team coach is Cindy Rosso.

DeLand High School athletics

KEVAR WILLIAMS HONORED BY DELAND CITY COMMISSION — DeLand High School senior Kevar Williams, second from right, was honored by the DeLand City Commission Feb. 7 for winning the 2021 FHSAA 200-Meter Track Championship at the University of North Florida. The last DeLand High student to win an FHSAA track title was K.O. Taylor in 1968. Williams has set the school records in the 100, 200 and 400. He was invited to and participated in the Boost Boston Adidas Outdoor Street Games, as well as the Nike Outdoor National Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Williams will run for the University of Florida after completing his track career at DeLand High. Pictured with Williams are DHS girls’ coach Jim Lowenstein, DeLand High Principal Dr. Melissa Carr, DHS boys’ coach Chris Madzik and DeLand City Commissioner Chris Cloudman.

On Feb. 7, DeLand High School senior Kevar Williams was honored by the DeLand City Commission for winning the FHSAA 200-meter championship last May. He also has set the DHS records for the 100, 200 and 400 meters.

Williams will be competing this spring for the Bulldogs in track and field, before going on to the University of Florida in the fall.

DeLand High School recently honored its seniors, which included a special presentation to Barney Lane of a plaque representing 50 years of DeLand High wrestling. Lane was a member of the 1972 Bulldog wrestling team and was the very first wrestler representing DeLand High to take the mat in competition. DeLand’s David Hiss was an assistant coach with that team.

50 YEARS OF DELAND BULLDOG WRESTLING — The DeLand High School wrestling team celebrated its 50th year of existence during a match with Cypress Creek. The sport was introduced to DeLand High in 1972, and Barney Lane, shown above, was on that very first Bulldog wrestling team. In fact, Lane was the first Bulldog wrestler to participate in any competitive match representing DeLand High. The plaque reads “Presented to Barney Lane ‘The Original Bulldog Wrestler’ for continued service and support to the Bulldog Wrestling Team.” The Bulldogs won the match over Cypress Creek, 63-18. The team is currently coached by Chris Folsom.

The seniors honored were Lane Wishart, Andy Knowles, Marco Selph, Noah Falk and Paul Derosby.

The Bulldog wrestlers defeated Cypress Creek, 63-18, in a match Feb. 9. Bulldogs scoring pins during the match were Gauge Hopton, Grady Bryant, Kellen Chapman, Joshua Folsom, Mathias Franz, Lane Wishart, Noah Falk, Paul Derosby and Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro, while Phoenix Krauth defeated his opponent by points and MJ Smokes won by forfeit.

In their latest competition, Bulldog weightlifters taking first-place finishes were Clayton Juhl, Isaiah Steitz, Aidan Fedigan and Jaycee Kane. Reed Wilgers lifted the only second, while Abduallah Knaio, Jayden Lewis and Collin Blushy took thirds.

The athletic calendar for the Bulldog track-and-field team has them at Flagler Palm Coast at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, while the Lady Bulldog tennis team greets University at 4 p.m. that day.

On Monday, Feb. 28, the DeLand softball team faces Seabreeze at 4:30 p.m. on the DHS campus field.

On Tuesday, March 1, the Lady Bulldog flag-football team opens its season hosting Seabreeze at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Thursday, March 3, the baseball team meets Spruce Creek at 4 p.m. on the field on the DHS campus, and the flag-football team plays host to Taylor at 7 p.m. that day.

Stetson University

Stetson University students will use CRISPR gene-editing technology in the Sage Hall Science Center. Stetson assistant biology professor Lynn Kee, Ph.D., received a $299,996 grant from the National Science Foundation to teach students about this technique. Associate philosophy professor Melinda Hall, Ph.D., will teach them about the bioethics surrounding its use.

The discoverers of CRISPR technology, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, were awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2020. The technology is now used in medicine, agriculture and food production.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Lady Hatter basketball team pulled off an outstanding upset by defeating Florida Gulf Coast, 58-55. At the time, FGCU was ranked nationally. This win also marked the 400th career victory for head coach Lynn Bria. Yazz Wazeerud-Din scored 15 points, and Kiya Turner scored 14 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds.

The Stetson women also defeated Jacksonville State, 70-66, with Alyssa Hargrove scoring 19 points and Jamiya Turner adding 14 points with nine rebounds.

Those two schools defeated by the Lady Hatters were the No. 1 seeds in the Eastern and Western Divisions, respectively, of the Atlantic Sun Conference.

The Stetson men’s basketball players split with these two schools. The Hats defeated Jacksonville State, 63-57, while the halftime score was, 41-29, in favor of Jax State. Christiaan Jones scored 18 points with 12 rebounds, while Chase Johnston dropped in 18 points, and Panzo Wheza got 12 points.

For the second time this season, the Hatter men went into overtime with FGCU and came up on the short end of the score, 89-82. The score was knotted 36 at halftime, and at the end of regulation at 76. Johnston led the Hats in scoring with 24 points, while Stephen Swenson had 14 points. Jones got 10 points, which was the same as Mahamadou Diawara, who also collected seven rebounds.

The Lady Hatter softball team opened the weekend with two victories and two losses. They won the first game of the season, giving head coach Shellie Robinson her first collegiate victory. They defeated Georgia State, 8-2, and Delaware, 3-1, but lost to Indiana State, 6-4, and Delaware, 3-1. Juls Schumacher, Dylan Anthony and Jordyn Stanfill each hit a home run.

The home calendar for the Hatters has the baseball team facing Columbia at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26, and at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 27.

The softball team plays host to Harvard at 3 p.m. and Marist at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25; Rhode Island at 3 p.m. and Harvard at 5 p.m. on Feb. 26; and Rhode Island at noon Feb. 27.

The beach volleyball team greets Mercer at 10 a.m. and South Carolina at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 25, and the College of Charleston at 8 a.m. and FGCU at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27.

The women’s tennis team meets St. John’s at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27.

On Tuesday, March 1, the baseball team plays at UCF at 6:30 p.m., while on Friday, March 4, the Hatters face Sacred Heart at 6:30 p.m. They play Bethune-Cookman at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, and Sacred Heart again on the at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6, and Tuesday, March 8.

On Friday, March 4, the softball team plays host to USC Upstate at 3 p.m. and FIU at 5 p.m., followed by FIU at 3 p.m. and Upstate at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 5, and Bethune-Cookman at noon Sunday, March 6.

On Saturday, Feb. 26, the Stetson basketball teams will be playing their last regular-season games at home when the men host North Florida at 1 p.m. and the women host North Florida at 4 p.m.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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