deland high track record holders
RECORD-HOLDERS — Three DeLand High School track record-holders meet for the first time at the Big D Relays held on the school’s track March 5. On the left is KO Taylor, who set the 440-yard record at DeLand in 1968, when he won the FHSAA state championship in that event. On the right is Ray Broughton, who set the 880-yard record in 1980, and still holds it to this date. In the middle is DHS senior Kevar Williams, who broke Taylor’s record in 2020 with a 48.4 clocking. Taylor’s old record was 49.0, which was held for 52 years. Broughton’s mark of 1:54.4 has stood for 42 years. Williams now holds the 100, 200 and 400 records for DeLand High track. BEACON PHOTO/TONY TUSSING

Volusia County Schools has announced that five additional schools will host a School Year Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) program for the 2022-23 school year, bringing the total to 27. This program is operated during regular school days and follows the district’s school-year calendar. This will allow Volusia County Schools to offer more children the opportunity to receive state-approved instruction that is specifically geared to prepare 4-year-olds for kindergarten.

Students in the School Year VPK program will experience a real-school environment for a full year prior to entering kindergarten. This will give them the advantage of being more comfortable on the first day of kindergarten by knowing the school rules, how to get breakfast and lunch in the cafeteria, and what it’s like to participate in special areas such as art, physical education and music.

VPK is a free, state-funded program. Volusia County schools offer a School Year VPK program and a Summer VPK program. Families may select either program but may not attend both. Breakfast and lunch are served free to all children; however, transportation must be provided by the parent.

The School Year VPK program is available to children who are 4 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2022. Registration began March 7.

The Summer VPK program is available for students who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1, 2022, and will be attending kindergarten in the fall of the current year. Registration began March 1 at the student’s home-zoned school.

Schools on the west side of the county hosting the program include Blue Lake and Starke elementaries in DeLand; Discovery, Forest Lake, Friendship, Pride, Spirit and Timbercrest elementaries in Deltona; Enterprise Elementary; Manatee Cove and Orange City elementaries in Orange City; McInnis Elementary in DeLeon Springs; and Pierson Elementary.

Families are encouraged to contact the Early Learning Coalition of Flagler and Volusia to apply for the VPK Certificate of Eligibility (required for either VPK program). The coalition can be reached at 386-736-5010, or by visiting

For more information, call the Volusia County Schools VPK office at 386-734-7190, ext. 20505, or visit

Oil & Vinegar, a store and restaurant, selected Food Brings Hope as their charity of choice for the February Day of Giving. The Food Brings Hope Team and numerous community supporters attended the event throughout the day and evening. This event also featured Gallery500 artist Cathy Miller and photographer Brandon Stanley.

Oil & Vinegar and Gallery500 agreed to donate 10 percent of their sales for the day/night to Food Brings Hope. Guests were provided food, other refreshments, and the opportunity to enjoy the live music of Clayton and Diane.

Oil & Vinegar is at 2644 LPGA Blvd. in Daytona Beach, and sells different oils, vinegars, dips, seasonings and spices.

Food Brings Hope was also chosen by Monterey Grill in Port Orange as a charity of choice for the month of December. Monterey Grill donated a percentage of the sale of each hamburger meal to Food Brings Hope to help feed students in the KidsZone and TeenZone programs.

HELPING THE COMMUNITY — From left, Food Brings Hope Community Operations Director Mamie Oatis, former
principal of Southwestern Middle School in DeLand, and Food Brings Hope Executive Director Judi Winch, accept a check from Larry Braidlow, general manager at Monterey Grill in Port Orange. The eatery chose to support the charity by donating a percentage of its sale of hamburger meals during December. The check for $471.75 will buy enough food to give 15 families weekly food bags for a full month.

High-school students from DeLeon Springs are reminded that applications for the DeLeon Springs Community Association Inc. Merit Scholarship must be postmarked by Thursday, March 31, to be accepted for consideration.

Go to, and look under “Info” for more information.

Spring Holiday for Volusia County public schools comes to an end Monday, March 21, when all teachers and students will be back in the classroom.

DeLand High School athletics

The DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ wrestling team placed fourth out of 32 schools competing in the recent FHSAA regional match at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The DeLand squad had four wrestlers advance to the state tournament: Grady Bryant, Kellen Chapman, Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro and MJ Smokes.

The DeLand weightlifting team finished third in the traditional lifts and second in the snatch competition at Flagler Palm Coast. In the snatch lift, Tripp Koshiol and Jaycee Kane took first, while Christian Moller and Aidan Fedigan gained seconds, and Peyton Senez, Abdullah Knaio and Jonathan Baker took thirds.

In the traditional competition (bench press and clean and jerk lifts), the lone first place was won by Isaiah Steitz. Moller, Clayton Juhl, Reed Wilgers, Thomas Rogers and Colin Montero-Blushiy took second place, and Senez took third.

At the Deltona Dash track meet, Kevar Williams won the 100 at 10.47 and the 400 at 53.04, while Fabian McKnight won the 300 hurdles at 42.79. Ethan Myrick won the 800 at 2:02.57, and Avian Edwards-Pla won the 200 at 22.31.

The Bulldog calendar sends the DeLand boys’ track team to the Bob Hayes Invitational in Jacksonville on Saturday, March 19.

On Monday, March 21, the Lady Bulldog softball team will play host to Orange City University at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Then on Tuesday, March 22, the baseball team greets Seabreeze at 4 p.m., and the flag-football team plays Matanzas at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 23, is a busy day as the DeLand boys’ tennis team travels to Deltona at 3:15 p.m., the junior-varsity baseball team hosts Seabreeze at 4 p.m., the Bulldog track team has its last home meet at 4:30 p.m., the junior-varsity softball team goes to Bishop Moore at 5 p.m., and the flag-football players host New Smyrna Beach at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

On Thursday, March 24, the baseball team plays at East River High School at 6 p.m., and the softball team plays at Seabreeze at 6 p.m.

The softball team will play host to Deltona at 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 25, and the junior-varsity baseball team will greet Apopka at 4:30 p.m. that same day.

Big D Relays

The DeLand High School track team served as host to 10 schools at the Big D Relays, which have been going on since the mid-1960s, with first through third places gaining medals.

This year, some DHS track royalty visited the meet, with the former 440 record-holder, KO Taylor, meeting senior Kevar Williams, who broke Taylor’s 52-year-old record in 2020.

Also visiting was Ray Broughton, Class of 1980, who still holds the 880 school record. Other visitors included James “Stick” Hampton from the 1998 track team and former head track coach Kevin Smith.

The DeLand squad won the following relays: boys’ 4X400 relay at 3:25.59; girls’ long-jump relay at 41 feet, 4 inches; boys’ triple jump at 117 feet, 2 inches; girls’ discus relay at 214 feet, 9 inches; girls’ javelin at 200 feet, 2 inches; and boys’ javelin at 378 feet, 8 inches.

The DeLand athletes took seconds in the boys’ 4X200, boys’ sprint medley, boys’ distance medley, girls’ 4×400, girls’ 1,600 sprint medley, boys’ long jump and girls’ pole vault.

Third-place finishes were earned by the boys’ 4×100, girls’ 4×100, girls’ 800 sprint medley, boys’ discus and boys’ pole vault.

The Bulldogs who claimed individual firsts were Ian York in the triple jump at 41 feet, 3.25 inches; Owen York in the javelin at 143 feet, 7 inches; Emily Lamb in the discus at 96 feet, 5 inches, and the javelin at 83 feet, 2 inches; and Shamia Allen in the long jump at 16 feet, 5.75 inches.

Joseph Pullen took second in the triple jump, as did Ian York in the javelin. Lamb was third in the high jump, as was Kylie Neira in the pole vault.

Orange City University was the only other West Volusia team competing. The Titans earned a second in the boys’ shuttle hurdles, the boys’ triple-jump relay and the girls’ high-jump relays, while getting third in the boys’ distance medley, girls’ 4X400, girls’ 4×800, girls’ shot-put relay and the boys’ shot-put relay. Nyrania Barr-Miller took an individual second in the high jump.

Deltona High School

The School Advisory Council at Deltona High School will meet at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, in the Learning Commons.

At the Deltona Dash, Alexander Anglero won the high jump with a 5-foot-9.75- inch jump, while Shania Joe won the girls’ 200 at 28.66. The girls’ team also won the 4X100 relay at 55.43.

University High School

At the Deltona Dash, University High School of Orange City had a very successful day by winning 13 events. The following were event-winners with their top effort: Payton Rosamilia, 110 hurdles, 18.57; Royce Eggert, 1,600 meters, 10:22.12; boys’ 4X400, 3:53.73; Kiley Stahlman, 100 hurdles, 18.10; Nyrania Barr-Miller, 100, 12.60, and long jump, 15 feet, 9 inches; Morgan Narvill, 1,600, 5:46.23; Jerianna Flaverney, 300 hurdles, 52.69; Hannah Judge, 800, 2:45.12; Angel Lebron, long jump, 19 feet, 1.25 inches, and triple jump, 40 feet, 2 inches; and Vivienne Merk, shot put, 26 feet, 3 inches, and discus, 68 feet, 9 inches.

Stetson University Athletics

Stetson University women’s basketball players Mali Morgan-Elliott and Alyssa Hargrove received ASUN weekly honors, with Morgan-Elliott being named the ASUN Newcomer of the Week, and Hargrove, once again, being named ASUN Freshman of the Week.

The Lady Hatter lacrosse team broke a six-game losing streak by topping Winthrop, 15-13.

Jake Bullard of the Hatter baseball team had two RBIs as the Hats defeated Columbia, 6-1. UCF topped the Hats, 5-3; Stetson defeated Sacred Heart, 7-1, and lost to Bethune-Cookman, 4-0.

The Lady Hatter softball team was stopped by FIU, 8-5, with Juls Schumacher hitting a home run creating three RBIs. South Carolina Upstate downed the Hats, 6-0.

The Stetson women’s basketball team downed Bellarmine in the first round of the ASUN tournament, 81-53. Yazz Wazeerud- Din led Stetson scoring with 16 points. Tatiana Streun dropped in 15 points, while grabbing 14 rebounds along with one blocked shot. Alyssa Hargrove had 11 points, while Ayanna Dublin and Kiya Turner each had 10 points.

The Stetson men’s basketball team faced Central Arkansas in the first round of the ASUN tournament and bowed out with a 74-73 loss. Christiaan Jones had 13 points and seven rebounds, Stephan Swenson had 13 points and 10 assists, Chase Johnston and Wheza Panzo each had 12 points, and Mahamadou Diawara had 10 points.

The home calendar for Stetson athletics has the baseball team fac ing Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, followed by a 6:30 p.m. game Saturday, March 19, and a 1 p.m. game Sunday, March 20.

Also on Saturday, March 19, the rowing team starts competition with Jacksonville at 8 a.m., and the lacrosse team greets Gardner-Webb at noon.

On Sunday, March 20, the women’s tennis team faces North Florida at 11 a.m., and the men play against North Florida at 3 p.m.

On Wednesday, March 23, the lacrosse team will be home facing the University of Florida at 3 p.m., and the softball team will travel to Gainesville for a game with Florida at 6 p.m.

Friday, March 25, has Florida Gulf Coast coming to town to meet the Lady Hatter tennis team at 10 a.m., and the men playing Florida Gulf Coast at 3 p.m.

College honors

Caroline Tichenor, of DeLand, was named to the dean’s list for the fall semester at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Tichenor is a student in the College of Arts & Sciences.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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