deland boys soccer
AWARDS FOR SOCCER STARS — The DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ soccer team had their season awards April 20 at Topgolf in Lake Mary. From left are Aurelio E. Silva, Newcomer Award-winner; Jake Zielinski, Coaches’ Award; Diego Tate, Boss Award; Seth Policke, Golden Boot Award; and Adam Hill, MVP. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 12-3 record and qualified for the regional state tournament. Zielinski, Hill and Tate made the FACA All State and Academic All State teams. Hill was also selected to play in the FACA All Star game, where he scored a goal for the East Team. Tate, Zielinski, Hill and Geampier Nunez, not pictured, were also selected to play in the East Coast Senior All Star game at Daytona State College. PHOTO COURTESY JIM LOWENSTEIN

Now that the month of May has arrived, senior-class members at the local high schools are looking forward to numerous activities, including senior-awards presentations. Here is a list of senior-awards presentations for the high schools in West Volusia: DeLand High, 7 p.m. Monday, May 23; Deltona High, 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17; Pine Ridge High in Deltona, 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19; Taylor Middle-High in Pierson, 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19; and University High in Orange City, 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 18.

Kidds Are First was chosen as a Food Brings Hope Community Partner of the Month. Rachel Arazashvili (founder of KR Fashions and Kidds Are First) and her team of volunteers make families in need of clothing a priority.

Kidds Are First began its involvement with Food Brings Hope by providing clothing to residents of Hope House. Clothing and shoes were given to each resident, as well as household items for the home and important items such as gowns for prom and special clothing for graduation.

Along with sponsoring Hope House students, Kidds Are First has supported the annual FBH Pierson “Hope for the Holidays” celebration since it first began in 2016.

KR Fashions, a gently used clothing store, offers clients the unique experience of shopping for clothing in a store environment with no expense to themselves. It is no surprise that Rachel’s passion for helping the community has grown into helping 50 local organizations, including churches, hospitals and other nonprofits like Food Brings Hope. A goal for Kidds Are First is to reopen the store in a new location sometime within the next few months.

High-school students who have an interest in health-related professions might benefit from the Health Care Summer Institute 2022, a virtual program presented by the University of Florida College of Medicine that will run June 26-July 23.

For more information, go to or call the Office for Diversity & Health Equity at 352-273-6656.

LOCAL STUDENT-ATHLETE HEADING TO UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA — Local graduating senior Lori Brubach has signed on with the University of Florida’s collegiate gymnastics team. Brubach trains at RAD Gymnastics in DeBary. According to Jennifer Donlon, very few gymnasts are accepted onto the Gators team. This is a major accomplishment for a local gymnast and local gym.

DeLand High School

DeLand High School student Ariana Samiha presented the winning design for Volusia County Schools’ Girls in STEM logo.

DeLand High School Athletics

The DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ soccer team had its season-ending awards gathering at Topgolf in Lake Mary. The MVP award went to Adam Hill, the Newcomer Award to Aurelio E. Silva, the Coaches’ Award to Jake Zielinski, the Boss Award to Diego Tate, and the Golden Boot Award to Seth Policke.

The team closed out the year with a 12-3 record under the direction of head coach Jim Lowenstein. Zielinski, Tate and Hill received All-State Team honors, as well as Academic All-State honors.

Four DeLand weightlifters went to the FHSAA state championships at Port St. Joe: Jayden Lewis and Collin Monteiro Blushiy each placed seventh in the state in their weight class, Jaycee Kane was eighth, and Aidan Fedigan was 16th. The team was directed by head coach Damion Dunn.

Everyone’s invited to participate in the second annual bowling fundraiser for the DeLand High School bowling squads. The event will take place 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Sunshine Bowling Center in DeLand.

The entry fee is $100 (including lunch and a soda) for a four-person team. Spots are limited, so enter soon by emailing coach Garon Keuten at

The bowling fundraiser is sponsored by Georgia Avenue Hair Company, Page Insurance Agency, ReclaimMyID and Sunshine Bowling Center.

You can support the DeLand High track-and-field teams by purchasing a 4×10 vinyl banner with your business logo and other information, which will be hung outside the school along the corner of East Plymouth and North Hill avenues by the traffic light until June 2023. The banner cost is $700, with checks being made to the DeLand High Bulldog Boosters.

For additional information, email Chris Madzik at, or call 386-804-2455. Banner information is to be supplied to Jim Lowenstein at

Former DeLand High athlete (and currently a track athlete at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University) Amberleigh Sauer earned Peach Belt All-Conference honors at the conference track meet. She placed second in the hammer throw, with a spin and toss of 158 feet, while gaining third in the shot put with a 38-foot-9.75-inch push.

The DeLand Bulldog baseball team topped Sanford, 4-2, with Derek De Jesus tripling and having one RBI. The Bulldogs also outran Pine Ridge, 8-4, with Anthony Ruocco getting a double and a triple.

The DeLand Lady Bulldog softball team was stopped by Winter Springs High, 9-2, and Sanford, 12-0. In the first game, Emily Lamay went three-for-four at the plate, and she went two-for-three in the second game.

Deltona High School

Deltona High School seniors were able to start buying graduation tickets Monday, May 2, at $3 per ticket. Tickets may be purchased during lunch at the Activities Office window.

The Deltona High Baccalaureate Service will be at Deltona Alliance Church at 6 p.m. Monday, May 16. Seniors are asked to wear their cap and gown. Attending the service is optional.

Deltona High’s senior-awards presentation will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the auditorium. Students who are receiving an award will receive a personal invite and are asked to wear their cap and gown. All students are welcome to attend.

The Deltona High School Advisory Council will have its last meeting of the school year at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, in the Learning Commons.

At Volusia County Schools’ World Languages Festival, the following students earned first-place honors: Yaiza Soler, Kristal Perez Nunez, Yaitza Soler Mejias, Janiely Tejeda and Lorena Alejandra Zaldivar.

Pine Ridge High School

May 9-13 is Senior Week at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona. There will be dress-up days and numerous activities. Look for notifications on the school’s campus.

The Pine Ridge Prom will be Friday, May 13, with the theme “Enchanted Forest.” Tickets cost $50 apiece.

Taylor Middle-High School

Several events for seniors at Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson will be happening Tuesday, May 17. All senior obligations need to be cleared by that date.

Senior Breakfast will take place at 8:30 that morning in the school cafeteria. Caps and gowns along with honor cords will be distributed in the auditorium at 9 a.m.

The Senior Walk will be at 10:30 a.m. that day at Pierson Elementary School and McInnis Elementary School in DeLeon Springs. Seniors will wear their caps and gowns.

University High School

University High School in Orange City will have its prom on Saturday, May 7, with the theme “A Night in New Orleans.”

The Baccalaureate Service is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, at Journey Church in Orange City. Seniors are asked to wear their caps and gowns.

FHSAA District Track Meet

The FHSAA District Track Meet took place recently at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, with the top four in each event advancing to the regional meet at Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7. The top two in each event at regional will automatically advance to the state meet on Saturday, May 14, at the University of Florida.

Ten schools from Volusia and Seminole counties were competing at Spruce Creek, with the Lake Mary boys and the Sanford girls winning the district titles. Spruce Creek took third in each division, while DeLand was fourth in each, and Orange City University was sixth in the boys’ competition and seventh in the girls’.

The following DeLand High School Bulldog boys are advancing to the regional meet with first-place finishes: Emily Lamb in the discus with a toss of 98 feet, 6 inches, and in the javelin with a throw of 109 feet, 3 inches; Kevar Williams in the 100 meters with a time of 10.77; and Owen York in the javelin throw at 157 feet, 6 inches.

Williams was second in the 200 at 21.39. Ethan Myrick took second in the 800 meters at 2:04.03, as did Sydney Neira at 2:19.22. Shamia Allen won second place in the long jump at 18 feet, 0.25 inches, and Gabe Snyder earned second in the discus with a throw of 124 feet.

These DeLand High competitors won third places: Avian Edwards-Pla in the 100 meters at 11.09, Owen York in the discus at 123 feet, 4 inches, and Ian York in the javelin at 146 feet, 9 inches.

The following won fourth places: Fabian McKnight in the 300 hurdles at 42.53, and Jamil Cunningham in the long jump with a 19-foot-6.25-inch effort.

The DeLand boys’ 4×4 relay, whose members are Arden Myrie, Michael Soto Jr., Avian Edwards-Pla and Kevar Williams, took second with a clocking of 3:24.62.

The Orange City University Titans found Nyrania Barr-Miller taking second in the 400 with a time of 60.29, while Corey Johnson was second in the 1,600 meters at 4:37.27, and Morgan Northey took second in the discus with a 95-foot-10-inch throw.

Morgan Harvill took third in the 3,200 at 12:00.28, and Royce Eggert was third in the 1,600 at 4:37.80.

Nyrania Barr-Miller earned a fourth in the high jump at 4 feet, 9.75 inches.

University had two relays qualify for regional, with Benjamin Bradley, Tyler Sintscha, Royce Eggert and Corey Johnson taking second in the boys’ 4×800 relay with a time of 8:28.69, and Hailey Theodore, Lillie Pickens, Hannah Judge and Morgan Harvill placing fourth in the girls’ 4×800 at 10:44.31.

Andreas Schulz of University took first place in four events, earning the right to advance in all four: the 200 meters in 25.60, the 800 meters at 2:21.09, the shot put at 27 feet, 2.50 inches, and the javelin at 70 feet, 6 inches.

Stetson University Athletics

On April 30, Stetson University inducted seven former athletes into the Stetson Athletics Hall of Fame: Patrick Mazeika (baseball), Maksim Levanovich (tennis), Meredith Owen Swindle (softball), Alexandria Buelow Jacobsen (golf), Sasha Sims (basketball), Victoria McGowan (basketball) and Shanasa Sanders (basketball).

The Stetson Hatter baseball team lost to the Gators of the University of Florida, 10-8, with Brandon Hylton hitting a home run and a double, accounting for five RBIs. The team then lost to Florida Gulf Coast, 4-0 and 9-4, with Daniel Labrador hitting a four-bagger in the latter game.

The baseball team will host USF at 6:30 p.m.Tuesday, May 10, and again at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17.

The Lady Hatter softball team lost to FSU, 4-1, with Lizzie Shubert hitting a homer, and 14-1 and 7-3 to North Florida, with Dylan Anthony hitting a home run in the last game.

The Stetson lacrosse team ran away from Delaware State with a 19-3 victory. Maria Snee, Jordyn Humphrey and Molly Kearney each had a hat trick in the game.

The lacrosse team will be at the ASUN tourney at Jacksonville University Thursday-Saturday, May 5-7.

The Stetson beach volleyball team picked up its 20th victory of the season with wins over Stephen F. Austin and Mercer. The score was 5-0 in each game.

College honors

Nataly Chandia Viano, of DeBary, was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Chandia Viano was initiated at Marymount University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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