The 43rd annual Volusia County World Language Festival took place prior to Spring Holiday. The festival included 29 different events for students in a combination of digital projects, physical projects, language tests and performances. This year, there were 639 student submissions. Grace Kellermeier was the festival director.
Don Pepper’s Mexican Grill & Cantina supported the event as a Gold Sponsor and as a contributor to the scholarship fund.
Eighteen students from four Volusia County high schools were awarded scholarships.
Over the next few weeks, this column will list those from West Volusia who won first-place awards.
Also prior to Spring Holiday, students from DeLand Middle, DeLand High, Deltona High, Florida Virtual, Heritage Middle in Deltona, Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts in Lake Helen, Pierson Elementary, Pine Ridge High in Deltona, Taylor Middle-High in Pierson, and Volusia Pines Elementary in Lake Helen participated in the 2023 Florida State Fair.
Nearly 70 4-H and FFA students from across Volusia County competed in the fair in Tampa, with seven Champion of Champions coming from Volusia. Again, over the next few weeks, this column will list these champions and the schools they represented. This program in Volusia County is directed by Abby Marion.
Don’t forget that the Volusia County Schools Home Run 5K will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 15, at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, 105 E. Orange Ave., Daytona Beach. The 5K starts at 8 a.m., Kids Run the Bases begins at 9:15 a.m., and awards will be presented at 9:30 a.m.
To sign up, go to https://runsignup.com/VolusiaCountySchoolsHomeRun5K.
The annual FUTURES Foundation Caribbean Party takes place Friday, March 24, at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach. This is presented by Brown & Brown Insurance, along with FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools.
Early-Release Wednesdays will be reinstated March 29, which means all schools will dismiss one hour earlier than normal. Early-release days had been canceled to make up for lost instructional time due to hurricanes in the fall of 2022.
Early-Release Wednesdays in April will be April 5, 12, 19 and 26.
Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts
The track team from Ivy Hawn Charter School of the Arts in Lake Helen recently competed in the Mount Dora Christian School Middle School Track and Field Championships. Connor York won the 1,500-meter run at 4:54.89 and the high jump with a 5-foot effort; Mateo Issac won the triple jump at 33 feet, 7.5 inches; Keylani Cates won the discus with a throw of 81 feet, 8 inches; and Emma Ellis won the javelin throw with a 63-foot-1-inch effort.
Deltona High School
Deltona High School graduate Blake Hinson, who plays basketball for the University of Pittsburgh, has been named to the All-ACC Second Team.
Bryanna Simmonds, a member of the Deltona High girls’ basketball team, has been named a nominee for Player of the Year honors from Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties All-Area Team by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Kevin Kerns placed second in the FHSAA State Wrestling Championships with a 3-1 record in the state finals in the 132-pound division. Deltona’s team placed 24th in state out of 69 teams competing for the title.
Pine Ridge High School
Elijah Laird, standout basketball player at Pine Ridge High School in Deltona, has been nominated for Player of the Year honors from Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties All-Area Team by The Daytona Beach News-Journal.
Taylor Middle- High School
Taylor Middle-High School in Pierson will have an on-campus Admissions Day at 8 a.m. Tuesday, April 11. Admissions representatives from Daytona State College will be on campus. Students need to sign up with their guidance counselor prior to the event.
Soccer players Tony DeLeon and Ricardo Jaimes were selected by The Daytona Beach News-Journal as nominees for Player of the Year honors from Volusia, Flagler and St. Johns counties All Area Boys Soccer Team.
University High School
Royce Eggert, a member of the boys’ basketball team at University High School in Orange City, has been named Most Valuable Player for the 2022-23 season. He holds the school record for the most points in a game, most points for a season, most 3s in a season, and most free throws in a season, while also earning scholar-athlete honors. The Titan basketball team this season also recorded the most wins for a season. Eggert will be attending Valdosta State on a scholar-athlete scholarship to run cross-country and track and field.
DeLand High School Athletics
The DeLand Bulldog Football Golf Tournament will tee off at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 15, on the LPGA golf course. Those wanting to participate can register online at www.delandfootball.org. The group is still looking for sponsors; use the same email address to commit to a sponsorship.
Mia Rhodes, who won the 154-pound weightlifting state titles in traditional and Olympic lifts, was also the Five Star, district and regional champion. She set a new state record in the clean and jerk with a 240-pound lift, as well as a new snatch record of 205 pounds.
MJ Smokes placed fifth in the state wrestling championships in the 285-pound division, with a 3-1 mark at the FHSAA finals for District 3A competition. DeLand’s team was 27th out of 66 teams competing for points.
The Lady Bulldog softball team lost to Sanford Seminole, 9-3, with freshman Payton Mathis going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. The team then turned the tables on Seabreeze, with the Bulldogs winning, 28-4. Sophomore Brianne Yocum went 4-for-6, with two doubles and a triple, while recording five RBIs. Freshman Teagan Squires went 4-for- 5 with a double, four RBIs and four runs. Those Lady Bulldog players with more than one hit in the game included Alexandra Trenholm, Yocum, Mikenzie Robinson, Squires, Emily Fantone and Luci Walters.
The Bulldog baseball team lost to Apopka, 7-5, and to Seabreeze, 3-1, in which Chris Caruso went 3-for-4.
The Lady Bulldog flag-football team was stopped by New Smyrna Beach, 7-6, and Spruce Creek, 12-7.
Now that Spring Holiday is over, the sports calendar once again gets very busy. Be sure to check for schedule changes.
On Friday, March 24, the track team is at the Astronaut Invitational at 3 p.m., the softball team greets Father Lopez at 4:15 p.m., and the flag-football team plays at Flagler Palm Coast at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
On Monday, March 27, the tennis team will compete at New Smyrna Beach at 3:30 p.m., the JV-B baseball team will play at Atlantic at 4 p.m., the softball team will play host to Taylor Middle- High at 4 p.m. for varsity and 6 p.m. for junior varsity, and the JV-A baseball team will play at Seabreeze at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 28, the baseball team is at Pine Ridge at 4 p.m., and the flag-football team competes at University at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
On Wednesday, March 29, the boys’ weightlifting team competes in the district tournament at Orange City University at 1:30 p.m., the beach volleyball team is at Spruce Creek at 3:30 p.m., the tennis team is at Orange City University at 3:30 p.m., and the softball team hosts Atlantic at 4:30 p.m. That same day, the baseball team greets Windermere at 4 p.m. on Conrad Field, and the JV-B baseball team meets New Smyrna Beach at 4 p.m.
On Thursday, March 30, the baseball team meets Atlantic on the DHS field at 4 p.m.
On Friday, March 31, the softball team travels to Pierson to meet Taylor Middle-High at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
On Saturday, April 1, the tennis team hosts Deltona at 4:15 p.m.
Volusia/Flagler Freshman/ Sophomore Track Championships
The Flagler Palm Coast boys and the Mainland girls claimed the titles at the championships. For the boys, DeLand was seventh, Orange City University was ninth, and Deltona was 11th, while for the girls, DeLand was sixth, Orange City University ninth, and Deltona 10th.
DeLand High individual winners were Anna Vandell in the high jump at 4 feet, 9.75 inches; Kylie Neira in the pole vault at 10 feet; and Emily Lamb in the discus at 103 feet, 4 inches.
Winning two events for University High was Anthony Lebron, who won the 110 high hurdles at 19.44 and the 400 hurdles at 64.72.
Five Star Conference Action
In the Five Star Conference Tennis Tournament, Spruce Creek won both the boys’ and girls’ titles. In the boys’ competition, Orange City University took third and DeLand sixth. Deltona and Pine Ridge did not score team points.
In the girls’ competition, DeLand, Deltona and Pine Ridge scored no points.
In the Five Star Boys’ Weightlifting Tournament, Spruce Creek won both the traditional and Olympic divisions.
In the Olympic Division, Orange City University was third, DeLand fourth, Pine Ridge sixth, Pierson Taylor seventh and Deltona eighth.
In the traditional lifts, Orange City University was fourth, DeLand fifth, Pierson Taylor sixth, Pine Ridge seventh and Deltona eighth.
Stetson University Athletics
The Stetson University Hatter baseball team topped Pittsburgh, 6-5, but lost later, 9-2. They stopped Mount St. Mary’s, 10-4, but lost to FIU, 5-0, and Wichita State, 8-4 and 9-3.
I n th e s e game s , Jayden Hylton, Yohann Dessureault and Cameron Hill hit home runs.
The Lady Hatter softball team beat Ball State, 3-1, but lost to South Carolina Upstate, 4-1 and 1-0, before winning, 1-0. They also topped Holy Cross, 6-1. In these games, Marissa Baxter hit a home run.
The Lady Hatter lacrosse team lost to the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, 16-13, with Kaitlin Pani scoring seven points. Stetson also defeated Merrimack, 14-11, with Jessica Duggan scoring 17 points, while Pani added six.
The Stetson women’s basketball team lost to Florida Gulf Coast in the second round of the ASUN tournament, 60-48, with Jaelyn Talley scoring 11 points with nine rebounds. Khamya McNeal scored 13 points, with six rebounds.
Stetson closed out the season with a 13-20 mark.
Florida Gulf Coast participated in the NCAA National Championship Tournament with a 32-3 record.
The Lady Hatter beach-volleyball team lost to FSU, 5-0, Tulane, 3-2, and South Carolina, 3-2, but downed Stephen F. Austin, 5-0, and North Carolina-Wilmington, 5-0.
Stetson junior pitcher Austin Amaral has been named the ASUN Pitcher of the Week for baseball, while junior pitcher Lauren Hobbs has been named the ASUN Pitcher of the Week for softball.
The Stetson home sports calendar has the beach-volleyball team greeting North Alabama and Coastal Carolina Friday, March 24, with the times to be announced.
On Saturday, March 25, the Hatter rowing teams greet Embry-Riddle, UCF and Florida Tech. That same day, the beach-volleyball team plays FGCU and FAU, with time to be announced.
On Monday, March 27, the Stetson women’s golf team plays host to the Babs Steffens Tournament at the DeBary Country Club.
Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2, has the baseball team hosting North Alabama at 6:30 p.m. the first two days and at 1 p.m. on the final day.
Caroline Tichenor, of DeLand, has been named to the 2022 fall dean’s academic honor list 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 email@example.com.