ANOTHER HONOR FOR DELAND BASKETBALL LEGEND — Bridgette Gordon, 1988 Olympic gold medalist and a graduate of DeLand Junior High School (now DeLand Middle School), recently had her No. 44 jersey retired at the school. Gordon earned many honors over her playing days of basketball at DeLand Junior High, DeLand High School, the University of Tennessee, and in the professional ranks. Pictured with Gordon are Lary Beal, Volusia County Schools director of athletics; Dr. Andrew Olson, director of middle schools for the Volusia School System; John DeVito, principal of DeLand Middle School; Chris Cloudman, mayor of DeLand; Bridgette Gordon; Jessica Davis, DeLand city commissioner; Debi Brocklehurst, Gordon’s junior-high coach; and Miles Hoskins, a DeLand Middle School basketball player. PHOTO COURTESY TONY TUSSING

DeLand Middle School honored one of its own recently, when the school retired the jersey that Bridgette Gordon wore during her playing days in junior high. Her jersey had already been retired at DeLand High School, and she was also named to the High Schools of DeLand Sports Hall of Fame inaugural class.

Gordon went on to play college basketball at the University of Tennessee, with the U.S. Olympic team in 1988, and numerous years as a professional in Europe and in the WNBA in the United States.

She played for Debi Brocklehurst at DeLand Junior High, where she helped the team go, 23-0, in the 1980-82 seasons, while serving as team captain and being named MVP over the same time period, while also winning the DeLand Junior Stellar Student Athlete Award.

Brocklehurst entertained the idea of retiring Gordon’s jersey to DeLand Middle School Principal John DeVito, who took the idea and ran with it, making the event take place. Her jersey number at DeLand Junior and DeLand High was 44.

Gordon has been honored numerous times over the years, and it would take many paragraphs to list all of her honors, one of which was earning a gold medal in the 1988 Olympics in South Korea. However, in asking her what her major accomplishment was, she replied earning her degree at the University of Tennessee.

After playing professional basketball, Gordon turned to coaching. She has coached and, in many cases, been the recruiting coordinator, at Stetson University, Georgia State, Wichita State, the University of Tennessee, Southern Methodist University, Kansas State and, most recently, the University of Cincinnati.

Over the next several weeks, this column will list some of the accomplishments and honors of Bridgette Gordon.

The DeLeon Springs Community Association Inc. has proudly announced the winners of its 2023 DSCA Inc. Merit Scholarships. Three scholarships, worth $1,000 each, were presented to Riley Garrison of DeLand High, who will be attending Union University; Lainey Metts of Taylor Middle-High, who plans to attend the University of South Florida; and Moises Denova of Taylor Middle-High, who plans to attend the University of Central Florida. All three are residents of DeLeon Springs, a requirement of the scholarship.

Officials of Volusia County Schools, as reported by The Daytona Beach News-Journal, have announced that the Plus One Program at five Title I schools will end. The one school in West Volusia in the program is Starke Elementary School in DeLand.

Volusia County Schools celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week during the first week of May. The district staff delivered gift baskets to teachers each day, which were made available by Pirate’s Cove, DME Delivers, Addition Financial, Oil & Vinegar and The Cathey Team at RE/MAX Signature. Numerous other gifts were also presented.

With the school year winding down, there is one holiday left to be observed, which is Memorial Day. There will be no school on Monday, May 29, so all can observe the holiday.

Pride Elementary School

Last week, this column listed some testing dates at Pride Elementary School in Deltona. Other testing dates at the school include May 15 for kindergarten and math in first and second grades, May 16 for fourth-grade math, May 17 for third-grade reading, May 18 for fifth-grade reading, and May 19 for fifth-grade math.

Testing is important, and it is hoped that all students will be in attendance on test dates.

Pine Ridge High School

On Friday, May 19, Pine Ridge High School in Deltona will have the “Last Sunset Over the Ridge” senior dinner. This will begin at 6 p.m. and is for seniors, only.

Spring high-school football

The Florida High School Athletic Association allows a maximum of 20 practice sessions in the spring for high-school football teams in the state of Florida. The spring-practice period normally ends with a spring game or jamboree.

The following are the dates and times of the West Volusia high-school football end-of-practice games: Pierson Taylor Middle-High played their game at Master’s Academy May 11. Orange City University goes to Lyman at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18; DeLand greets Ocala Forest and Lake Mary at 6 p.m. Friday, May 19; Deltona High travels across the county to New Smyrna Beach at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19; Deltona Trinity Christian goes to Seven Rivers Christian at 7 p.m. Friday, May 19; and Wednesday, May 24, finds Pine Ridge of Deltona hosting Tavares at 6 p.m.

District track action

The FHSAA has district track meets, with the top four per event advancing to the regional meets, where the top two automatically advance to the state championships. Another eight athletes will be selected at large from the best times not qualifying.

DeLand High, at its district meet, found Emily Lamb winning two events to move on, in the javelin at 118 feet, 1 inch, and the discus at 110 feet, 6 inches.

Kylie Neira won the pole vault at 12 feet, 1/2 inch to advance.

Others advancing included Anna Vandell, in the high jump in second place with a 4-foot-11.75-inch effort, and MJ Smokes in the shot put, who took fourth at 45 feet, 6.50 inches.

Scoring points for the Bulldogs, but not advancing, were Amy Nguyen, Shamia Allen, Jamil Cunningham (2), Lily Clements, Sierra

West, Frederick McCaskill and the girls’ 4X800 relay team and the boys’ 4X800 and 4X100 relay teams.

University High School of Orange City found Andreas Schulz winning three ambulatory events to advance in the shot put at 29 feet, 7.50 inches; in the 400 meters at 58.50; and in the 200 meters at 24.52. Angel Barnes won the 800 at 2:53.6 and was second in the 200 at 36.84.

Morgan Harvill won the 3,200 for girls at 11:58.90 to advance. Nyrania Barr-Miller advanced in three events, by taking second in the 100 hurdles at 14.98, third in the 400 at 58.20, and third in the 200 at 25.54.

Others advancing were Morgan Northey in the discus at 95 feet, 1 inch; Darrian Morris in the javelin at 187 feet, 11 inches; Hannah Judge in the 1,600 at 5:20.94; Corey Johnson in the 1,600 at 4:29.87; and the 4X800 relay team at 10:41.91.

Others scoring points, but not advancing, were Northey, Angel Lebron, Mason Brown, Dylan Word, Royce Eggert, and the boys’ 4X800 and 4X400 relay teams and the girls’ 4X400 relay team.

DeLand High School Athletics

DELAND HIGH BOYS SOCCER WINNERS — Here are the award-winners from the DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ soccer team, with their coaches, for the 2022-23 season. From left are assistant coach Rick Flores; assistant coach Bill Stevenson; Jose Toledo, junior varsity most valuable player, who played varsity at the end of the season; Seth Policke, who received the Big Dog Award; Andreas Tate, who received Most Valuable Player; Josh Zielinski, who was awarded the Iron Man Award; and head coach Jim Lowenstein. Not pictured is Aurelio E. Silva, who received the Golden Boot Award.

The 2022-23 DeLand High School Bulldog boys’ soccer team recently had its season awards gathering, with Andreas Tate being named the MVP, while Josh Zielinski was the Iron Man. Seth Policke was the Big Dog Award-winner, Aurelio E. Silva, the winner of the Golden Boot Award, and Jose Toledo the JV MVP winner, who moved up to varsity at the end of the season.

The DeLand bowling team will host its third annual Bulldog Bowling Fundraiser 2-5 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Sunshine Lanes in DeLand. The entry fee is $100 for a four-person team, which includes lunch and soda. Awards will be presented to the top team.

Spots are limited. To register, email coach Garon Keuten at

Lane sponsorship is available for $50.

The tournament is sponsored by Georgia Avenue Hair Company, Sunshine Lanes and the Page Insurance Agency.

The Bulldog baseball team stopped West Port, 11-1, with Nathan Ricko tripling. Chris Caruso, Ethan Scheffer, Luke Hoffmann and Royce Rodriguez doubled, while Caruso, Scheffer and Rodriguez each had two RBIs.

The team also topped Sanford Seminole, 15-4, with Anthony Ruocco hitting two doubles while collecting five RBIs.

The Lady Bulldog softball team lost in the first round of district play to University, 15-0. The DeLand team ended the season with a 10-13 mark.

The beach-volleyball team shut out Atlantic, 5-0, then lost in the district tournament to Spruce Creek, 4-1.

Stetson University Athletics

The Stetson University Hatter volleyball team has signed Riley Komo to play. She hails from California, and played her freshman year at MiraCosta College.

The Stetson beach-volleyball team, which is ranked 15th in the nation, won the ASUN Conference championship by stopping FGCU, 3-0. They are slated to face No. 2 TCU in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Hatter baseball team stopped Central Arkansas, 3-0, with Lorenzo Meola hitting a home run. They then stopped Liberty, 13-8, 5-4 and 7-0. In the 7-0 win, Yohann Dessureault hit a home run.

The Lady Hatter softball team scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to stop FGCU, 4-3, with Evette Morgan hitting one out of the park, while recording three RBIs. The team then stopped Jacksonville University, 3-2, 3-2 and 5-1, with the last two wins going nine innings each. Jordyn Stanfill and Kami Eppley homered.

College honors

The following DeLandites have been initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines; Richard Talkington Fletcher, who attends Florida Southern College, and Skylar Vogt, who attends the University of North Florida.

— Send school news to Tony Tussing via email: at


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