Local roundup: Senators’ Peace named Gatorade Delaware Player of Year

Dover’s Javon Peace rushes for a second quarter touchdown against Caesar Rodney this season. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

In its 34th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company announced Javon Peace of Dover High School as its 2018-19 Gatorade Delaware Football Player of the Year on Thursday.

Peace is the second Gatorade Delaware Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Dover High.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Peace as Delaware’s best high school football player. He is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound junior running back rushed for 1,892 yards and 27 touchdowns on 162 carries this past season, leading the Senators (9-2) to the Division I semifinals. Peace also caught 16 passes for 339 yards and four touchdowns. He is a two-time All-Henlopen Conference selection and a two-time All-State honoree.

Peace has volunteered locally on behalf of his school’s Best Buddies program as well as youth sports camps.

“Javon Peace is a great football player,” said John Bellace, head coach at Archmere Academy. “He’s dynamic on the field, and he’s a hard worker and a great kid. His body of work this year is just impossible to ignore.”

Peace has maintained an A average in the classroom. He will begin his senior year of high school next fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. From the 12 national winners, one male and one female athlete are each named Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year. In all, 607 athletes are honored each year.

Peace joins recent Gatorade Delaware Football Players of the Year Will Knight (2017-18, Smyrna High), Nolan Henderson (2016-17, Smyrna High), Colby Reeder (2015-16, Salesianum School), Taronn Selby (2014-15, St. Georges High) and Darius Wade (2013-14, Middletown High) among the state’s list of former award winners.

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Peace has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the year.

Boys’ basketball

St. Thomas More 64, Hodgson 61: The Ravens scored 23 points in the fourth quarter to overcome a seven-point deficit.

DeAndre Gourdine paced St. Thomas More with 20 points. Omari Burris added 18 points while Joshua Hayward chipped in 14.

Milford 76, Sussex Academy 16: Thirteen different players scored for the Buccaneers, led by Jaxson Turner’s 11 points.

Girls’ basketball

Seaford 50, Laurel 20: Shaniya Bridell’s 17 points and Jada Evans’ 15 points lifted the Blue Jays to a Henlopen Conference Southern Division victory.

Woodbridge 54, Indian River 16: The Blue Raiders earned the Henlopen South win on Thursday.

Women’s basketball

George Mason 72, Delaware 46: The Hens shot 32 percent from the floor in a nonconference loss at George Mason on Thursday.

Not one Delaware player managed to score in double figures. Makeda Nicholas led the Hens with nine points. Samone Defreese and Justina mascaro netted seven points apiece.

Delaware dropped to 3-5 overall.

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