Spartans’ Salandy excited for Blue-Gold opportunity

NEWARK — After walking off the field in early November, Shyron Salandy thought he had played the final down of his high school football career.

The senior quarterback had just led his Lake Forest High football team on a game-winning drive, which resulted in a 32-yard field goal that lifted the Spartans to a 31-28 victory over rival Milford High.

The Nov. 9 win capped the Spartans’ season with a 6-4 record — the program’s first winning season since 2015 — but it wasn’t quite enough for a playoff spot.

So, when the recently-graduated Salandy found out a few months later that he had been selected to represent Gold in the 64th annual DFRC Blue-Gold Football All-Star game at University of Delaware this Friday night, he couldn’t help but get excited.

Shyron Salandy of Lake Forest. Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

“It’s going to be amazing to put on the Lake helmet one last time,” Salandy said. “I’ve been thinking about it all the time; I just want to put that helmet on. I can’t wait.”

He’s the lone Lake Forest representative in this year’s game, which is being played on a Friday night for the first time. Pre-game festivities are slated for 6 p.m., with kickoff lined up for approximately 7 p.m.

“It’s an honor, really, to be the only one out here representing Lake,” he said. “Coach said, ‘you’re doing Blue-Gold’ and I was like, ‘woah, I’m doing Blue-Gold?’ I kept it cool, and I’m just going to make the most out of my opportunity.”

Gold’s roster is comprised primarily of fellow Henlopen schools, including Sussex Tech High, Woodbridge High, Dover High, Sussex Central High, Caesar Rodney High, Polytech High, Smyrna High, Delmar High, Milford High, Seaford High, Indian River High and Cape Henlopen High.
Non-conference schools such as St. Georges Tech High, Middletown High, First State Military Academy, St. Andrew’s School, Red Lion Christian Academy and Appoquinimink High also have players representing the Gold.

Lake Forest went 8-2 and grabbed the No. 6 seed in the DIAA Division II playoffs during his freshman campaign before dropping consecutive losing seasons in his sophomore and junior seasons.

He split time at quarterback with Desaun Bizzell during his junior year before taking over the full-time quarterbacking duties during his six-win senior campaign.

“We progressed throughout the years and I just had a wonderful time at Lake,” said Salandy. “I repped Lake as well as I could. I love Lakeland.”

Each player participating in the all-star game each year is paired with a Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens with intellectual disABILITIES (DFRC) hand-in-hand buddy. The hand-in-hand program is in its 45th year of existence.

The players often attend DFRC-sponsored events with their assigned buddies leading up to the day of the game.

Salandy attended a couple events with his buddy, including a recent non-DFRC sponsored hangout.

“We recently just met at the park in Milford and went out to eat and everything. We had a great time,” he explained. “It shows you a whole new perspective on life. It’s been a humbling experience.”

Though he has yet to reveal where he’ll be attending, Salandy says he will be pursuing a football career at the college level. He hopes to study either occupational therapy or construction during his four years.

“I’m going to college for football – I don’t want to put out where yet, but you’ll find out sooner or later,” he said. “I’m just going to make the most out of that opportunity and represent Lake wherever I go.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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