DME Academy HS National Boys Basketball Beats Number 6 Nationally Ranked IMG Academy 47-44

Nathan Ojukwu

DME Academy HS National pulled off a thrilling win against IMG Academy, who was ranked Number 6 in the entire country, in a game that came down to the wire. It was an exciting and intense competition, with both teams fighting hard. DME Academy came out on top thanks to a heroic, last-second buzzer-beater 3-point shot. 

The crowd was on the edge of their seats as the clock ticked down to the final seconds of the game. IMG Academy had possession of the ball and looked to be in control, but DME Academy’s defense was relentless, forcing a crucial turnover. With just seconds left, DME Academy’s star player, Petras Padegimas received a hail mary pass from Alvaro Folgueiras and nailed a fadeaway 3-pointer that went into the basket right as the buzzer sang. The final score of the game was 47-44 in favor of DME. Baraka Okojie also scored 18 points for DME.

Baraka Okojie dunks the ball

The win was a huge confidence boost for DME Academy and demonstrated the team’s determination and never-say-die attitude. The players celebrated the victory on the court, embracing and congratulating each other on a job well done. The party didn’t stop there, as the squad yelled and danced in the locker room as well.

For IMG Academy, the loss was a tough pill to swallow. Yet the team can take solace in the fact that they fought until the end and gave it their all. Regardless of the outcome, both teams put on a show for the fans and left it all on the court.

Interested in learning more about DME Academy’s growing basketball program? Check it out here.

Over 35 Student-Athletes, Coaches, and Parents From Budapest, Hungary Came to Visit DME Academy

Student-Athletes From Hungary under the Daytona Beach Sign

Last week, DME Academy hosted two teams with a total of 35 student-athletes, coaches, and parents from Budapest Hungary. Through these trips, we have found that hosting International teams is an invaluable experience for both groups, on and off the pitch, and we are so thankful for our local host families for giving our International visitors the full American experience.

“At DME, we truly believe that friendly competition through athletics is the best way to meet with other cultures and create friendships that last,” says Mike Panaggio, Co-Founder of DME Academy. “The Hungarian people are wonderful and they enjoyed mixing with DME students, eating in the cafeteria, and competing against our teams.”

Mike Panaggio, Co-Founder of DME Academy presenting to Hungarian Student-Athletes

While the Hungarians were in Daytona, they visited our beaches and played multiple games against the DME Academy teams. They fully immersed themselves in the American culture and left the states with a team of new friends.

Kioki Hutchings, Asst. Director of Soccer at DME Academy

The Hungarian team’s trip to DME was so successful that they have invited 12 adventurous DME students to represent our academy on a trip to Hungary this upcoming Summer, to experience their culture! They will stay with local families, eat authentic Hungarian food, train together, and most importantly, create a lasting bond of friendship between the athletes of the two countries.

At DME Academy, we believe in going the extra mile. In this case, an extra 5,192 miles.

DME Traveled to Montverde Academy for the SIMA Friendlies Showcase and Remains Undefeated

DME Boys Soccer during their second game in Montverde, Florida

The DME boy’s soccer team last weekend traveled to Montverde, Florida for two matches. They took on Vaughan Azzurri, from Canada, Friday night; the following day, they took on Montverde’s SIMA Gold team.

The games were held at the Montverde Academy soccer fields for the SIMA Friendlies showcase, where a large crowd had gathered to watch the high level of soccer that was about to be showcased throughout the weekend. 

Friday night’s game, DME Academy struck first, with a goal from Charles Christian, the team’s newest addition, who comes all the way from Ghana. DME Academy struck again with a late goal from Pootanet Petchtae to finalize their win of 2-0. Kol Bennet was stone-cold in the net and secured another shutout on the season.

Saturday’s showdown against Montverde’s SIMA Gold team was a hard-fought battle, with each team netting goals. In proving his value to the DME team, it was Christian that put one in the back of the net for the DME boys, securing the tie for the team.

DME Academy, comprised of a group of determined, dedicated, and diverse players, faced off against the nationally ranked team in this highly-anticipated match. Despite being heavily outmatched on paper, DME refused to back down and put up a fierce fight against the highly favored Montverde. When the last whistle blew, DME managed to hold their ground against the top team in the country, fighting to the end for the tie.  In DME’s augural season, they surprised spectators and teams alike. But not themselves or their coaches. 

Kioki Hutchings, Asst. Director of Soccer at DME Academy

“This weekend the boys faced many challenges and rose to the occasion during both games.” States Kioki Hutchings, Assistant Director of Soccer at DME. “They are a special group to be working with and I believe they have put DME soccer on the map after both of these battles.”

After the game, Todd Eason, Director of Soccer, and Kioki Hutchings were crowded by college scouts and coaches from Wake Forest, Notre Dame, the University of Maryland, the University of Portland, the University of South Florida, Boston College, and the University of Central, Florida, all inquiring about the star-studded DME roster. 


DME Soccer continues to make a name for itself on the field, wherever they travel to. To learn more about the young program, check it out here!

12 Athletes From DME’s Club Volleyball Program Are Selected for Florida’s “All-Area” Team

The All-Area Volleyball team has been released for local high school players and we are proud to announce that 12 DME Academy athletes have been named to the list. We are happy to celebrate these accomplished athletes. 

Out of these 12 accomplished athletes, there are also 3 individuals who have also made 1st team which automatically enters them into the drawing for player of the year, which will be decided this coming May. Taylor Timko, Sydney Moses, and Alyssa Kornegay have proven to be the best out of the best. Alyssa Kornegay has also earned the title of 6A Player of the Year.

These twelve players were not only vital to each of their DME team’s success but also to their respective high school squads. They all set great examples of work ethic, sportsmanship, and leadership. We are proud of all their accomplishments and grateful for the contributions they made to DME. Their talent and dedication will be greatly missed, but we are excited to see what they will accomplish in the future.

Congratulations to Taylor Timko, Sydney Moses, Alyssa Kornegay, Gabby Conway, Mollie Martin, Caroline Myers, Ivy Westfall, Emma Van Duesen, Emma Dhainaut, Hannah Zona, Andie Litz, and Isabel Castillon. 

Alvaro Sanchez, Director of DME Academy’s volleyball program, was recently honored with the Coach of the Year as well as 6A High School Coach of the Year. He also led his high school team to an outstanding season with the  Florida 6A State Championship. Under Sanchez’s guidance, his team developed a strong sense of teamwork and discipline, which helped them achieve success. Coach Sanchez’s players have also seen significant improvement in their skills and game strategies, thanks to his dedication and expertise. The community is proud of Coach Sanchez’s accomplishments and grateful for his contributions to the school and the sport of volleyball.

Learn more about DME Academy’s volleyball program here!

DME Boys Soccer Remains Undefeated After Intense Showcase hosted by IMG Academy

DME Boys Soccer before their first game in Bradenton, Florida

DME Academy High School boys’ soccer team arrived in sunny Bradenton, Florida ready to take on their competition at the annual IMG Cup. This year was DME’s first appearance at the showcase and despite being the underdogs, the team was determined to make a splash and prove themselves on the field. 

As the first game approached, the boys were nervous but also excited about the opportunity to showcase their skills. From the opening whistle, it was clear that DME didn’t drive 4 hours for anything less than a win. They fought hard and played with heart, and in the end, they emerged victorious with a 4-1 win over Blau Weiss Gottschee from New York City.

The second game of the tournament was no different, as the DME boys dominated on the field and secured another win, this time against another team from New York, The Smithtown Kickers. They beat the kickers with a score of 3-0. Kol Bennet proved that he was a brick wall in between the pipes for DME, not letting in any goals against them.  The team was starting to gain some momentum and their confidence was growing with each victory.

Kol Bennet stops a hard kick from their second opponent of the weekend

As the final game of the tournament approached, DME knew that they had a chance to make a statement. They took to the field with fierce determination and never let up.. In the end, their hard work paid off as they secured a 3-0 win over Cedar Stars Academy from South Hackensack, New Jersey. 

“Our final competition of the year couldn’t have finished any better for our first season. We’ve captured a lot of attention over the last five months and have been shown great respect from opponents, supporters, coaches, and peers for our performances. Although our dominant play on the field is exciting to watch, I was most impressed with how the players developed brotherhood. Throughout the season it’s hard not to notice the culture the boys created. Because of this, we’ve become very successful and we were proud to display this at the IMG Cup.” says Todd Eason, Director of Soccer at DME Academy.

Todd Eason, Director of Soccer giving a pep talk before the game

Eason goes on to say, “Of course, there were outstanding individual performances but that was consistent throughout the showcase. Many colleges have shown interest in our players and I see it being very competitive for certain players like James, Diomande, Adrian, Mikal, and Ethan.”

With the first half of the DME soccer season wrapped up, they are hopeful to remain undefeated as the second half approaches. 
If you are interested in joining the boys’ soccer team at DME Academy, you can learn more about it here!

The 3rd Annual DME Academy Jingle Jam Tournament Was Full of Talent and Competition From Over 14 Teams

DME Academy High School Girls cheer on their teammates during the 2022 Jingle Jam Tournament

DME Academy hosted the 3rd Annual Jingle Jam Tournament right before the holiday break with over 14 teams in attendance. Many traveling from around the country and one team, Recruiting Boost, traveling all the way from Australia. 

It was a highly successful event that highlighted some of the top girl’s basketball talents and gave them the opportunity to showcase their skills to college scouts and coaches.

“For it to be only the 3rd Annual Jingle Jam Tournament, we had a great turnout. It was awesome to see all the teams playing hard and leaving it all on the court. It is always a great opportunity to host a tournament on our own courts and play against different levels of competition. The coaches have already discussed our vision for the future of this tournament and our hope to expand it to 20+ teams for next year.” says Tia McMillan, DME Academy Girl’s Basketball Assistant coach. “I am really proud of how my girls battled together in the first half of the season and look forward to their growth and improvement as we move into the second half of the season.”

DME Academy Girls High School National Basketball team finished the semester undefeated at home. Their hard work and dedication are truly reflected in their 10-3 overall record going into the holiday break.

Michael Panaggio, Head Coach and Director of Girls’ Basketball, remarks, “In my opinion, Jingle Jam was a success. We had competitive games, players from around the world, and some of the largest prep schools in the country. It was great to get these talented players in front of college coaches. I believe it is an event that will continue to grow.”

Going for the jump shot against IMG

A huge thank you to all the players and coaches who were part of this incredible event and to Halifax Health for their continued partnership.

Another big thank you to the college scouts and coaches for taking the time to attend the Jingle Jam Tournament.

To learn more about DME Academy’s Girls Basketball program and upcoming camps and events, click here.

Laura Stegall, DME Academy’s Athletic Director, and Volleyball coach earns Purdue University’s Title IX Distinguished Service Award

Laura Stegall, DME Academy Athletic Director and Volleyball Coach

Laura Stegall, DME Academy’s Athletic Director, and volleyball coach has been selected as one of the recipients of Purdue University’s Title IX Distinguished Service Award. Title IX was first enacted in 1972 and the award from Purdue is being presented to Stegall in honor of its 50th anniversary. Title IX prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or education program that receives funding from the Federal Government. 

Stegall and fifteen other individuals are receiving this reward to highlight their significant contributions to the advancement of gender equality in higher education and intercollegiate athletic programs. 

Stegall graduated from Purdue University in Fort Wayne in the spring of 2002. Since graduating, she has gone on to earn countless accolades in the volleyball world. She is a true professional when it comes to launching volleyball programs and helping them blossom.
It all started in 2004 when Stegall spearheaded Indiana Tech’s program and led them to four consecutive winning seasons. She then went on to become the assistant coach of Embry-Riddle University. During her tenure there, the Eagles broke onto the scene with their first NAIA National ranking and made their first-ever national appearance at the National Tournament.

After her stay at Embry-Riddle, she went on to become the head coach of Daytona State College’s volleyball team. 

Laura Stegall is being honored by Purdue Academy at the same time as her former coach, Kelley Hartley Hutton, who is also receiving the same award for her role as director of athletics at PFW. Which includes 15 seasons as head coach of the women’s volleyball program and 13 years as senior woman administrator, and chairperson of the Summit League Women’s Basketball Committee.

“Being put on this list with all of these amazing people is an honor in itself”. Says Stegall, “But earning Purdue’s Distinguished Service Award at the same time as my former coach, Kelley Hutton, is an even bigger personal achievement.” 

In addition to her commitment to collegiate volleyball, Stegall has devoted her free time to enhance the development of young volleyball players in the Volusia County area. She is also the co-founder of If I Can I Will – Win The Day Foundation and author of the book “Diary of a No Name Girl” in which she coined the phrase “survive, thrive, live, repeat.” 

Stegall is a true class act and DME Academy is incredibly lucky to have such a stand-up person as athletic director. 

If you are interested in joining Laura and playing for DME Academy’s volleyball program, check it out here! 

DME HS National Team Cracks Nationwide Top-10 List per MaxPreps

2022 DME Academy High School National Team

DME’s High School National basketball team is beginning to see all of its hard work on the court pay off. For the first time in the program’s history, DME Academy has broken onto the scene and has become nationally ranked. Capitalizing on a pair of losses from Winston-Salem Christian and Huntington Prep, DME has claimed the No. 10 spot per MaxPreps.  

The team sits behind Montverde, IMG, Link Academy, Prolific Prep, AZ Compass Prep, Sunrise Christian Academy, Wasatch Academy, La Lumiere, and St. Benedict’s Prep.

Matt Panaggio, Head Coach and Director of Boys Basketball at DME Academy

Led by head coach and DME director of basketball, Matt Panaggio, the High School National team’s current record is 11-4. Showing no mercy to their opponents, the team has amassed point differentials as high as 65 points, proving they are fierce competitors. Even in defeat, the team has only lost by 10 points.

“This year’s team is special,” said Panaggio. “Our team is very competitive and hungry to win. When they play together it’s a tough team to beat because of the natural chemistry they show towards one another.” 

Each year, the DME basketball program gets stronger and stronger. That’s due to the recruitment of incredible athletes. With standout talents like Baraka Okojie, Alvaro Folguerias, Joseph Katsman, Nigle Cook, Robert Lizalek, Lauchlan Mark, Maor Nekrashevich, Petras Padegimas (who just committed to The University of Central Florida), and Yan Ryazantsev, it’s no wonder this team is making a name on the National stage. 

With its recent recognition nationally, DME now has plenty to prove among top teams in the country. The remainder of the season will serve as an opportunity to continue climbing the rankings.

Get to know more about the HS National players here! 

Congrats to New Smyrna Beach on winning the volleyball State Championship!

Alvaro Sanchez, Head Coach of DME Academy Volleyball holds the state championship trophy

It started with a serve, followed by a few hundred passes, sets, and spikes. And it ended with a block, leaving the New Smyrna Beach High School Barracudas as volleyball state champions.

Located about 20 miles south of DME Academy, the Barracudas’ indoor volleyball team is led by head coach Alvaro Sanchez, who is also DME Volleyball’s Master and Academy Coach. Their assistant coach is Jill Kornegay, who also acts as DME Club Volleyball’s Assistant Club Director. 

Many members of the New Smyrna Beach Indoor Volleyball team are also athletes on the DME Club Volleyball team. These nine players include Teagan Lux, Ivy Westfall, Lily Schlageter, Quinn Kraljic, Libby Nickels, Gracie Newell, Chloe Gibson, Hannah Zona, and Alyssa Kornegay. 

Leading up to the state championship match, the Barracudas boasted an impressive record of 24-2 including a win at the state’s inaugural beach volleyball championship last spring. 

Although they entered the final match of the championship with confidence, they were no strangers to their opponent, the Viera High School Hawks. These two teams had faced off last fall when the Hawks defeated the Barracudas in the playoffs in the regional finals. 

Determined to come out on top, the Barracudas fought hard in every single game, needing all five sets to get the win (23-25, 25-15, 25-18, 19-25, 16-14). They won the final point of the match on a block by Newell, sealing the victory and their title as state champions.

This comes as the first indoor volleyball state championship in New Smyrna Beach High School history. DME’s very own Newell led the Barracudas with four blocks throughout the match. 

Not only did they come home as state champions, but these athletes also solidified their legacy at New Smyrna Beach High School.

Congratulations to the New Smyrna Beach Barracuda’s indoor volleyball team on this incredible accomplishment, and congratulations to Coach Sanchez, Coach Kornegay, and the nine members of the DME Club Volleyball team!

To learn more about our volleyball program and how you can get involved, click here.

More than 70 players received an MVP award and were placed on this year’s All-Tournament teams!

The 5th Annual Beach & Ball Classic, powered by Halifax Health, wrapped up on Sunday evening after an exciting five days of action with over 73 games spanning the tournament. DME Academy hosted more than 50 teams, from as close as Orlando, to as far away as Rome and Canada. 

Each game featured a match-up between two top-talent teams and the most valuable player was named at the end of each game. Over 70 players took home a unique medal to recognize their achievements on the court.

At the end of the tournament, athletes who exhibited outstanding talent were given the honor of being named to the Classic All-Tournament Teams. 

Thank you to all the players and coaches who made this tournament a success. DME Academy is looking forward to an even bigger turnout at the next Beach & Ball Classic!

Check out the list of athletes named to the Classic All-Tournament Teams.

1st Team

2nd Team

3rd Team

Honorable Mention

Regional Division

For more information on the DME Academy boy’s basketball program and how you can be recruited or attend a camp, click here.