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In honor of JP: Blue Darters and Mustangs honor John Peery at Friday football games

Apopka pounds Lake Brantley; Wekiva thrashes Horizon


High School football in Apopka was all about one man and his legacy on Friday night. John Peery, the longtime editor of The Apopka Chief, died in his sleep on Thursday. He was 67. 

Peery was a fixture on the Apopka Blue Darter sidelines for years as a photographer and reporter. His knowledge of high school football in this area was unparalleled.

Peery would have been proud of both the Blue Darters and Mustangs on Friday night - both honored him with big victories.

John Peery
John Peery

Proud of The City of Apopka tonight," said Apopka Mayor Bryan Nelson on his Facebook page. "Two high schools, one heart. Tonight we honored John Peery's legacy to our Apopka Blue Darters, as did the Wekiva Mustangs."

"I absolutely love that both schools honored him tonight!" Orange County Public School Board Member Melissa Byrd said.

The Apopka Blue Darters Fan Club Facebook Page also expressed its remorse at Peery's passing.

"The Blue Darter Family is deeply saddened about the passing of our longest sideline photographer and reporter John Peery. Those sidelines will never be the same. You captured every moment. Prayers for your family during this difficult time! You will be truly missed!!"

"A good guy for sure," said David Odom. "My sincere condolences to John's family and friends.

Such a good man," said LaNay Johnson Rodriguez. "My heart prayers go out to John Perry’s friends and family."

Before the Apopka game, Peery was eulogized, and a "JP" was emblazoned on the field.

Apopka 27, Lake Brantley 7

The Apopka Blue Darters took a narrow 10-7 lead to the halftime locker room, but then blew the doors off the Lake Brantley Patriots 27-7.

The Blue Darters scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter, along with a field goal in the final period, while shutting out the Patriots after a second quarter touchdown.

The win was the second straight for Apopka, and improved its record to 5-2 on the season and 1-1 in 4M District 2 play. They host the undefeated Lake Mary Rams this Friday night in a key district matchup. The Rams are 7-0 on the year and 2-0 in district play.

Wekiva 60, Horizon 2

The Wekiva Mustangs scored early and often in a one-sided 60-2 victory over the Horizon Hawks. The Mustangs took a 48-0 halftime lead and sailed past the Hawks.

The win evened Wekiva's record to 4-4, and 1-1 in District 4M-5. Horizon fell to 4-3, and 0-1 in district play. They travel to Orlando this Friday to face the Jones Tigers in a key district clash. The Tigers beat the Boone Braves 51-14 last Friday. They are 4-3 on the season and 0-1 in the district.

Wekiva Mustangs, Apopka Blue Darters, Lake Brantley Patriots, Horizon Hawks, John Peery