Destin High School Sharks get fitted for letterman jackets

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Destin High School students are already taking pride in their school. Many sport the various school T-shirt designs and hoodies with the Shark logo. Now they will be able to take it step further with a letterman jacket. 

Recently, about 25 student athletes, as well as a few on staff, got fitted for the first-ever letterman jackets to sport the big “D” for the Destin High Sharks. 

The letterman jackets are not only for athletics, but academics and the arts, according to Destin High Athletic Director Phil Dorn. 

Jerry Hester of Hess Awards makes sure that Cason LaRocque would have a little growing room in his jacket in the years ahead.

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Jerry “Coach Hess” Hester of Hess Awards was there to fit the students for the jackets. Hester was a coach for more than 40 years and spent more than 30 years coaching high school basketball in the Florida Panhandle.

"They can get the jackets, but they’ve got to earn the letters,” Dorn said, noting that is something each coach will do. 

Thus far, Destin High has already fielded a golf team, a swim team, volleyball and cross country. 

Destin High School Athletic Director Phil Dorn talks with some of the students about options for the letterman jackets.

Right now, wrestling is already hitting the mats. The basketball teams are in the gym practicing and soccer players are on the pitch getting ready for their winter seasons. 

But on Wednesday, many of them were in the gathering hall at Destin High getting fitted. 

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“I’m excited,” said Reagan Palmer, who just finished up volleyball and is now preparing for the upcoming basketball season. 

“I’ve always wanted one,” Palmer said, noting in the past she didn’t want to be the only one at her school with one. 

“But now it will be a schoolwide thing,” she said.  

Jerry Hester of Hess Awards talks with Destin High junior Reagan Palmer about possible patches for the her jacket. Palmer plays volleyball and basketball for the Destin High Sharks.

Tenth grader Carter LaRocque was one of the first in line to get fitted and fill out paper work for a jacket. 

“I texted mom and she said OK,” LaRocque said. 

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The student athletes are able to pick out patches for the various sports they play to go on the sleeves, with their jersey number on the patch. LaRocque was on the swim team and plans to play baseball. 

Hester who was making sure of sizes for the students said the liner of the jacket zips out so they can add letters after they earn them. 

Sydney Davis, a freshman, ordered up a jacket. She played volleyball, and is on the basketball team and plans to play softball. 

Carter LaRocque and Jimmy Singleton were some of the first to fill out the paperwork for their letterman jackets.

“I think it’s cool and exciting,” Davis said. 

“Not every school has them and I always wanted one. And now I can get one … cool,” she said. 

John Watson, a junior who just moved to the United States from Canada about eight months ago, was excited about the jacket. 

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“We didn’t have ‘em,” he said in the school he came from. 

And with this being the first year of a new school having them, “It’s kind of nice,” Watson said. 

Jerry Hester of Hess Awards makes sure the order is correct for Jimmy Singleton. Singleton wrestles and plays baseball.

Cason LaRocque was getting in line for his fitting as well. He was on the swim team, now wrestling and hopes to be on the football team. 

“I’d rather have this than a ring,” LaRocque said. 

The letter jackets are baseball style jackets with leather or vinyl sleeves. The jackets will sport the Shark colors. 

If students didn’t get in on the first order, this is the first of many, Dorn said.