SIDELINES: Flagler Palm Coast football player Colby Cronk commits to North Carolina State

Also: FPC 4x100 girls relay takes fifth place at FSU Relays; Matanzas' Jordan Mills PR's in two hurdles events; Pirates soccer camp set for May 29-31.

FPC defensive end Colby Cronk (34) has committed to North Carolina State University. File photo by Brent Woronoff
FPC defensive end Colby Cronk (34) has committed to North Carolina State University. File photo by Brent Woronoff
Photo by Brent Woronoff
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Flagler Palm Coast defensive end Colby Cronk will have one less worry heading into his senior football season this fall – deciding where to attend college.

The junior, who has received at least 13 Division I football offers so far, has committed to North Carolina State.

“I am extremely excited to announce that I am 100% committed to NC State,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on March 22. “Thank you to all the colleges that have recruited me, it’s been an honor. Time to put in the work!”

Cronk told the Observer that N.C. State “is the right school for me for sure.” He announced his decision a day after returning from his second unofficial visit to the school.

“When I went up there I wasn’t planning on committing, but after I got there I was sold,” he said.

On his first visit to the Raleigh, North Carolina, university in January, he piggybacked on a Junior Day visit to nearby Wake Forest. This time, he was invited back to watch spring practice.

“The first time I was only able to see the football facility, which is awesome of course, but I wasn’t able to see the campus at all,” he said. “This time I was able to see everything. I was able to see how (defensive line coach Charley Wiles) coaches. Their practice schedule is very similar to ours at FPC, which is also very intriguing. I was able to sit in on a couple of D-line meetings and watch how they analyze film. It’s just D-line specific. When we do it, it’s the whole defense.”

What separated the Wolfpack from the other schools that have offered him was the coaching staff and the engineering department, Cronk said.

“The coaching staff is awesome,” he said. “And the academic part, I was able to meet with one of their engineering professors and got some information about their opportunities.”

Cronk led the Bulldogs with 75 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 12 quarterback sacks and 46 quarterback hurries last season.

Duke, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, Iowa State, South Florida and Florida International were among the other schools that have offered him. Cronk is slated to become the first Flagler County football player to sign a letter of intent with a power-five football conference team directly out of high school. Others have transferred to power-five schools.

“I just have to worry now about getting better and playing football,” Cronk said. “I’m really happy with the decision, I’m really excited to be a part of the Wolfpack.”


FPC’s girls 4x100 relay team placed fifth at the Florida State University Relays on March 22.

The team of Aun’Yale Howard, Olivia Gaines, Jada Dotson and Summer Barnes ran a 48.80, which is the second fastest time in school history behind the school-record 48.39 they ran at the North Florida/South Florida Challenge at the Bulldogs’ track on March 9.

Elijah Thero placed seventh in boys javelin with a personal record 172 feet, 11.25 inches. Maya Tyson placed eighth in girls shot put at 37 feet, 7.75 inches.


Jordan Mills, who joined the Matanzas track team late this season after winning a state wrestling championship, placed among the top three in two events at the Dr. Phillips Panther Invitational on March 22.

Mills, who missed all of last season while recovering from shoulder surgery, placed second in the 400 hurdles with a time of 57.61 seconds and third in the 110 hurdles with a 15.18. Both times were personal records. His times are currently ranked 19th in the 400 and 13th in the 110 in Class 3A.


Matanzas’ new Pirates Boys Soccer Inc. booster club is hosting a three-day soccer skills camp for boys and girls in grades 3-8 on May 29-31 (Wednesday-Friday), 8:30-11:30 a.m. each day. Matanzas soccer coaches and players will lead the camp, which will include technical and tactical skill training, competitive drills and scrimmages. Each camper will receive a camp T-shirt. Cost is $100. To register go to


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