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Deville Dickerson brings heart to a city known for launching rockets and Lompoc football

LOMPOC, Calif. - Home can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people.

Deville Dickerson is a high school football player in his senior year at Lompoc High School.

For a city like Lompoc, with a population of just over 40,000, home here is home forever.

In a small city, Deville "Djoker" Dickerson makes the small-town atmosphere feel unbounded.

The city that sits in a pocket of the Central Coast has that small-town feeling.

"Growing up with kids with all sorts of backgrounds," said Lompoc native Jake Brown. "A lot of our friends came through the base. My long-time friends, I met in football when I was playing for the Lions. I had to be eight years old.”

Lompoc is known for being the town that sends rockets into space with Vandenberg Space Force located in the heart of Lompoc Valley.

"We have the agriculture with all the farming, but we’re also on the cutting edge of space with Vandenberg and all the work it’s doing there," said Lompoc's mayor Jenelle Osborn.

There is one other tradition that continues to launch the community to new heights.

"Lompoc football and launching rockets," said Lompoc head football coach Andrew Jones. “Every Friday night we were at every game. My dad took me to every game.”

Lompoc football has broken records with "Djoker" being on the team.

Djoker is a cornerback on defense but he's an electric kick returner, one of the best in the state.

He broke a 30-year-old school record for most career return touchdowns during his time at Lompoc High School.

Djoker was raised in a military family, so he has been on the move his entire life.

"He’s not in any one place, we talk about it all the time, don’t get too involved in one place," says his mother, Tiffany Dickerson. "He’s been everywhere so he tries to fit in where he can.”

But it's when he steps foot onto a Lompoc football field where he feels the most at home.

"Football gives you all these skills in life that you don’t see until your high school years," says Djoker. "It teaches you the small things in life like adversity and what you have to go through."

He says the sport often asks players to work with people that they might not always like.

So, why the nickname "Djoker?"

“When he’s off the field he’s the quietest person you’ll ever meet but when he’s on the field, a little different," says Demetrius Dickerson, the football star's father. "You have a lot of military kids develop some kind of shell or personality and that’s his.”

Despite the challenges, his vision is always looking ahead. Whether it’s the green grass in front of him or the future he holds for himself.

“He’s a once in every 10-year type of guy to be able to coach,” says Jones. As head football coach of Lompoc, he would know better than anyone the type of rare talent Deville is.

Kids looking up at those Friday night lights will hope to continue that legacy.

“To put on the blue and white is just a tradition of excellence," says Jones.

Djoker strives for that excellence, he committed to Idaho State after graduating in 2022.

“What happens when everything falls down? What happens when everything isn’t going your way? You going to quit?”

Not Djoker. Not Lompoc.

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Reed Harmon

Reed Harmon is a reporter for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Reed, click here.

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