DEVORE It was a night of looking back and a night of being urged onto greatness in the future.


Thousands came to see 503 graduates in Sultana High School's Class of 2012 cross the stage at San Manuel Amphitheater and graduate high school.


"Academically, you've been the top group of students to come through our school," Principal Larry Bird said. The Class of 2012 has accumulated more than $1 million in scholarship money, according to Bird. "You won the Key Game in back to back years! ... Back-to-back-to-back-to-back in girls basketball!"


Charles Mouton, who helped the Sultans take the key back from Hesperia High School, had to make a real commitment to attend the school. His family moved to Victorville when he was in the 8th grade at Ranchero Middle School, but he still wanted to be a Sultan, like his sisters before him. So, for four years, he was up every morning at 4 a.m.


"It was worth it," he said. "It's like a home atmosphere here. You don't really get that everywhere."


Mouton went on to play football for the Sultans all four years, as a decorated center and defensive tackle, and threw the shot put and discus for Sultana's track and field team his senior year. He's headed to Fullerton College in the fall, where he'll study psychology and business, with the ultimate goal of becoming a psychiatrist, inspired by his Advanced Placement Psycholog y class at Sultana.


The speakers Tuesday night urged graduates onto further greatness.


"Let's try and be those people who go and get things done," class president Zenia Barrigasaid. "Some are going to fail, some are going to succeed and some are not even going to try. ... So go for it, graduates."


"Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine," Bird told the graduates. "Congratulations, Class of 2012, you are ready to be lighthouses to the world!"


Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.