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West Orange Times & Observer Tuesday, May 3, 2022 2 weeks ago

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Zachary Tobe

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Ocoee junior Zachary Tobe has 17 offers from different universities to play football at the collegiate level.
by: Andrea Mujica Staff Writer

Zachary Tobe has been playing football since he was 5 years old. He lived in the Tampa area until he was 7, and then his family moved to Ocoee. Tobe is currently in his junior year at Ocoee High School and already has received 17 offers from different universities to play football at the collegiate level. His committing date is set for July 7, his dad’s birthday. 

What got you into football? 
I used to live in Tampa, and my first year of elementary school, when I was 5, my brother brought home a football flyer for a team. (Because) my mom was tired of us being in the house, she signed both of us up. Since then, we just stuck with it. 

What’s your favorite thing about playing football? 
Of course, I love the sport, but I love the brotherhood that comes from playing football. I’ve connected with so many people that if I didn’t play, I don’t think I’d be connected to them. I like to stay to myself but football has allowed me to open up and connect with new people, which is great. 

You have 17 choices as to where to go to college. How do you feel about that? 
It’s exciting, but it also gets very confusing, because I (have) to start to figure out what I want to do. I can’t go to all 17. I can only choose one, so it is kind of stressful, but I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to be able to choose from all these different universities. 

Any favorites so far?
I like UCF, University of North Carolina — Charlotte, Illinois State University, Iowa State University, and I just picked up Boston College and Mississippi State University, as well. 

How was the process of getting the offers?
It really started to happen for me in January, after the season coaches came to see me in person. Because a lot of kids tend to lie about their size, but when they could see me and see that I am as tall as I am and that I didn’t lie about my measurements, it was a big plus. My size and my height really helped me a lot. 

What are you looking forward to during your last season? 
I’m looking forward to winning. We put together a great team; I feel like this year we have a great bond. I’m looking forward to hopefully winning state championships this year. 

If you had a superpower, which one would it be and why?
Probably time travel, because I could see the future, and I could go back to the past if I wanted to just to replay some of my favorite memories.

What’s your favorite class? 
I like my Spanish class. My favorite word is “baño.” I think that means bathroom. 

Any team rituals you guys do before or after a game? 
We always have a team meal, and we can’t talk through the whole meal. It’s completely silent, because our coach wants us to be focused on the game and nothing else. (Also) before the games, we always have a meeting where our coach will go through like a scripture from the Bible and break it down for us and try to relate it back to football, so that’s something we always do before the game. We always pray before we play, too. 

What do you hope to study in college? 
I want to major in business administration.

Favorite vacation spot?
I went on a cruise to Mexico; I went snorkeling. It was really fun. 

Favorite thing to do at practice? 
I like hitting. At the beginning of practice, we do the Oklahoma drill — two O alignment, two D alignment, then a running back behind the O alignment and then somebody like a linebacker and they just run at full speed and hit each other. And I like doing 101s too — just a receiver and a DB.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
I’m pretty basic, I like vanilla with caramel. I don’t like anything chocolate. 

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Andrea Mujica is a staff writer for the West Orange Times & Observer, the Southwest Orange Observer and OrangeObserver.com. She covers sports, news and features. She holds both a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Central Florida....

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