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Southwest Orange Thursday, May 3, 2018 1 year ago

Sports Spotlight - Windermere Observer: Samijah Butler

Two-sport standout Samijah Butler is a leader for the Dr. Phillips High School flag football team, which won its eighth district championship in the past nine years last week.
by: Steven Ryzewski Senior Sports Editor

A three-year varsity player for the Dr. Phillips flag football team, Samijah Butler is a captain this spring for the Panthers (12-1). Butler, a center, was a leader for Dr. Phillips as it defeated Timber Creek 12-6 in overtime April 25 to win the program’s eighth district championship in nine years. Butler is also a standout for for the Panthers girls basketball team and hopes to walk-on for the program at Rollins College, where she plans to study biology.


What are you saying to your teammates during overtime of the district championship?

Just to stay disciplined and stay focused. We only (have) four downs, so we couldn’t afford to make mistakes.


Where does this game rank amongst other exciting flag football games you’ve played?

I would say it’s right behind Martin County (a 7-6 playoff victory for Dr. Phillips May 12, 2017). The atmosphere was just like Martin County. That game was neck-and-neck. 


What sets the flag football program at Dr. Phillips apart, such that it has had so much success over the years?

I guess because we’re built on discipline and making sure we stay focused. Being humble, most importantly — anybody can beat us. Making sure we go in with the right mindset.


What is a life lesson you have learned from playing for Coach Anthony Jones in both flag football and basketball?

To never take anyone for granted — opponents or anyone you come across in real life. Everyone is out to beat you, so it’s all about staying humble and preparing yourself for what you’re going into.


Which former teammate made a big impression on you?

I would probably say Tiffany Tolbert. Just the way she pushes to want to be better. She went to (the University of North Florida) and ((is) a top freshman there (for the women’s basketball team). It’s encouragement to keep going and that any obstacles you face, you can always overcome.


What are you hoping to pursue as a career field?

I want to become a pediatric surgeon.


What sparked your interest in that particular career path?

Ever since I was a little kid, I already knew that I wanted to be a doctor. As I started getting older and learning about the different fields, my passion for working with kids kind of triggered it.


Who is a teacher at Dr. Phillips High that made a big impression upon you?

That’s a hard one. I would probably say Mrs. (Jean-Nicole) Nash. She always pushed me with testing and making sure that I’m being myself and putting forward whatever I have to give. ... I took her Advanced Placement Language class.


What’s your go-to meal after a practice or game?

Chipotle. I’ve got a set bowl I order. I get a bowl, white rice, black beans, chicken, corn, hot sauce, cheese and extra sour cream — with an apple juice.

Steven Ryzewski is the Senior Sports Editor for, as well as all three of Observer Media Group's print publications in Orange County. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

See All Articles by Steven

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