ATHLETE OF THE WEEK - Windermere Observer: Richie Diedrich

The senior outside hitter for Dr. Phillips boys volleyball has helped to key a strong stretch for the Panthers, including wins over Apopka and Olympia.

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  • | 1:59 p.m. April 7, 2016
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The Dr. Phillips boys volleyball team (12-5) is on a roll, with big wins over Apopka and Olympia and placing third at the Ransom Invitational in Miami. Senior Richie Diedrich had 21 kills and 11 digs against Apopka, 17 kills and eight digs against Olympia and 47 kills at the tournament.


How are you feeling about the outlook the rest of the season?

I’m super excited about the team we have right now. We’ve got a really strong, athletic team. Right now, we’re kind of piecing everything together, but I think we’re in the right spot to do something great this season.


When did you hit your growth spurt?

I’ve always been tall. I really hit a big growth spurt at the start of my freshman year. I was probably 6-foot, and by the end of my freshman year, I was probably 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5.


Have you played volleyball throughout your time at Dr. Phillips?

I was a football and basketball player. I started playing volleyball my sophomore year. I actually showed up the second day of tryouts and fell in love with the sport. I went to the football and basketball coaches and said I was just kind of done with it.


What about volleyball led you to choose it over other sports?

It was the environment. You walk into the gym, and everyone is happy, everyone is patting you on the back — even if you mess up a little bit. It was just the whole atmosphere of volleyball.


Are you planning on playing volleyball in college?

About two weeks ago, I committed to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne — it’s a Division I school.


How do you spend your free time?

I work over at Disney at (The Seas with Nemo & Friends). I’m a scuba diver out there. I did the co-opt program this year at school, so I get out after fourth period and go to work at (noon), and that’s kind of my day.


Is marine biology something you’re considering as a field of study?

Kinda-sorta. I’m looking into studying business, business management — something along those lines, and I’ll see where it takes me. … I have certification for (scuba) diving as sort of a fall back.


What sports do you like to watch on campus?

Really any sport. Dr. Phillips is a powerhouse high school for sports, and I love going to watch just about all of them.


If you have a superpower, what would it be?

Flying — so I could hit the ball that much higher.


So is Superman your favorite superhero than?

Without a doubt. He’s the icon of superheroes. I try to get the hairstyle like him, too, sometimes.


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