Athlete of the Week: Diego De Pina, Ocoee High Track and Field

A two-sport athlete for Ocoee, Diego De Pina is not only primed for a breakout senior season on the football field, but he also finished as the state runner-up in the shot put.

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Following a junior football season during which an injury cut his 2023 campaign short, Ocoee High’s Diego De Pina fought back and had a phenomenal spring season as part of the Knights’ track and field team. 

On the biggest stage this spring, the FHSAA Class 4A, Region 1 championships and 4A state championships, the defensive end for the Ocoee football team shined in the shot put and discus. De Pina set a personal best in the discus and finished third in the individual regional championship and at states he set another personal best this time in the shot put, earning him the silver. 

With one more high school season on the gridiron and in the field events for Ocoee, expect a big senior year out of De Pina.

The Basics

Age: 17

Sport: Track and field

Grade: Junior

School: Ocoee High


How does it feel to be named Athlete of the Week? 

I’m honored and very thankful. It’s a great accomplishment, and it feels good to be recognized.  

What do you like the most about track and field? 

What I like most about track and field is being able to compete with a lot of throwers from other schools across Florida.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from track and field? 

I learned that you have to keep pushing yourself — no matter what the circumstances are — and finish strong.

Who is your favorite athlete? 

Marshawn Lynch, because he always worked hard and stayed humble no matter what.

Favorite track-and-field memory? 

When I threw my personal best at regionals in the discus.

What is your go-to pre-game meal? 

My favorite pre-game meal would be a chicken tender Publix sub.

What is your go-to pre-game hype song? 

“New” by Lud Foe.

What is your favorite non-sports hobby? 

Playing video games such as Call of Duty. 

What is your favorite subject in school? 

Math for sure, because I want to major in mechanical engineering. 

What are three things you would take with you to a deserted island? 

I would take a machete, a fire starter and a pair of shoes. I would be set to go!

What is your favorite movie? 

All three of the “Friday” movies. 

If you could go back in time to a specific period in history, when and where would you go? 

I’d go back to the 90s to settle the debate between who’s the best NBA player: LeBron James or Michael Jordan.

Looking back, what piece of advice would you give your younger self? 

You can only control what you can control, and anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

If you could ask your future self a question, what would it be? 

Am I the best defensive end in the NFL?

Who is your favorite superhero? 

Batman, aka the Dark Knight, has always been my favorite superhero since I was a kid. 

Who is your favorite supervillain? 

The Joker, because he is Batman’s antagonist.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why? 

Teleportation, because it would make my life easier and I could be at any place, any time.

If you could travel to three places in the world, where would you go and why? 

Cape Verde, Bora Bora and really anywhere in Africa. I would love to see such beautiful places.

If you could be an animal for a day, which one would you be and why? 

I would be a whale, so I could discover the ocean.

What is your most controversial food take? 

Mint chocolate chip is a top five flavor of ice cream.

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Pineapples have no business being on pizza!



Sam Albuquerque

A native of João Pessoa, Brazil, Sam Albuquerque moved in 1997 to Central Florida as a kid. After earning a communications degree in 2016 from the University of Central Florida, he started his career covering sports as a producer for a local radio station, ESPN 580 Orlando. He went on to earn a master’s degree in editorial journalism from Northwestern University, before moving to South Carolina to cover local sports for the USA Today Network’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal. When he’s not working, you can find him spending time with his lovely wife, Sarah, newborn son, Noah, and dog named Skulí.

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