Athlete of the Week: Olivia Cadiz, Dr. Phillips flag football

In her final season at Dr. Phillips, QB Olivia Cadiz led the Panthers girls flag football team to its third district championship and an appearance in the Regional Finals.

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Dr. Phillips High girls flag football quarterback Olivia Cadiz capped off her stellar career by leading the Panthers to a 12-2 record, its third district championship in four seasons and an appearance in the FHSAA Class 2A Regional Finals. 

Cadiz — an Ottawa University signee — was named one of three recipients of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2024 DREAM BIG Scholarship, has been named a U.S. Army Bowl All-American and has been invited to participate in the Orlando-area All-Star game and the All-State game. 

Beyond all those accolades though, Cadiz’s dream is to play in the Olympics, and starting this summer she’ll have the chance to do so, as she’s been invited to train with the Italian National team.

The Basics

Age: 18

Sport: Flag football 

Grade: Senior

School: Dr. Phillips High

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

It feels great. It’s an achievement that validates the hard work and motivates me to keep putting in more.

What do you like most about flag football?

All the different kinds of people you meet through it.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through flag football?

How to work with (a lot of) different types of athletes and adjust to their abilities and playing styles.

Who is your favorite athlete? 

Tom Brady, because he was overlooked early in his career. (He was) never the strongest, fastest or the loudest player, but because he never gave up on himself, he became one of the greatest.

Is there someone after whom you try to model your game? 

It’s a mix between Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.

What is your favorite flag football memory?

My last high school game. The whole team felt super connected, and I was able to see all that I’ve worked on throughout my high school career come together.

What is your go-to pre-game meal?

Chocolate, peanut butter and banana smoothie, with a chicken and cheese quesadilla.

What is your favorite non-sports hobby?

Playing piano.

What is your favorite subject in school?

English; I love writing and constructing arguments. I’ve had really good English teachers, who have inspired me and opened my mind.

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

My phone, a portable charger and WiFi, so I can call my friends to join me and bring food.

What is your favorite movie?

“The Grand Budapest Hotel.” It’s very original, and I love the cinematography.

If you could have dinner with one person — dead or alive — who would it be?

My great-grandmother, so I can eat her cooking one more time and show her how far I’ve come.

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

When crypto was first invented, so I could buy a bunch.

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

When people show you their true colors, believe them.

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

What didn’t I spend enough time doing?

Who is your favorite superhero hero?

Captain America. He always tried to do the right thing, even when it was hard.

Who is your favorite supervillain?

The Joker. Although crazy, he’s very intelligent.

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

I would love to be able to fly, because it would feel so freeing.

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

Switzerland for the chocolate; Amsterdam for the windmills and flower fields; and Utah for the national parks.

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

An eagle, so I could fly and explore.

Does pineapple belong on pizza?

Only on American pizza.

Sam Albuquerque is the Sports Editor for the Orange Observer. Please contact him with story ideas, results and statistics.

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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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