One-on-one: Andrew Ortiz, Springstead safety
By VINCENT THOMAS
Published September 8, 2005
Last Friday, Andrew Ortiz was all over the field in a 43-0 victory against Nature Coast Tech. It seemed like every time the Sharks attempted a pass, Ortiz was making the tackle, batting the ball away or intercepting it. Times reporter Vincent Thomas talked to Ortiz as he was coming out of a student council meeting.
How long have you been playing organized football?
Since about the eighth grade. I mean, since I was tiny I used to play with my friends. But seriously since the eighth grade.
So what position did you always want to play?
Safety. Always safety.
Why is that?
I don't know. I guess I used to always watch how the safety used to lay guys out. I wanted to experience that feeling. Now I do, all the time.
So who are some of your favorite safeties playing right now?
I like Brian Dawkins from the Philadelphia Eagles. I like Sean Taylor, too.
What about some older guys? Do you remember Ronnie Lott?
I didn't get a chance to see him play, but I have seen film on him. He was really explosive.
What about Steve Atwater?
Yeah, I watched him in the Super Bowl.
So you have played football all four of your high school years?
Yeah. But I started with Springstead my sophomore year when we moved here.
Where did you move from?
Edison, N.J. It's in, like, central New Jersey.
Why did you move to Florida?
My dad retired. So, he wanted to come down here to the nice weather. It's been a big change, but we've adapted.
What was there to adapt to?
It's a lot more calm down here. Not many people. Edison was kind of like New York City. Here, it's real spread out.
So which lifestyle do you like more?
Uh, really, up North. But, my friends are here. So I'd rather stay here with friends, I guess.
So, who is your best friend on the team?
Best friend? I really don't have a best friend. But me, Kevin Hennessey, Mike Kine and Kenny Beeker are all good friends. After games we usually go out eat.
Where do you eat?
Usually Hooters. But if we get out late and Hooters is closed, then we'll go to Applebees or something. And Kenny has a Jacuzzi, so we hang out in the Jacuzzi a lot.
Jacuzzi, huh? Well what about girls? Do you get any girls to hop in the Jacuzzi with you?
(Laughs) No, not really. I'd rather not because after games we're usually not smelling too good. You know, the heat and the smell...
Is there a girlfriend?
Yeah I have a girlfriend?
We won't put her name out there, but does she go to Springstead?
(Smiles) No, she actually goes to Nature Coast.
What? Nature Coast?
Yeah, but she was on our side when we played them last week. She was wearing red, too. I love her to death.
[Last modified September 8, 2005, 01:49:23]
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