Alicia Zarate plays offense, defense and special teams for Plant City flag football.
The Plant City High flag football team is currently contending for a playoff spot, and senior Alicia Zarate is one of its driving forces. Zarate, a quarterback, safety and punter, has over 900 passing and 200 rushing yards through the first five games, and accounted for five touchdowns. She also has a 4.5 GPA and hopes to attend the University of South Florida after two years at Hillsborough
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What are your expectations for the rest of the season?
Definitely to win the district. That’s what my team goal was. From there on, just keep rolling.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve done on a flag football field?
Last year, we beat Newsome in the last two minutes. We were down, 19-7, and we beat them, 20-19.
What’s your proudest moment as a Lady Raider?
I would just say being on the team. It’s amazing. I love being a Raider. There’s no greater feeling.
What first got you into flag football?
My brother, he told me there’s flag football at the school. I said, ‘That sounds like something I would do,’ so I tried it out.
You started as a quarterback, and now you’re also playing safety and punter. How did that come to
I was the punter last year, too, so I definitely showed coach (Patrick) Horn that I can punt. I told coach Horn that I was a safety because that’s what I did during our summer leagues. I played safety. Then, our safety ended up quitting the team, so he put me back there. I guess he trusted me enough.
Between quarterback and safety, you’re not getting a whole lot of breaks from the action. How did you adjust to playing the game without many rests?
I just love playing flag football. It’s not that I don’t get tired, because I do get tired, but it’s like I’m not tired when I’m playing.
What’s the first thing somebody should know about joining this team and playing flag football?
Flag football is just a different game. It’s not like any other sport. You’ve got to be patient with the coaches and everything will work out — at least with our coaches. They’re pretty good.
What’s your favorite subject in school?
Any college plans?
I want to go to HCC and then transfer to any other university. USF, probably. I want to be a high school math teacher. I want to teach here, and coach flag football, hopefully, one day. That would be awesome.
Flag football isn’t a sanctioned college sport right now, so do you plan to play any other sports? Or just play flag for fun?
I’d just play flag football, I guess I’d do summer leagues.
Who’s your favorite athlete?
Aaron Rodgers, definitely. I love Aaron Rodgers.
What’s the best advice a teacher, coach or parent has ever given you?
They sent me a picture. It says, “Love is playing every game as if it’s your last,” by Michael Jordan.