Steven Ogletree finally got to throw the shot put in 2017.
Plant City Raider fans most likely know senior Steven Ogletree for his play on the football field, which the star linebacker — whom announcer Calvin “Pee Wee” Callins dubbed, “the Cleanup Man” — will continue at Ellsworth Community College. But Ogletree changed his offseason routine in 2017, leaving the basketball team to try throwing the shot put in track and field. His first year is going well, as he recently placed third in the event at a county meet.
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How are you feeling about your move to track and field this spring?
I feel good. I went from not being able to do track in previous years to coming out my senior year and doing what I’ve done. I’m pretty impressed.
Are you glad you chose track over one more year of basketball?
Basketball was fun, but I’ve achieved a bunch of goals in track that I thought I would never do. Throwing, I placed third in the county. I’m going for the school record, which is 49 (feet). My consistent throw is a 46, so I should be able to get that before the end of the year.
You’re not far off from going to college. How excited are you?
I’m really excited, because I’m ready to play with some of the people I’ve been playing with for years and just keep that journey going. Hopefully, I’ll get out of there and go to a D-1 school.
Where would you want to go after Ellsworth? Do you have a dream school in mind?
I’m looking at Pitt, Indiana, power schools like that.
What’s the most fun thing that’s happened in your four years as a Raider?
I would say my sophomore year of playing football. It was one of my best years, and I played with a lot of brothers I’ve been playing with since I was little. That was probably the last time we would all get to play together, so it was special. We all played for the (Plant City) Dolphins.
What was your favorite high school football moment?
I would say the East Bay game from my junior year. I had a personal record of 22 tackles that games.
What’s something you’ve learned over the years that you think any freshman athlete should know about playing high school sports?
Your grades are very important. I started slacking and just getting lazy because all the offers were coming in. You can’t do that. It catches up with you, and then you’ve got to play catch-up. You don’t want to play catch-up. If there’s anything I could re-do in high school, it would probably be my grades, so I wouldn’t have to go through this route I’m going. But, God has a plan for me.
Let’s say you make the NFL one day and get your first paycheck. What’s the first thing you buy?
My niece is disabled, and I just want to get her walking. Get a professional and help her walk. Then I’ll look after my mom and all that.
It seems like everyone at this school calls you Dook (pronounced “Duke-uh”). How did you get the nickname?
To be honest, I don’t know. My brothers and sisters, they used to call me “Duke Nukem” when I was little. Then they just stuck with “Dook.” I always asked them how I got the nickname, but … it just came.