Samantha Villaverde voted Broward High School Athlete of the Week

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Sophomore Samantha Villaverde, who has been playing soccer for the past 13 years, was recently  voted Broward High School Athlete of the Week Jan. 27. 

“When I was three years old, soccer was the only sport I was allowed to sign up for because of my age,” Villaverde said. “From the first time I walked on the field and kicked a ball, I knew I loved it.” 

Villaverde has played a part of the  Heritage varsity team since she was a freshman. She practices five days a week with her team and does personal training, speed and agility as well as recovery therapy multiple times a week. As a busy athlete, it isn’t easy for Villaverde to balance school and soccer. 

“It can be difficult sometimes balancing academics and soccer because my school workload is a lot and so is my training,” she said. “However, I always do my best to stay focused and balance the two as best as possible.” 

After putting a lot of time and energy into soccer, she feels honored to be chosen. “I could not have achieved this without my teammates and coaches, who helped push me to be the best player and teammate possible every day,” she said. “I truly wish the award was the team of the week because our entire team deserves it.” 

Besides her most recent accomplishment, Villaverde was selected by the Girls Academy to participate in their 2023 Southeast Talent ID Showcase and has represented her travel club, Florida United. Even as a six year old, she won multiple state and national championships at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, a sports complex at Walt Disney World Resort. 

No matter how successful at soccer she may be, Villaverde is not just an athlete but a fifteen-year-old who loves her family, religion, friends and hobbies such as reading and baking. “My dream at the end of my soccer journey is to become a doctor and be able to help people in the next part of my life,” Villaverde said.

Villaverde, left, celebrates Coach Cindy’s 50th birthday with her. (Photo/Samantha Villaverde)
Villaverde, pink shirt, used to be a ball girl — a girl who picks up soccer balls during a game — when she was seven years old almost 8 years ago. (Photo/Samantha Villaverde)
Villaverde, number 23, poses with the Heritage varsity girls soccer team, for their 2023 team photo. (Photo/Samantha Villaverde)

Kayra Dayi will be entering her second year on the Patriot Post Staff as the Social Media Correspondent and entertainment editor. Kayra moved here from Turkey in 6th grade and loves to visit her home country during the summer. In her free time, Kayra adores reading. She also likes to paint, listen to indie pop/rock, crotchet and write. Kayra especially loves to highlight important issues happening around her in her artwork and writing. One example is her Instagram account, kaykays.artworks, where she sells her artworks to donate to BALEV, a non-profit organization in Turkey which helps fund students' educations. She is involved in Mock Trial, the AHS book club, NEHS and will be trying out for the American Heritage tennis team. She looks forward to this year.