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H.B. Plant High School Athlete Leads Determined Efforts to Improve Herself and Support her Teammates

By July 5, 2019June 16th, 2022Athlete of the Week


Tampa, Fl. – July 5, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Sofia Cardenas from H.B. Plant High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week ending July 5, 2019.

The girls’ Varsity Tennis coach, Pam Gassler, nominated Cardenas for her persistent and determined efforts on the courts and for her initiative when it comes to extracurricular activities.

“Sofia works well with others on the team and in the classroom while being a part of the yearbook staff,” Gassler said. “She shows positivity in competitions and as a spectator when not participating in matches. She has been instrumental in spearheading the ordering of practice shirts and jackets. She is patient, yet mentally strong. Sofia continues to work hard to improve her tennis game.”

Wanting to take on a bigger role for her and her team, Cardenas sought to prove herself as a leading figure and source of support for her fellow teammates.

“I was heading into a challenging semester and the beginning of the tennis season,” Cardenas said. “I wanted to push myself to do my best, be supportive of others and make time for everything – competitive sports and rigorous academics. I stay active every day whether it be through tennis or running. I keep a positive mindset staying motivated through tough times. Most importantly, I stay engaged with my teammates.”

With a heavy workload, Cardenas did not let the weight of her endeavors keep her back from finding success.

“During junior year, there was a lot of stress about the future from ACTs, SATs and AP classes to my volunteer work with Mayors’ Youth Corps and, of course, tennis,” Cardenas said. “Time management was key for my academics and volunteer work, making sure that I had time for tennis clinics. One problem on the court that I had was my backhand, but through lots of practice, I continue to improve.”

Planning and execution cannot happen without the appropriate mindset, as Cardenas advises. In order to achieve success, one must enter with the thought that success will eventually be earned.

“After three years of high school, my best advice is to start the day with a positive attitude,” Cardenas said. “I like to think of three positive things I am grateful for each morning as I drive to school. It helps me stay focused on my goals and remember that anything is possible with the support of friends and family.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Athlete of the Week campaign is designed to focus on student-athletes, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication both on and off the field. The Athlete of the Week award can be earned by displaying one of the following characteristics:

Team Player: Athletes who are nominated for excellence in team play are chosen by a coach who feels the athlete does his or her best to put direction into action, makes a significant contribution to the team and continuously works to improve his or her skills, attitude and training.

Leadership: Athletes who earn the award in recognition of excellent leadership must exemplify strong relationship building skills, show excellent initiative and serve as role models for his or her peers.

To view last week’s award winners, please follow this link.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, spine and chiropractic services, among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopaedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook: