Andrew T. Pantazi

About Me

My name is Andrew Pantazi. I am a junior at the University of Florida. I am doing a double major in journalism and family, youth and community science.

Mi familia
My family's crazy, but I love them.

I was born in Patchogue, New York, but I have lived most of my life in Jacksonville, Fla., with my family, which includes a mom, a dad, three sisters and two brothers (not to mention all the people who have spent some amount of time living with us).

I was homeschooled from Kindergarten to high school graduation (except in 5th Grade, when I attended a private school). I enjoyed my homeschooling experience, and I believe it opened up a world of opportunities for me, especially when it comes to extracurricular activities. I was actively involved in 4-H during my high school years, which gave me some of the greatest friends in the world. For the past six years (2004-2010), I've also been a part of YouthQuake Live, a student-run Christian ministry that hosts an SNL-like show each month.

However, one of my greatest loves lies in sports. For those who haven't experience hockey, rugby and football, they are truly missing out.

Me playing hockey in my younger years
I have played hockey since I was a six-year-old.

I've played roller hockey since I was six years old, and I am in love with the sport. I'm a big New York Islanders and Colorado Avalanche fan. And "Miracle" is one of the best sports movies ever made; every four years, I go crazy for USA Hockey at the Winter Olympics.

As for rugby, Jacksonville has four rugby teams: the Jacksonville Sinners women's rugby team (rugby union), the Jacksonville Rugby Football Club (rugby union), the UNF Deadbirds (rugby union) and the Jacksonville Axemen (rugby league). The Axemen, Jacksonville's semi-professional team, competes in the American National Rugby League; I love watching their games (at only $5 a pop), and I love when they invite major teams from around the world for invitational exhibition matches (such as Leeds Rhinos v. Salford City Reds in 2009 and Leeds Rhinos v. South Sidney Rabbitohs in 2008).

I am a die-hard cheesehead. I've been in love with the Green Bay Packers since I was 5 years old. The first football game I remember watching was the '96 Super Bowl (when the Green Bay Packers stomped the New England Patriots); then and there, I knew that I was in love. Through the years, I've experienced some emotional times with the Packers, but I will be faithful to the Packers until the day I die.

Gator chomp
It's great to be a Florida Gator!

Growing up as a homeschooled student in Jacksonville, I closely followed Tim Tebow during his high school career. Tebow, a fellow homeschooler, played quarterback for Nease High School, and he was one of the most highly touted quarterback recruits in 2006. I had never cared much for college football. (I liked Boise State, Oregon University, and Notre Dame, but I didn't closely follow the game.) But I decided that I would become a true die-hard fan of whatever school got Tebow. And I wouldn't just be a fair-weather fan; I would root for this team for the rest of my life. As it were, that team is the Florida Gators, and I am fortunate enough to be a part of the Gator Nation.