PLANT CITY - Not since the early 1990s has Plant City High School had both of its basketball teams finish with winning records. Many of the coaches Plant City piled up those wins against showed how impressed they were with the Raiders.
Ginger Forte and Dale Chambers gave Plant City a sweep of the Coach of the Year honors when the All-Western Conference teams were announced last week.
Forte and Chambers had some strong competition. Plant City is in the National Division of the Western Conference, along with east Hillsborough schools Durant, Bloomingdale, Brandon, East Bay, Lennard, Newsome, Spoto and Riverview.
That means Forte got the nod over Bloomingdale's Michael Kiser, whose team went 23-5 and had a 14-game winning streak that included handing Tampa Bay Tech its lone regular-season defeat. The Plant City girls went 13-6 and lost in the district semifinals.
Each of the National Division coaches voted for the player and coach awards. Chambers got more votes than Brandon's Mark Hermann, whose team many believe was the best in the county this year. The Raiders had a regular season record of 12-8 and earned the boys team's first trip to the playoffs since 1993.
Both of the Raider teams' top scorers, seniors Dade Dunkley and Channing Woodall, earned first-team honors.
The second team included Plant City's Jade Forte (the coach's daughter) and Rod Henderson.