STADIUM: Raider Stadium, One Raider Place, Plant City CLASS-DISTRICT: 7A-8 (with Brandon, Durant, East Bay, and Strawberry Crest) COACH: Wayne Ward (17-14, fourth season) LAST SEASON: 4-6
Tide-bound McBride leader for Raiders
Montel McBride, a 6-foot-4, 330-pound lineman, committed to two-time defending national champion Alabama during the summer and will play in the 2014 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in California in January.
He participated in “The Opening” a 7-on-7 and skills showcase in Oregon that was featured on ESPNU.
“He’s tenacious,” Plant City coach Wayne Ward said. “For offensive linemen, you have to be grimy. You have to be a go-getter. And you can’t teach size. He’s a good kid. On and off the field, he does the right things.”
McBride said Plant City’s offensive line not only has size, but is forceful.
“Our O-line, we smash,” McBride said. “We’re going to hit you in the mouth.”
Plant City has a history of being recruited for its athletes.
Just in recent years, players such as Bennie Coney, Dazmond Patterson and Keith Dawson were athletic stars who went on to sign with Division I programs.
Senior quarterback London Galloway, a Central Florida commit, is not a traditional signal caller and will likely play receiver in college, but coach Wayne Ward wants the ball in the hands of his best athlete.
Sedrick King tied for a team-high five sacks last season along with 35 tackles. “He’s rangy. He’s long and he can cover ground really well,” Ward said. “He does a lot for us.”
Like, Galloway, King verbally committed to Central Florida.
“He’s a specimen at defensive end,” McBride said. “He can run a 4.6. He’s explosive and he’s really hard to block. His ability to read plays in kind of sickening.”
Plant City has five coaches on staff that teach in the school, as opposed to just one. Ward said having more assistant coaches as teachers on the school’s campus will better allow his staff to communicate with players and each other throughout the school year.
Like any school, no roster is perfect. At Plant City, the Raiders are in need of depth at linebacker.
“We have to maneuver guys, but because we have athleticism, we can make it work,” Ward said.
“We need a signature playoff and quality win,” Ward said. “For a long time, we haven’t beaten those quality teams, the Armwoods, Jeffersons, Plant and Tampa Bay Techs. When I graduated from here, we played Lakeland, Manatee.”