For the fourth time in the past five years, Plant is heading out of state for a regular-season football game.
This time, it’s to Lowndes High in Valdosta, Georgia, for the second part of a doubleheader. In the first match-up, Bradenton Manatee will face Ware County (Georgia).
Both games could lend some perspective to just how good Plant and Manatee might be.
Plant, which defeated Armwood 21-17 in last week’s preseason game, comes in with the highest ranking at No. 235 nationally and No. 17 in the state, according to MaxPreps. Manatee, coached by former Bloomingdale coach John Booth, is ranked 634th nationally and No. 45 in the state. Lowndes (414 nationally, 17 in Georgia), and Ware County (454 nationally, 20 in Georgia) are perennially among the highest-ranked schools in their state.
For Plant coach Robert Weiner, however, it’s more about the experience.
“We love to travel like this, because we get so much out of it in so many different ways,” Weiner said before the season. “Traveling like that only makes you better.”
Plant’s previous out-of-state trips included Texas (2010), Louisiana (2012) and Georgia (2013).
TBT’s QB more than just an arm
Last week against Blake in the preseason classic, Tampa Bay Tech senior quarterback Deon Cain opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown run, part of his 204 first-quarter all-purpose yards. He added a 44-yard touchdown pass and another touchdown run of 30 yards. TBT coach Jayson Roberts said he called roughly 10 designed runs for Cain
Using Cain’s mobility will be a large part of the Titans’ offense this season, but they need the 6-foot-3, 200-pound All-American to stay away from big hits in the open field.
“He’s never been injured before, and this summer was the most he’s put in to the weight room,” Roberts said. “He’s added five or 10 pounds of muscle. But we tell him to be smart about it and run out of bounds.”
Cain has verbally committed to Clemson — as a receiver. Roberts said the plan is to incorporate Cain as a receiver, as well.
Opposing teams could soon realize that throwing the football anywhere near Armwood senior defensive back Aaron Covington is a bad choice.
Covington had two interceptions against Plant last week in the preseason classic. Rated the top senior defensive back in Hillsborough County by FlaVarsity.com, Covington has offers from South Florida, Central Florida, Arkansas and Cincinnati, among others.
“We can lock him down with anybody on our weak side,” said Armwood coach Sean Callahan.
Scott Purks, Nick Williams