To preview the 2013 high school football season, The Tampa Tribune is counting down the top 10 teams in Hillsborough County. These preseason rankings were voted on by Tribune writers Nick Williams and Scott Purks, high school sports editor Doug Jacobs and correspondents Mike Camunas and Jarrett Guthrie.
TAMPA — Saying goodbye to Vernon Hargreaves III, the top recruit in Florida last season, was certainly hard for the Wharton faithful in the offseason, but there’s still reason to believe the Wildcats will reach the playoffs a third consecutive season.
For starters, Wharton features senior Chase Litton, who enters the 2013 season as the top-rated quarterback in the Tampa Bay area. Litton ended the 2012 season as the top passer in Hillsborough County and the state’s No. 3-ranked quarterback for passing yards after he completed 181 of 310 attempts for 2,732 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Running back Jeff Keil, who ran for 701 yards and eight touchdowns last season, will complement Wharton’s passing attack, while 6-foot-3 defensive end Antonio Joseph will lead the defense.
KICKOFF CLASSIC: Friday vs. Gaither
SEASON OPENER: Aug. 30 vs. Spoto