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'Round the County in 30 Days: Plant

A team-by-team look at Hillsborough County spring football:

By Keith Niebuhr, Times Correspondent
Published May 4, 2007


Coach: Robert Weiner (fourth season, 27-10)

2006 record: 5-0 (won Class 4A state title)

District opponents: Blake, Jefferson, Leto

Jamboree date/opponent: May 17 at Blake

Who's gone: QB Robert Marve, DB Chris Kuzdale, P/PK Thomas Parrott, WR/DB Luke Rorech, LB Brent Thomas

Who's back: DL Tyler Evans, WR/DB Cornelius Gallon, RB/KR Lovell Jackson, OL Rhonne Sanderson, WR Derek Winter, LB Patrick Carter, LB/DE Chris Breit

What's new: The target on Plant's back. For the first time in a long time, the Panthers are the team everyone around here wants to beat. Plant, however, welcomes the challenge. ...Despite losing Marve, a record-setting signal caller who signed with Miami, the Panthers will return a ton of talent. They could have as many as five players sign with Division I-A programs next year. Right now all eyes are on Marve's replacement, strong-armed junior Aaron Murray. Weiner believes he has the tools to lead Plant to another great season and is primed to one day be a big-time recruit. ...This fall Plant again will throw the ball more than most, but the Panthers likely will be a little more balanced offensively than in 2006. That should benefit Jackson, who also is among the state's most dangerous return men. ...The Panthers have 104 players in the program - twice as many as most area schools.

Audibles: "We have good players - players who know what it takes. In my mind, (competing for another state title) is a realistic goal." - Weiner

Did you know?: The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Winter led Florida in both receptions (90) and touchdown receptions (20) last season. Thus far, he has received interest from Boston College, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina and South Florida.

Schedule: Aug. 24: at Wharton (kickoff classic); Aug. 31: at Armwood; Sept. 7: Gaither; Sept. 14: at Middleton; Sept. 21: Riverview; Oct. 5: at Blake; Oct. 12: at Hillsborough; Oct. 18: Leto; Oct. 26: at Chamberlain; Nov. 2: Jefferson; Nov. 9: Robinson

Keith Niebuhr, Times correspondent