The following are based on obervations from 2011 practices and or spring games. They are only from teams that I was personally able to visit. Visitation List: Armwood, Berkeley Prep, Blake, Bloomingdale, Brandon, Chamberlain, East Bay, Freedom, Gaither, Hillsborough, Jesuit, King, Leto, Middleton, Plant, Plant City, Riverview, Robinson, Sickles, Strawberry Crest, Tampa Catholic, TBT and Wharton. Please take them as a personal opinion that is based on current team state/performance. Plenty of shorts and shirts, one half of football and a long ways to go.
1) Who should be the next Plant QB?
Easy answer here…whoever wins the job. BUT, James Few more than likely should have the inside track. He has varsity experience in Plant’s offense as a starting quarterback. Few is a very good athlete, throws a great ball and is very intelligent; all of the same characteristics of the previous Panther QBs. Injuries have slowed Few down and more than likely have allowed the competition to close on him and coaches to question his health. In a perfect world, James Few will start the 2011 season as the next highly anticipated PHS QB!
2) Can Leto win more than 3 games this season?
Right now, I would say yes. Their district games are tough and the Falcons will struggle to steal one of those district games (Hillsborough, Armwood, Sickles, King, and Jefferson) but, they have a chance to beat 3 of the 5 remaining teams. Leto has a steep hill to climb, but coach Kitchie seems very dedicated and encouraged with what he thinks he and his staff can accomplish.
3) Who are the Top 5 Teams on the East Side?
Armwood – Clear cut #1
Newsome – They just win 7 plus game a year.
Plant City – Lots of star power, but will be a really good team.
TBT – They could easily be #2, but I have to wait and see how the QB develops.
Brandon – I like them.
4) Who are the Top 5 Teams on the West Side?
Plant – Still the best team on the West Side. No matter how many kids they lose, they always seem to end up playing in December.
Jefferson – The defending State Champs bring back a whole new team. Talented…yes, but not tested. Similar situation as Plant, but the Wiener and the Planters have been there and done that after losing a lot.
Jesuit – It is a given that the Tigers will be well coached. Brand new QB, Tommy Eveld will be fine behind a huge offensive line and playmakers on the outside.
Tampa Catholic – Tough to place TC behind Jesuit, but history tells the best story. The Crusader defense will be better than advertised.
King/Hillsborough – Terriers lose more than the Lions and the Lions come back with some heat. But, it isn’t that much of deference and the experience of the Terrier coaching staff keeps the Terriers here.
5) Which teams that were sub .500 in 2011 will be .500 or better in 2011?
Impossible to answer. Not good to state what a team can not accomplish. But, I will say that Alonso, East Bay and Blake have a very good shot at winning 5 or more regular season games this year. All 3 teams have favorable schedules and veteran returners.
6) Most talented offensive skill?
Boy Boy Boy, so many teams to choose from. Armwood is stacked. Matt Jones is the feature guy in the Armwood backfield, but Wade Edwards Jr, gives Armwood a nice one two RB punch. The combination of WR, Antonio Crawford; RB, Paris Bostic; WR, Austin Aikens and QB, James Few is up there also. Jefferson’s young pups are going to be scary good and King just needs a bonafied RB to add to Murray, Gonzalez and Windham. Plant City also makes a strong case, But Armwood takes this one. Matt Jones, Wade Edwards, Bailey, Sneed and Richardson are all homerun hitters.
7) What QBs impressed?
Aside from the guys we already know about and have been talking about all winter and spring, I really like Lee Myers at Sickles and Darryle Richardson at Armwood. Lee Myers is a deceptively good athlete who is perfect for the Sickles offense. He allows them to run some option and mix in some spread. He is not a tall guy, but he does what the QB is asked to do…manage the offense. Richardson is a specimen. He looks more like a defensive end than a QB. He throws a rocket, but needs to work on his accuracy. He has plenty of time and to his defense, has been in an option offense the last 2 seasons at TBT.
8. Is there any chance Armwood gets upset in the regular season?
They can go down on any given Friday, but it would not be realistic to think that will happen. I don’t know anything about the Bishop Gordon who the Hawks will play in Las Vegas. TBT and Jefferson could give Armwood a go and if they play a perfect game…who knows. Plant will have the best chance at upsetting the mighty Hawks. In my opinion, because of the back and forth history and timing. Plant plays their best ball towards the end of the regular season. This game being on 10/28 gives Plant a great opportunity.
9) Top 3 Must see games?
9/2 – Jesuit @ Plant: Old Plant staff back together again
9/30 – Armwood @ Jefferson: Rivalry revived
11/4 – Newsome @ Plant City: No Plant City senior has beaten Newsome
10) I didn’t know about these players, but they are talented:
Xavier Johnson, ATH, Chamberlain, 2013
Schyler Miles, LB, Berkeley Prep, 2012
Deandre Franklin, DB, Brandon, 2012
Jevon Fripp, DT, TBT, 2013
Kilu Fountain, DT/OT, Middleton, 2012