West Palm Beach, FL – “Austin Aikens was incredible! He made catches in front of defenders, around people and over people” Plant Head Coach, Robert Weiner said. Aiken’s efforts drove the Panthers to claim the Heath Evans annual 7 on 7 Championship over Miami Booker T. Washington today.
It was an all round great day for the Panthers. Plant dominated the lineman challenge in the 19 team tournament winning the event for the 2nd year in a row. 2013 D1 prospect, Mitchell Wright won the best overall lineman award. The young man is about to emerge as a MAJOR force for Plant who measures 6-3ft, 235, and is 4.7 forty yard dash.
In 7 on 7, the Panthers had tight games in all three pool games beating Macarthur, Kings Academy, and then laying it on the 6A state champion Miami Central Rockets. Plant defensive backs coach, Bo Puckett expressed “That was a very very pivotal moment for our team and a huge boost of confidence going into the rest of the summer and the upcoming year”. In the playoffs, the excitement picked up. Rising senior, Austin Aikens put on a show, making big play after big play. “He [Austin Aikens] was unreal. Rising Juniors QBs, Aaron Banks and Kyle Groh played well, with rising senior QB, James Few playing very consistent,” Coach Weiner stated. Plant beat beat 5A state champion St. Thomas Aquinas pretty soundly. Plant then took down 2A power Chaminade-Maradonna in the quarterfinals. Under the play of Austin Aikens, who simply made about 5 of the most “disgusting” catches, Plant squeezed past Chaminade-Maradonna. Plant coaches raved about the play of Antonio Crawford, who played incredible also. In the finals, the Panthers played a young and extremely athletic, Booker T Washington. Booker went up by 5 points with 22 seconds on the clock when Antonio Crawford came back on the next play and outworked their best corner down the field for the thrilling 40 yard bomb from Aaron Banks, to give the Panthers a come from behind win.
Note: Plant was without D1 prospects Drew Madhu and Dan Casselli. The Plant offense rolled all day long. James Few is fast emerging as a major force and Aaron Banks played with great poise in the championship game. Defensive Backs, Kennan Stalls and Justin McDowell stepped up in a big ways today and Plant coaches were very pleased with their performance. Defensive Coordinator, John Few told BCP that the tournament was well organized and the officials had control over the contest except for his defensive back coach, Bo Puckett. “The refs told Puckett to get off the field several times ‘you cant be on the field coach’ they repeated to him”~John Few.