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2013 football slates: Jesuit-Plant out, Jesuit-Largo in

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Tue. March 5, 2013 | Joey Knight | Email

2013 football slates: Jesuit-Plant out, Jesuit-Largo in

Gradually, the bay area's 2013 prep football schedule is coming into full view.

And apparently, some of the fiercest rivalries are being relegated to a rear view.

Among them: Jesuit-Plant. New Tigers coach Matt Thompson confirmed Tuesday he and Hillsborough County athletic director Lanness Robinson couldn't find a mutually feasible date for the Himes Avenue showdown, which was renewed in 2011 and drew standing-room-only crowds and regional TV audiences both years.

Athletic directors from Hillsborough's public schools were meeting Tuesday to finalize schedules. Much of Pinellas County's public-school scheduling was completed last month.

Also apparently out: the annual Armwood-Plant showdown. At least that's what Hawks coach Sean Callahan said he has heard; Plant coach Robert Weiner said he hadn't yet been in contact Tuesday with his AD, Laura Figueredo.

On the field, the Hawks and Panthers have combined for seven state titles in the last decade, and their annual matchup draws crowds of 3-4,000. Should they not meet for the first time since 2000, the state's biannual reclassification of schools would be the likely culprit.

Armwood was moved to a nine-team Class 6A district, meaning it has only two non-district openings.  Plant is in a six-team 8A district.

Meantime, reclassification has had the opposite effect at Jesuit, which is scrambling for opponents after being moved to a three-team district in 5A. Thompson said Newsome and district opponents Spoto and Middleton are his only county public-school foes.

However, the Tigers add Pinellas heavyweights Largo and Clearwater Central Catholic, as well as Ocala Trinity Catholic, Wauchula Hardee and Lakewood Ranch. The season-ending showdown against rival Tampa Catholic remains intact.

Thompson said he's still seeking a road game for Week 8 or 9, preferably Week 8. He can be reached at Mthompson@jesuittampa.org.

"We're just in that predicament where we have a three-team district and have to find all these games," he said.

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