A couple of minutes with Plant City second-year coach (and Raiders alumnus) Wayne Ward, whose veteran team appears poised for the program’s best season this millennium:
What is the most important thing you learned from your college coach, Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer, in terms of running a team?
Detail, and doing things the right way. …He’s an awesome coach, he’s a players’ coach, I loved playing for him, but it was the details that were one of the things I remembered the most. The simple 6-inch step — they harped on the small things. That’s the difference between winning and losing.
The local media have put a lot of expectations on you guys. Are the expectations too high or too low?
When you have as many athletes as we do, the expectations are going to be high. I mean, there’s no doubt about that. I just believe that if we’re able to play together, a common mind and common goal, one heartbeat, we’ll be a tough team to beat.
Since returning to the program (after being dismissed last October for an unspecified violation), what kind of citizen has QB Bennie Coney been?
When you’ve made a mistake, the only thing that people remember was that mistake, no matter what you do. For me, he’s been doing good. He has a 3.0 (GPA) in the classroom, he just scored an 18 on the ACT so he’s qualified already. That just lets you know that he’s making the proper steps in becoming a collegiate athlete. …He’s been doing everything the right way, we just want to make sure we stay on that path.
Of all the 12-15 seniors who have played significantly since they were sophomores, give us one that’s really unappreciated.
You have Bennie, you have (WR) Lamarlin (Wiggins), you have (RB) Daz (Patterson), you have (DB) Sam (Green), but the one young man that actually stands out to me the most is (WR) Antwon Armstrong. That young man, he has like a 2.9 grade-point average, he’s scheduled to take the ACT in June. He’s put in so much effort in the weight room, he’s gained about 20 pounds since the season, he’s getting some good looks, but all you hear about is the other guys. Honestly, he has some of the best hands on the team.
Bennie’s big five
Coney (6-3, 210 pounds) provided his list of top five preferred colleges. In no certain order, they are:
Number of the day
33 Players who have turned out for spring drills at Leto, which went 1-9 in 2010. “It’s going very well,” first-year coach Matt Kitchie reports.
“This kid is the biggest clean slate of phenomenal ability I’ve ever seen. It’s like working with a blank chalkboard.” — Armwood quarterbacks coach T.J. Laflamboy on new Hawks QB (and Tampa Bay Tech transfer) Darryl Richardson. Laflamboy and offensive coordinator Evan Davis, both former Hawks QBs, agree the 6-foot-5 Richardson has the strongest arm in program history.
What they’re saying
Every day, we pose a question to our readers on our Facebook page. They’re keen to offer their two cents … and we’re printing the best response.
Wednesday’s question: Last play of the game. Your team is on the 50, you trail 26-21. Which quarterback do you want taking the snap, and who is he handing off or throwing the long one to?
• Berkeley Prep QB (Destin Nichols). If somehow he can throw the ball anywhere in the end zone with (Nelson) Agholor zooming down the sideline, it’s pretty much a guaranteed catch. I watched Agholor’s highlight tape; that dude goes and gets the ball. But I’d have to make an exception of that happening against (Clearwater Central Catholic) mainly because that’s my little brother’s team (he plays safety) and I’m 99.9 percent sure he’d knock the ball out! LOL. — A’Darrius Anderson-Burrowes
Next up: Okay, the pads go on today. Who’s the first person you plan on leveling?
What’s your call? Go here, become a fan and give us your thoughts.