MORE from our HomeTeam writers.
Around the county in 30 days
A daily spring preview of every football program in Hillsborough County
Coach: Jason Strunk (third season, 10-11)
Last year: 7-4 (Lost 59-14 to Plant in region quarterfinals)
District: Class 5A, District 6
Key losses: WR Cortez Hargrett, WR Mike Harris, OL/DL Durrell Lowe, DB Raheem Billington, OL Gordon Bertrand
Who’s back: TE/DE Jordan Prestwood, RB Dazmond Patterson, QB Bennie Coney, WR Lamarlin Wiggins, RB/DB Javonte Sykes, OL/DL Mike York, RB/LB Art Knight, WR/DB Antwan Amstrong, OL/DL Brandon Calvo
What’s new: After going from 3-7 in Strunk’s first year to 7-4 with a young team, the Raiders are looking to take the next step. Part of that was taking their spread offense and installing a no-huddle. Plant City has the talent returning for it to work. The Raiders return 18 starters — eight on offense and 10 on defense — and the heart of the team is their rising juniors. Rising senior Prestwood, a Notre Dame commit, receives a lot of attention, but quarterback Coney (1,609 yards, 14 TDs) and running back Patterson (1181 yards, eight TDs), both rising juniors, pace the offense. Fellow junior Wiggins is an up-and-comer who had 103 yards receiving in the spring game. During that spring game, the Raiders were doomed by eight fumbles. On defense, the Raiders will be strong in the front seven, but need to get stronger in the secondary, which gave up four long touchdown passes to Armwood.
Audible: “We ran the spread last year and we did it well. With everyone coming back, we wanted to add one more dimension to take it to next level. No huddle is the great equalizer. We want to get to the point where we’re competing with Plant every year. I think it’s a great way to get us over the hump. Last year (in the region quarters) against Plant, it was like the worst feeling in the world because nothing you called worked. This spring, I felt like every play could work.” — Strunk
Did you know? The Raiders ran 47 offensive plays in one half during their jamboree Friday, compared to 31 in last year’s spring game.
Spring result: Lost 40-14 to Armwood
Aug. 27 at Tampa Bay Tech (preseason)
Sept 3 vs. East Bay
Sept. 10 vs. Middleton
Sept 16 vs. Brandon
Sept. 24 at Newsome
Oct. 1 vs. Chamberlain
Oct. 8 vs. Bloomingdale
Oct. 15 at Gaither
Oct. 22 at Riverview
Oct. 29 vs. Durant
Nov. 12 at Jefferson