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Plant City: Season preview

A-listers Duran Lowe

A senior who already has offers from Wake Forest and USF, Lowe does it all. He plays strong safety, linebacker and will get time at tailback. "He's the total package," coach Jason Strunk said. "What are all those packages they offer you? He's DirecTV, Verizon and Bright House wrapped all into one."

Denzel Drone

As the season progresses, the senior defensive end likely will add to a list of college offers that includes Troy and Western Kentucky. On the field, it's hard to miss him. At 6-3, 215 pounds, he has a quick burst off the line, is a high-energy player and can club his way into the backfield.

Clint Stearns

The third-year starter at quarterback is the offense's unquestioned leader. He will be given more control as the Raiders are expected to deviate from their run-oriented style and pass more.

Rising star Cortez Hargrett

Plant City's top offensive weapon. He split time between quarterback and receiver last season. His seven-catch, 102-yard effort in a playoff loss to Kissimmee Osceola showed Plant City needs to get the ball in his hands. He can stretch the field with his speed, is elusive in the open field and has game-breaking ability. He will get some looks at quarterback.

Stunt man Eddie Rosenbaum

Guy who does the dirty work

The starting center, this senior anchors the offensive line. Strunk said he is the "glue that holds the O-line together." He started all 11 games last season and led a line that ran for more than 2,000 yards.

Cutting-room floor

Three things the Raiders need to avoid

1. Penalties. In its spring game, Plant City had a false start on the first play, a touchdown called back and a first down called back on a late hit.

2. Discipline. See above. Strunk, a former assistant at Division III Muhlenberg (Pa.), will use his college experience to instill discipline. He promises his team will work hard on every play.

3. Settling. Despite playing .500 football in the regular season the past two years, they've made the playoffs both times. But seasons ended in the first round. This year's senior-laden team has an opportunity to go deep in the playoffs.

Review

"They usually have a lot of speed and a lot of tough-nosed kids that get after it. (Lowe) and (Drone) are two guys who can flat-out play." — Durant coach Mike Gottman

Eduardo A. Encina, Times staff writer

Coach: Jason Strunk (first season) | Last season: 6-5 | Class: 5A, District 7 | Colors: Aqua, orange and white

Plant City: Season preview 09/04/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 3:47pm]
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