1. Archive

Plant Panthers

Last year: 15-12 Class 3A, District 10

Coach: Joe Caro, third year.

Assistant: Bryan Kistner.

Classification: Class 3A, District 10.

Nickname: Panthers.

Stadium: Wade Boggs Field, 2415 S Himes Ave.

Record: 15-12. Lost in regional to New Port Richey-Ridgewood.

Key Players: Brad Wakefield (centerfield), Travis Quesada (shortstop), Rhett Dixon (third base, catcher), Damon Ramirez (catcher), Ryan Canady (pitcher), Charles Rothenberg (second base), Tony Hernandez (outfield), Josh Salmon (pitcher, first base), John Thresher (third base, pitcher), Frank Anello (pitcher), David Cura (outfield).

Strengths: Plant will be strong up the middle, with all-county players Rothenberg and Quesada returning. Also, Caro says Wakefield could be the premier centerfielder in the county this year.

Weaknesses: The Panthers' pitching is very young. With only two senior pitchers, Plant will be forced to use a sophomore and two juniors. Another problem is depth. The Panthers are thin after their starting eight players.

Outlook: Plant has the potential to be a very good team this year, if it can stay healthy. Caro says the team will be in trouble if it loses an experienced player like Wakefield or Quesada. Another key for the Panthers is how quickly their young pitchers mature. Caro says his team isn't blessed with any "superstars," but it should have enough talent to make a run at the district title.