Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Change of college plans for Raiders' Sykes

A couple of weeks after publicly committing to Division II North Greenville (S.C.) University, Plant City state champion triple jumper Javonte Sykes has had a financially-based change of heart.

Sykes told the Times on Thursday he plans to sign with D-II Virginia Union, which has offered him nearly a full scholarship. A Raiders wideout, he said he'll focus on track at the traditionally African-American school.

"Close to (a full ride)," he said of his offer.

In arguably the most dominant stretch run of any local athlete, Sykes set personal triple jump records in each of his final half-dozen meets, culminating with the winning effort (48 feet, 4 inches) on his last preliminary jump at the Class 3A state meet. Sykes had scratched on his first two efforts.

"I just had some kind of second momentum come out of nowhere on that last jump," he said.