To preview the 2013 high school football season, The Tampa Tribune is counting down the top 10 teams in Hillsborough County. These preseason rankings were voted on by Tribune writers Nick Williams and Scott Purks, high school sports editor Doug Jacobs and correspondents Mike Camunas and Jarrett Guthrie. TAMPA — There are those who say No. 3 is too high a ranking for the Hillsborough High football team after it lost 29 players to graduation. The Terriers say, “Not so fast.” The main reason for hope begins with junior quarterback Dwayne Lawson, perhaps the most dynamic running/passing threat in Hillsborough County. In 2012, Lawson threw for 1,459 yards and rushed for another 426, numbers that could rise because Lawson is bigger, stronger and more experienced.
The optimism continues with junior wide receivers/defensive backs Junaid James and Xavier Byrd and running back/defensive backs Anthony King, Rudy Dawson and Antonio Brown. The Terriers are relatively inexperienced along the offensive and defensive lines, but coach Earl Garcia is confident he has enough skill players to remain highly competitive. Depth could also be an issue with less than 40 varsity players, but if the Terriers stay healthy, look out. KICKOFF CLASSIC: Friday vs. Clearwater SEASON OPENER: Sept. 6 at Jefferson