The 2013 prep football season is under way, and so is the Tribune/TBO.com Top 10 prep football rankings for Hillsborough County. The poll awards points for each place voted on by five panelists who cover the sport extensively in Hillsborough County for the Tribune/TBO.com: Mike Camunas, Jarrett Guthrie, Nick Williams, Scott Purks and Doug Jacobs. First-place votes receive 10 points, followed by nine points for second, and so on. First-place votes appear in parentheses following team totals.
1. Plant (0-0-1) (5) 50
Up Next: Robinson (0-1)
Comment: Five days after getting thumped in their preseason game (35-16 to Godby), the Panthers looked vastly improved in a 27-27 tie against Sandy Creek, Ga., the nation’s fifth-ranked team.
2. Armwood (1-0) 45
Up Next: Blake (0-1)
Comment: If Blake doesn’t bring lots of fire, the clock might be running as soon as the second half starts.
3. Jefferson (1-0) 38
Up Next: Hillsborough (0-0)
Comment: The Dragons have a chance to be ranked No. 1 in the county before the season is over. They look that good.
4. Hillsborough (0-0) 37
Up Next: at Jefferson (1-0)
Comment: In Hillsborough’s season opener against Jefferson, the Terriers should get a strong early perspective of how good they really are.
5. Sickles (1-0) 29
Up Next: Durant (0-1)
Comment: Gryphons running back Ray Ray McCloud is off and running (198 yards in first week against Robinson). Could he get 200 against the Cougars? He just might.
6. Wharton (1-0) 20
Up Next: at Plant City (1-0)
Comment: Wildcats will have their hands full against talent-laden Raiders.
7. Gaither (1-0) 19
Up Next: Newsome (1-0)
Comment: Cowboys coach Jason Stokes said his team fully remembers last year’s 52-7 playoff loss to Newsome. Stokes vows his team is ready for some redemption.
8. Plant City (1-0) 16
Up Next: Wharton (1-0)
Comment: The Raiders are dynamic and dangerous and capable of beating just about anybody on any given night.
9. Newsome (1-0) 13
Up Next: at Gaither (1-0)
Comment: The Wolves’ hybrid wing-T continues to drive opposing defensive coordinators crazy. Just ask TBT’s coordinators after the Wolves upset the Titans 23-12 in Friday’s season opener.
10. Robinson (0-1) 4
Up Next: at Plant (0-0-1)
Comment: In the first four weeks, the Knights play Sickles (No. 7 in Class 7A). Plant (No. 3, Class 8A), Jefferson (No. 4, Class 6A) and Armwood (No. 2, Class 6A).
Also receiving votes: Tampa Catholic, Tampa Bay Tech