Plant High’s football team will open the 2013 season against two of the top teams in the Southeast. The Panthers will play its Kickoff Classic at Raymond James Stadium against Tallahassee Godby on Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. The following week, Plant will start the regular season in Georgia against the No. 5-ranked team in the nation, Sandy Creek High, on Aug. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Sandy Creek, located just outside Atlanta in Tyrone, Ga., has won state titles in three of the last four seasons. Godby went 15-1 last season to win the Class 5A state championship. Plant, the winner of four state championships since 2006, finished 10-2 last season and will be one of the top teams in Hillsborough County this season. The Panthers’ chase for a tiitle ended in the 2012 regional semifinals against Orlando’s Dr. Phillips.
“The time to do these type of games is early in the season because we don’t really have a lot of choices with the district schedule,” Plant coach Robert Weiner said. If Plant wins both games and goes undefeated against Hillsborough County teams this season, Weiner said the Panthers may have an opportunity to claim a national title. Basketball Jordan Davis, the former Sickles High point guard and Tribune Boys Basketball Athlete of the Year, will play for the University of Tampa men’s team this upcoming season. Davis signed with Division I Monmouth out of high school, but was released from the team after his freshman year due to academics. This past season, he played for the College of Central Florida, which won the NJCAA national championship. Volleyball Plant senior setter/outside hitter Kaitlyn Sibson has verbally committed to Division II Eckerd College. As a junior, Sibson controlled Plant’s offense with 440 assists along with 164 digs, 41 aces, 90 kills and 13 blocks. Baseball Former King second baseman Tanner Williams has committed to Faulkner State Community College (Bay Minette, Ala.), Lions coach Jim Macaluso said. Williams led the Lions in hitting last season with a .416 average, 18 RBIs, 29 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. Williams helped King (25-4) reach the Class 6A state semifinals and was a Tampa Tribune All-Hillsborough County First Team selection. Williams is the sixth player from King to attend FSCC under Macaluso’s tenure and the 38-year Lions coach said he expects Williams to find success with Faulkner’s coach, Wayne Larker, who is entering his 29th year with the program. Scott Purks, Nick Williams, Jarrett Guthrie