Football preview: No. 7 Tampa Bay Tech

Tampa Bay Tech

At a glance

Coach: Jayson Roberts, 10th season

Class: 7A, District 10

Last season: 8-4, lost in region final

Key players: LB Cyris Alexander, Sr.; CB Michael Boone, Sr.; DT Jaheim Borden; DE Keyon Clark, Sr.; S Norris Davis, Jr.; DT Donteye Drew, Jr.; OG/OT Kai Gadson, Jr.; WR Greg Gaines III, Sr.; OL Fred Neal, Sr.; WR John Ponder, Sr.; 


Aug. 27 vs. Plant City

Sept. 3 at Steinbrenner

Sept. 10 vs. Hillsborough

Sept. 17 Bye

Sept. 24 at Gaither

Oct. 1 vs. Armwood

Oct. 8 vs. Newsome

Oct. 15 at Wiregrass Ranch

Oct. 22 at Wharton

Oct. 29 vs. Strawberry Crest

Nov. 5 at Chamberlain


The Titans made it to the region final last season behind a high-powered offense. Some of the key pieces from that unit had to be replaced. The most significant loss was David Wright, who threw for more than 6,000 yards and had 68 touchdown passes in his high school career. Xavione Washington, a transfer from Tampa Catholic, will take over at quarterback. He will have the luxury of throwing to four-star recruit Greg Gaines III, who committed to Iowa State this summer. The other hole Tampa Bay Tech had to fill was at running back after Rod Gainey transferred to IMG in the offseason. As a freshman last season, Gainey rushed for 836 yards (7.7 per carry) and had 10 touchdowns on the ground to give the Titans’ potent passing game some balance. Though the loss of Gainey hurts, TBT coach Jayson Roberts said the ground game still is in solid shape thanks to an offensive line that returns all five starters — Kai Gadson, Shaun Lango, Fred Neal, DJ Porcher and J’shon Scott. And that list does not include Melvin Sylvester, a 6-foot-5, 270 pound incoming freshman who should get plenty of playing time. James Evans, John Ponder and Ronald Sims will now handle the bulk of the rushing load, Roberts said. The defense will be led by Keyon Clark, who can be a force off the edge. Last season, Clark had a team-leading 69 tackles and 11.5 sacks.