Football preview: Plant — Aug. 1

Plant 

At a glance

Coach: Hank Brown, second season

Class: 4, District 7 (Metro)

Last season: 6-4

Key players: RB/DE Waltez Clark, So.; DT/TE Ty Conze, So.; WR/DB AJ Durham, Sr.; DB/WR Jaden Davis, Sr.; TE/WR Brand Farrior, So.; LB/RB Chase Jarrett, ATH Jaquez Kendall, Sr.; QB JC Mirasola, So.; K/P Camilo Nanfra, Jr.; QB/FS Trey O’Malley, Jr.

Schedule

Aug. 26 vs. Tampa Bay Tech, 7:30

Sept. 2 at Berkeley Prep, 7

Sept. 9 at King, 7:30

Sept. 16 vs. Robinson, 7:30

Sept. 23 at Chamberlain, 7:30

Sept. 30 vs. Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Oct. 7 at Jefferson, 7:30

Oct. 14 vs. Plant City, 7:30

Oct. 21 vs. Steinbrenner, 7:30

Oct. 28 at Alonso, 7:30

Nov. 4 Bye

Outlook

Plant coach Hank Brown had a successful debut a year ago. He led the Panthers to their first winning season since 2018, including victories over Sumner and Durant, both made the playoffs. In the spring, the momentum continued with a win over defending region finalist Hillsborough. Getting off to another fast start could be tough considering Plant opens the season with Tampa Bay Tech and Berkeley Prep, both of which made the state semifinals last season. Still, the Panthers  have the talent to not only have another winning season but to contend for a playoff berth. The biggest task during the first few weeks of practice will be figuring out who starts at quarterback. The battle is between JC Mirasola, a transfer from Jesuit, and Trey O’Malley. The top returning playmaker is Jaquez Kendall, who had 466 yards and seven touchdowns as a receiver last season. He also can be used in a variety of ways, even in the run game. AJ Durham (263 yards, three touchdowns) is another dependable target. On defense, Chase Jarrett (67 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions) and Ty Conze (26 tackles, a sack) are the leaders. Brown raves about the leg of kicker Camilo Nanfra, who could be a weapon this year.