Football preview: Plant City — Aug. 1

Plant City

At a glance

Coach: Michael Clayton, first season

Class: 4, District 7 (Metro)

Last season: 6-5

Key players: SS Mike Bell, Jr.; QB Dereon Coleman, Fr.; CB Chase Dexter, Jr.; OG/DT Javan Futch, Sr.; LB/SS Cole Highsmith, Sr.; LB Seth Hogan, So.; DE Donta Jenkins, So.; RB Dominic Jones, Jr.; RB Jaden McCants, Jr.; LB/SS Tahauji Miller, So.; WR Jaylen Smith, Jr.; CB Eden Williams, Sr.


Aug. 19 at Lake Gibson, 7:30 (preseason)

Aug. 26 at Newsome, 7:30

Sept. 2 vs. Wharton, 7:30

Sept. 9 vs. Steinbrenner, 7:30

Sept. 16 vs. Durant, 7:30

Sept. 23 at Hillsborough, 7:30

Sept. 30 vs. Alonso, 7:30

Oct. 7 Bye

Oct. 14 at Plant, 7:30

Oct. 21 at Armwood, 7:30

Oct. 28 at Strawberry Crest, 7:30

Nov. 4 vs. Jefferson, 7:30


Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Michael Clayton was hired to take over the program in the offseason. The first-year coach replaces James Booth, who left after five seasons. Clayton added some big names to his staff, including former Tampa Catholic standout Kenny Kelly, who quarterbacked Miami before going on to play for the Tampa Bay Rays. Kelly will serve as the offensive coordinator and has a young but talented group of skill players. Deron Coleman, a freshman who has already got the attention of college coaches after performing well at camps this summer, will be thrust into the starting role at quarterback. The top two leading rushers and the top three leading receivers all graduated. Dominic Jones and Jaden McCants likely will handle the rushing load while Jaylen Smith has emerged as the top receiver. The experience will be up front with an offensive line that returns four starters, led by Javan Futch. On defense, the top returner is Cole Highsmith, who finished second on the team in tackles (92) and sacks (seven) last year. The Raiders have other guys who can after the quarterback, including Tahauji Miller and Seth Hogan, who each had three sacks last season.