For the sixth straight time in a row H.B. Plant is one of Newsweek Magazine’s Top 50 High Schools in the U.S. In 1927 they opened its doors as one of the first public high schools in Tampa, Florida located in the upscale area of South Tampa. In 2006 the Plant Panthers won their very first 4A State Championship title. It was the first time in nearly thirty years a high school from the city of Tampa has won State. If that weren’t enough, Plant won the State title again in 2008 and 2009 back to back. Now the question remains can they go for a three-peat? Will 2010 be “third times the charm” for the Panthers? Here is an overview of what to expect before their opener on August 27th against Manatee.
The Right Stuff – Phillip Ely
Phillip Ely has started nineteen games with nineteen wins. He will start his senior year at Plant with this stellar record going into the 2010 season. Some of the highlights from his illustrious career are in 2008 with a win over Hillsborough and then Armwood, Hillsborough County’s reigning state champions, for the 4A regional finals. In 2009 there was some edge of the seat wins, especially with Countryside that was mired in the mud. Plant beat Polk County’s dynastic Lakeland and eventually winning the state championship for the third time in only four years. The Panthers are ranked #2 in the nation for a second time in the preseason. This comes from the National Prep Football Poll. Texas’s Trinity is at the number one spot. ESPN has also ranked Plant at number two.
Not only is Plant High School excelling in winning state titles in football they are winning academic titles too. This football team has won one Class title and an overall state title for the classroom when it comes to grade-point averages. Rivals High 100 has ranked the Panthers at No. 17 while Newsweek magazine listed Plant at No. 47 in the nation. Out of the 1, 623 schools from the Newsweek poll only 97 were from the public schools system. That is only 6%. Out of the Rivals High listing only two other schools were listed by Newsweek: Austin (TX) Westlake and Bellevue (WA) High. All in all, Plant High School in Tampa, Florida is both athletically and academically on its way to another stellar season. They have the right stuff to win their third consecutive state championship.
H.B. Plant High School, My School District of Hillsborough County
Plant Panthers Football Team Fan Site, Plant Football
Dallas Jackson, “Plant football better, smarter than opponents”, Rivals High