TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The head coach of the Plant High School football team says his players are ready for what he is calling “the best game in the state.”
Yes, the Plant Panthers have lost the last two games against the Armwood Hawks. Yes, they will be the visiting team on Friday night. Yes, they will have their hands full. However, the Panthers are a powerhouse too.
“We are going to go try and play Plant ball with great effort, play with great speed, great enthusiasm,” said the Panthers head coach, Robert Weiner. “It is a rivalry in which we go out and fight it out on the field.”
Since Weiner took over the Panthers program in 2004, his team has won seven of 16 games against the Hawks.
“It has kind of always been the marking point for us specifically, but I just think it has become an amazing game and it has become better with years,” he said. “Back in the day, it was more about the differences between Plant and Armwood and I think now it is more about the similarities.”
The game features two teams with incredible coaching minds and incredible track records.
The Panthers lost in the state championship game three years ago and have advanced in the playoffs in back-to-back years. Weiner says the team is anxious to start the season on Friday.
“I think it is the best game in the state, period,” he said. “Here we are, back again, for another battle.”
8 On Your Side sports reporter Gabrielle Shirley also visited Armwood High School’s practice. She will be at Friday night’s game and have highlights in our Friday Night Blitz show.