Preview: Pinellas Park at Robinson

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Photo M. Chowning

The Knights look to improve on last season's 4-6 record in 2015.

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

At long last, Robinson will suit up under the lights for the first time since May’s spring jamboree. Year three under head coach Shawn Taylor gets underway this Friday night with the 2015 Kickoff Classic against Pinellas Park. Following back-to-back 4-6 seasons in 6A, the Knights return to 5A in search of their first postseason berth since reaching the state semifinals in 2012.

REWIND: The Knights are winless in two meetings with the Patriots.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Pinellas Park):

Dale Foster (’17) – Foster enters the 2015 season looking to continue the recent run of success that has been shared by the Pinellas Park backfield. After spending his first two high school seasons on junior varsity, the 5-foot-11 back will get his chance on the varsity squad after five running backs graduated from last year’s team. In 2014, Foster scored on 14 of his 16 carries, which likely leaves his coaches wondering just what might happen if he’s given a heavier workload this season.

Jordon Scott (’17) – In the spring jamboree, Scott racked up six tackles (four for loss) and three sacks, which may be part of the reason why he has drawn “heavy interest” from USF, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh and Marshall, according to head coach Kenny Crawford. The big defensive tackle doesn’t leave much room to run up the middle, so he and the Robinson offensive line should provide a matchup worth keeping an eye on.

PLAYERS TO WATCH (Robinson):

Malik Tyson (’16) – Once Tyson starts the 2015 season, he will be the first Robinson quarterback to start back-to-back season openers since Blake Rice (2009-2010). In 2014, he threw for 1,087 yards and nine touchdowns while throwing nine interceptions. Tyson’s development hasn’t gone unnoticed leading up to this season, with some touting him as one of the area’s top “sleepers”. In May, he picked up his first offer from Alcorn State.

Keldric Preston (’16) – The three-star Wisconsin commit has surpassed his previous status as a rising star. Offseason player rankings by both Bright House Sports Network and the Tampa Bay Times have his name on them, and for good reason. Last season, Preston totaled 39 tackles (28 solo), five sacks and two forced fumbles. His final season with the Knights promises to be even better as he looks to carry some momentum with him from Tampa to Madison after graduation.

This year’s Kickoff Classic is set for 7:30 p.m. at Jack Peters Field on the campus of Robinson High School (6311 S Lois Ave, Tampa, Fla. 33616).