TAMPA (FOX 13) - The Plant High School Panther football program ranks among the very best in the country. The school's trophy case holds hardware signifying four state championships.
Head Coach Robert Weiner has used innovative offensive and defensive schemes on the field and is known for his creative methods of motivation. This season is no different. His newest assistant coach is certified yoga instructor Carmen Sargeant, who's also the mother of Plant offensive lineman Steven Sargeant.
Coach Sargeant has already taught the team some key methods to aid in flexibility and recovery.
"Football players have really tight hips and shoulders," said Sargeant, "So we're working on shoulders and hips. When you're more lengthened and flexible, there is less injury."
The players have responded positively. Outside linebacker Christian Carvajal said he's enjoying the mind-body benefits.
"It not only stretches us out but mentally it relaxes us before football," he said.
The yoga lessons will provide a lifetime of benefit.
"We may not always be able to play football, but we'll always be able to do yoga," Coach Sargeant told the team.
The Plant Panthers begin the pursuit of state title number five Friday, August 24 when they host Hillsborough High School.