The Plant Panthers and Robert Weiner had a successful season by any concept of the term. The Panthers made a run to the State semifinal, losing an epically close game to Bartram Trail 34-29. That game was one of only two losses the Panthers picked up all year as they finished 12-2 often blowing their opponents away under Weiner’s coaching.
Each of the 12 victories picked up by his charges this year will have been important to Weiner, but there will be a couple that stood out from the rest. The first of these was the 43-0 victory over East River in the first game of the playoffs. It was a contest where Plant did everything right, suffocating their opponent and scoring at will on their way to a massive victory. On that night Weiner was totally in control as Plant ran up and down the field.
The other signature victory was one that came about in a very different way. In the Class 7A Regional Final, Plant squeaked past No. 1 seed Lakeland 13-10. It was the kind of game that has become synonymous with Weiner in his years coaching in Florida, a game that looked out of his team’s hands for much of the second half. As seemingly always, however, Plant came back and took away a last gasp victory.
Those victories are ones that early in a career can be pinned on luck. Eventually though they become a habit, they become frequent, and the narrative changes from being lucky to being good. Robert Weiner was good – yet again – in 2017, so good in fact that no other coach compared.