Lyman shines but runs out of steam vs. Tampa Plant in FHS7v7 championship

The Lyman football program has been downtrodden for a number of years. That is, until the arrival of head coach Jermel Jones. With Jones taking over in 2021, things have been looking up, which was more evident Saturday as the Greyhounds played into the championship game before wearing down against Tampa Plant, losing to the perennial power 28-0 in the Florida High School 7v7 tournament at Trinity Prep Academy in Winter Park.

Plant is no stranger to winning 7-on-7 tournaments in Orlando, having done so numerous times in the past. The Panthers were led to the title by 2025 Florida Gators receiver commit Waltez Clark and defensive end Ziron Canady, who had three interceptions Saturday.

After nine games Saturday, it was obvious the Lyman players were tired, but that did not take away from the performances of players such as rising senior receivers Ronald Mike, Sev Crooms, Tommy Murray and Amari Jackson as well as rising junior quarterback Breylon Sanchez plus defenders and rising juniors Jodan Mike and Brandon Thelemaque.

Prior to Jones’ arrival, the ‘Hounds had not had a winning season in 10 years. Lyman went 2-8 in Jones’ first year, the past two seasons have been 7-3 and 6-4, and Lyman is hoping to make some noise in Seminole County.

“The boys worked hard. We won the first game out here, and then we lost two,” Jones said. “But after the boys got locked in, we had a nice little run … and things just worked in our favor to get into the championship.”

Another program that is hoping to be on the rise in the near future is Lake Howell after the arrival of new head coach Dazzie Morris, the former Apopka offensive lineman who is hoping to instill a new culture with the Silverhawks.

Lake Howell is young and led by rising sophomore and two-way player Javon Funnye as well as rising junior quarterback Like Barhorst and the arsenal of rising juniors Dashon Febres, Decorie Johnson and Malek Wilkerson. The Silverhawks worked their way into the semifinals before losing 25-21 to Lyman.

Lake Brantley, Hagerty and South Sumter were three other area teams that advanced to the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.

Chris Hays covers high school and college football and college football recruiting. He can be found on X @OS_ChrisHays. He can be reached via email at