Bob Putnam, Times Staff

Bob Putnam

Times Staff

I've been a staff writer since 1996. My career started before that as a correspondent with the St. Petersburg Times. I covered former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and current USF assistant Shaun King's first start as a quarterback at Gibbs High. Writing about locals is a passion. I'm a fourth-generation Floridian who graduated from Dixie Hollins High. My great grandfather owned a farm in Pinellas Park. My father was among the first graduating classes at Boca Ciega. Sometimes I venture into other sports. Once, I tried out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. I was even assigned to one of their minor league affiliates. Well, sort of. Dan Jennings, the team's director of scouting at the time, said he was sending me to Walla, Walla, Wash. He was kidding. I think. Well, either way, I'm still here doing what I love to do.

A degree in determination for Marshall’s Frankie Hernandez

Florida International quarterback Christian Alexander (8) is sacked by Marshall defensive lineman Gary Thompson (59) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Miami. At left is Marshall linebacker Frankie Hernandez. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Former Largo standout, who overcame odds to earn his college degree, will lead Marshall against USF in the Gasparilla Bowl.

HomeTeam 15: Boys basketball power rankings

St. Petersburg High guard Deondre Earley is helping lead the Green Devils into the 2018-19 season. (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)
Our final rankings until after winter break.

Boys basketball: Nothing but 3s for Lakewood

The Spartans make 15 shots from long range in dispatching rival Gibbs 70-38.

Admiral Farragut taps Firecrackers coach to take over softball

Admiral Farragut coach Linda Derk, who built the softball program, stepped away after leading the Blue Jackets to a state title. (ANDRES LEIVA | Special to the Times)
Bill Hoopes also spent 16 years in the Navy, making him an ideal fit for the military school.

Expect new football rivalries as FHSAA releases revamped districts, regions

Tampa Bay Tech celebrates a touchdown during the second quarter against Armwood in the season opener. (TAILYR IRVINE | Times)
And if a team isn't happy with its current position, well, no appeals allowed.