Bob Putnam - Preps reporter

Preps reporter

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.

  1. Admiral Farragut's Martel Mott takes off after intercepting a pass by Cambridge Christian's Titan Williamson during the teams' Sept. 13 regular-season matchup.
    One thing is certain in the playoffs under the new format: rematches from the regular season.
  2. Clearwater Central Catholic’s Jordan Niles, right, hugs Calvary Christian’s Richie Ilarraza after the Marauders’ playoff win. Niles is a former Calvary player.
    Sunday Morning QB: Clearwater Central Catholic, Steinbrenner and Chamberlain are just a few of the standouts in the region quarterfinals.
  3. Steinbrenner’s Deon Silas scores a 10-yard rushing touchdown during the second quarter, dragging Newsome’s Jack Arnone along with him.
    Steinbrenner’s seniors build toward this moment, the program’s first postseason win.
  4. In his first season starting as Wiregrass Ranch quarterback, Rocco Becht has thrown for almost 2,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.
    The standouts on offense and defense from Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties.
  5. Will River Ridge knock off Atlantic at home on Friday night? Our staff writers sure think so.
    Do you find the reasoning behind Rodney Page and Bob Putnam’s first-round picks sound?
  6. Largo’s Jayion McCluster may not be happy with AJ Mathis on a personal level after losing a recent bet, but the two are thrilled to be high school teammates.
    Jayion McCluster and AJ Mathis came up through the same youth leagues, but this is their first season on varsity as a tandem.
  7. In addition to his knack for sacks, Zephyrhills Christian senior Malik Jones also has 101 tackles so far this season.
    When you have 23 sacks and counting, more schools take notice. This Florida Atlantic commit may have a tough decision looming.
  8. Armwood linemen Desmond Watson, left, and Clyde Pinder Jr. are nightmares for opposing offenses.
    Coach Evan Davis: “Collectively, I don’t think there has ever been a tandem better than Clyde and Desmond.” That’s high praise at Armwood, which has a history of churning out defensive stars.
  9. In his third season at Dixie Hollins, coach Dale Caparaso has turned the Rebels into a playoff team. And they won a district title to boot.
    No one tops the coach’s passion for the game, especially when he digs in for a rebuilding project.
  10. The Clearwater Central Catholic Marauders take the field against Calvary Christian last season.
    Friday’s region quarterfinals offer up rivalries, first-timers, turnaround teams and more.