Joey Knight - Bucs Reporter

Bucs Reporter

I'm a fourth-generation Floridian born at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, which makes me somewhat of a demographic outlier. My family arrived in Zephyrhills before McDonald's, and I've resided there most of my life. When I was a grade-schooler, my passions were sports and creative writing, in that order. Today I'm an old-schooler (don't be dissing on '80s hard rock), and that order has been flipped. I love telling stories, be they about first basemen or first responders. These days, I cover the Bucs, but I'll dabble in other stuff (Colleges, Rays, Gasparilla Distance Classic, etc.).

  1. Former USF safety Jon Lejiste participated in the Bucs' rookie minicamp in 2013, months after his Bulls career ended. His body was found late last week in the Intracoastal Waterway on Florida's east coast.
  2. Fans celebrate with Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., center, after his team's 39-28 win against then-No. 11 Michigan State last September.
  3. Bucs rookie wide receiver Rakim Jarrett participates in organized team activities last Tuesday at AdventHealth Training Center in Tampa.
  4. USF sophomore Jackson Mayo (4) celebrates with teammates after hitting a solo home run Saturday against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference tournament.
  5. Jesuit senior reliever Derek Westfall (center, leaning over rail) cheers on teammates before entering in relief against Plantation American Heritage in the Class 5A final Wednesday in Fort Myers. Westfall and his fellow seniors were attempting to win a state crown, then attend graduation ceremonies, on the same dizzying day.
  6. Jesuit starting pitcher Wes Mendes gets a hug from coach Miguel Menendez moments after the Tigers fell 8-5 to Plantation American Heritage in the Class 5A state final Wednesday afternoon in Fort Myers.
  7. USF junior Drew Brutcher drove in the game-winning run in the Bulls' 11-inning, 12-11 triumph Tuesday against East Carolina.
  8. Former Gulf and Ridgewood head football coach Jay Fulmer has been hired to fill the vacancy at Sunlake, a program that has come under national scrutiny following a violent altercation between two coaches at a recent practice.
  9. Despite a surgically mended right knee (and a left knee that will require surgery), Jesuit senior Josh Hines is batting nearly .300 this season.
  10. These days, the Rays could use a starting pitcher with the durability of James Shields, who worked at least 200 innings for six consecutive years (2007-2012).
  11. Can women's professional soccer flourish in Tampa? A group of local businessmen is banking on it.
  12. Hillsborough High head football coach Earl Garcia is wrapping up his 50th spring practice as a bay area prep coach.
  13. Bucs rookie tight end Payne Durham talks with reporters on the first day of the team's two-day rookie minicamp Friday at AdventHealth Training Center.
  14. Sunlake High will be seeking its third head football coach since the start of the 2022 season. The school has parted ways with B.J. Hall following a physical altercation between two of Hall's assistants at a recent practice.
  15. Despite losing most of his right index finger in a workplace accident more than six years ago, University of Tampa senior Dalton Ross has evolved into an all-conference pitcher for the Spartans.
  16. Chloe Grimes, 9, runs toward first base during a game against Madeira Beach at Fossil Park on April 28. A cancer survivor whose stirring connection with former Rays outfielder Brett Phillips drew national acclaim, Chloe is now healthy enough to play several games on a given weekend.
  17. Former Rams backup quarterback John Wolford (13), seen in action in a game against the Seahawks last December, has signed as a free agent with the Bucs.
  18. Linc Darner, who led the Florida Southern men's basketball program to a Division II national title in 2015, was formally announced as the University of Tampa's new coach Monday.
  19. Kelly Webb (wearing sombrero), a teacher at Palm Harbor University High, cheers from Randy Land, a first-level section dedicated to leftfielder Randy Arozarena, during the Rays' 5-4 win Friday night against the Yankees.
  20. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate a physical altercation between two assistant football coaches Monday at Sunlake High School. [Times files (2014)]
  21. Bucs fans in throwback creamsicle jerseys cheer during the second round of the NFL draft last Friday in Kansas City.
  22. Dick Vitale stands with a group of pediatric cancer survivors at his annual fundraising gala in May 2019. In 17 years, the gala has raised approximately $55 million for pediatric-cancer research.
  23. USF running back Michel Dukes (2) carries the ball in an early-September game against Howard last season. Dukes, 22, has been indefinitely suspended from the team following his arrest over the weekend on a domestic battery charge.