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Mari Faiello - Sports Trending and Outdoors Reporter

Sports Trending and Outdoors Reporter

It’s always been about sports — whether I was playing them or writing about them. It should be no surprise that’s how I ended up here, covering athletics for Florida’s best newspaper after internship stints in 2019 and 2020. I’m usually toting around a Venti Starbucks iced coffee or refresher in one hand with a Staples notepad and Pilot G-2 pen in the other. When I’m not out on assignment, I’m playing with my dog. The University of Florida and the Independent Florida Alligator taught me how to write, showing me I could actually live out my lifelong passion. And it didn’t take long for me to figure out I get the same rush of adrenaline pursuing a story I love as I did diving on the hardwood and plastic-tiled volleyball courts for 12 years. And now, I get to write for my hometown paper. The same paper that inspired me to pursue the life of a journalist.

  1. Alonso receiver Stephanie Sandborn runs for yardage after the catch during a Class 2A state semifinal victory over Martin County last season. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  2. East Lake's Parker Valby finishes off a state record-setting 3,200 meters in Class 3A as a junior at the University of North Florida. Valby finished in 10 minutes, 10.45 seconds, three seconds faster than the state mark set in 2007 by Ashley Brasovan of Wellington [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
  3. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady reacts after holing out from the fairway on the seventh hole during The Match: Champions For Charity at Medalist Golf Club on Sunday, May 24, 2020 at Hobe Sound. [MIKE EHRMANN  |  TNS]
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  5. Tom Brady, in 2017, otherwise known as happier times than golfing on Sunday. [ELISE AMENDOLA  |  AP]
  6. Bucs quarterback Tom Brady plays his shot from the 11th tee during The Match: Champions for Charity at Medalist Golf Club on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Hobe Sound. [MIKE EHRMANN  |  TNS]
  7. David Eliasson, 48, Tampa, owner of Snack Attack Vending, has seen his sales shrink 50 percent since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. He services 250 accounts around Tampa Bay. He poses at home May 19, 2020, with his van that carries his inventory snacks and drinks [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  8. Say what you will about Ben Affleck, but his newest film, "The Way Back," is a good one. [Courtesy of Richard Foreman]
  9. A screenshot of the Lightning's All-In Challenge page. The team is offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for the winner to try out for a roster spot in the 2020-21 training camp. [All-In Challenge]
  10. Jerry Peterson. [St Petersburg Police Department]
  11. Lightning rush off their bench as they start to celebrate their victory over the Calgary Flames in game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa June 7, 2004. [MCDUFFIE, DAN   |  St. Petersburg Times]
  12. Before she was an NFL sideline reporter for Fox, Erin Andrews got a hockey education as a rink-side reporter for the Lightning. [MICHAEL AINSWORTH  |  Associated Press]
  13. Dixie Hollins football coach Dale Caparaso records during practice last September. During the coronavirus crisis, Caparaso is staying engaged with his team through collaborative platforms (such as Microsoft Teams), suggesting workouts and monitoring academic progress. [Times (2019)]
  14. First base umpire Lee Ki-joong, wearing a mask and gloves as a precaution against the new coronavirus, makes a call during a baseball game between Hanwha Eagles and SK Wyverns last week in Incheon, South Korea. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, File) [LEE JIN-MAN  |  AP]
  15. The Bucs kick things off with a Week 1 matchup against Drew Brees and the Saints, and things only ramp up from there. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
  16. Susan Mitchell, of northwest Tampa, poses with her medal and racing bib after completing the Hot Chocolate 5K. Mitchell, 69 years old, sends her medals to Pete Bannister II, her “I Run 4” buddy who lives out in Colorado. (Courtesy of Susan Mitchell) [Courtesy of Susan Mitchell]
  17. Naomi Mack, 33, a server at Daily Eats delivers menus to patrons Monday, May 4, 2020 in Tampa. Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered that restaurants can open at 25 percent capacity starting Monday. [CHRIS URSO      |  Times]
  18. Former Tampa Bay Devil Rays pitcher Jim Morris, left, hands a baseball to Dennis Quaid after demonstrating different ways a pitcher holds a baseball in 2001 at the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Quaid portrayed Morris in the Disney production of 'The Rookie,' which was filmed at the stadium. (AP Photo/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Richard W. Rodriguez) [RICHARD W. RODRIGUEZ  |  AP]
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  22. The Lightning's Vincent Lecavalier beats Canadiens goalie Jose Theodore between the legs during Game 3 of the 2004 Eastern Conference semifinals. Fox Sports Sun is airing the victories from the first two rounds of the 2004 playoffs each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday through May 2. [JASON BEHNKEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
  23. Louisiana running back Raymond Calais scores a touchdown against Tulane during the Cure Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando in 2018. [STEPHEN M. DOWELL  |  ZUMAPRESS.com]
  24. Sean Payton on Saturday shared his experience with NFL Draft viewers and host Trey Wingo. [MARK ZALESKI  |  AP]