Advertisement
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. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) is mobbed by his teammates as they celebrate their victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final.
  2. Sonya Bryson-Kirksey sings the national anthem before a 2019 playoff game at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Lightning forward Jack Finley, back in white, battles Yanni Gourde during a training-camp scrimmage in January at TGH Ice Plex in Brandon. Tampa Bay made a deal with Montreal in the second round of last year’s draft to move up five spots to take Finley.
  4. Sonya Bryson-Kirksey poses for a portrait in May at Amalie Arena in Tampa. She is fighting for her life at a local hospital following a coronavirus diagnosis, a local television station reported late Wednesday night.
  5. Lightning forwards Alex Killorn, left, and Pat Maroon, right, hoist the Stanley Cup after Tampa Bay's Game 5 win over Montreal in the final earlier this month at Amalie Arena.
  6. Lightning wing Alex Killorn (17) celebrates his goal during Game 5 of the Stanley Cup semifinals in June at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  7. President Joe Biden listens to Bucs quarterback Tom Brady during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House Tuesday in Washington, where the president honored the Super Bowl 55 champions.
  8. Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) checks Florida Panthers defenseman Gustav Forsling (42) during Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. The teams will play three times next preseason, including Oct. 5 at Amway Center in Orlando.
  9. Yanni Gourde is among the players Seattle will have a chance to swoop up in Wednesday's expansion draft.
  10. Barclay Goodrow, left, was part of the Lightning’s top penalty-kill unit and force on the gritty third line.
  11. The "Quest for the Cup" wrapped up with the Lightning winning once again, but it was the off-ice moments that made the seven-part series really resonate.
  12. Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman thought this year's boat parade and championship celebration had a bigger turnout than in 2020.
  13. Lightning left wing Pat Maroon has a firm grip on the Stanley Cup after Tampa Bay beats Montreal. Monday after the boat parade was another story.
  14. Smack Apparel's Chris Brown, left, and Derek Miller have overseen the production of some of the most successful T-shirts sold in the company's 23-year history. They have the Stanley Cup champs to thank.
  15. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn drives a jet ski while holding the Stanley Cup as teammate Nikita Kucherov gestures to the crowd while celebrating the Lightning’s Stanley Cup victory with a boat parade Monday in Tampa.
  16. Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Alex Killorn drives a jet ski while holding the Stanley Cup as teammate Nikita Kucherov gestures to the crowd while celebrating the Lightning’s Stanley Cup victory with a boat parade Monday, July 12, 2021 in Tampa.
  17. Lightning players make their way down the Hillsborough River during the boat parade in Tampa celebrating the team's 2019-20 Stanley Cup.
  18. Defenseman David Savard hoists the Stanley Cup after the Lightning's victory over the Canadiens in Game 5 of the Cup final Wednesday at Amalie Arena.
  19. Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86), left, celebrates with teammate Steven Stamkos (91) after the Lightning's win over the Montreal Canadiens  in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday at Amalie Arena.
  20. The Lightning rush onto the ice following their 1-0, series-clinching victory over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final Wednesday at Amalie Arena.
  21. Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy throws his hands up as the Lightning celebrate their 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup final.
  22. Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (hidden) celebrates his goal with teammates Tyler Johnson (9), Mathieu Joseph (7), and Ryan McDonagh (27) during the third period of Game 4.
  23. Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, back right, listens in as assistant coach Jeff Halpern talks to the team during a timeout during Game 4 Monday in Montreal.