Friday, November 16, 2018


Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Bob Putnam, Times staff writer

Bob Putnam has covered high school sports for the Tampa Bay Times as a staff writer since 1996. He is a fourth-generation Floridian who graduated from Dixie Hollins High School and wrote for the student newspapers at St. Petersburg College and USF. He has covered the high school careers of football stars Riley Cooper (CCC/Florida/Philadelphia Eagles), Dante Fowler (Lakewood/Florida/Jacksonville Jaguars), Leonard Johnson (Largo/Iowa State/Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Dexter McCluster (Largo, Mississippi/Tennessee Titans), among others.

Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis, center, works to motivate his players during a team practice. (DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times)

George Kotis resigns for the second time at Tarpon Springs

Tarpon Springs football coach George Kotis has resigned after three seasons. Kotis made the decision Tuesday night. He went 13-16 in his second stint with the program.This season, Kotis had to do some long-distance coaching. For about a...
Published: 11/15/18
Clearwater Central Catholic quarterback Rory Hicks utilized a play called

Will Tampa Catholic-CCC, Plant-Viera rematches live up to playoff predecessors?

The play was designed for desperation."We call it Hero," Clearwater Central Catholic coach Chris Harvey said.Quarterback Rory Hicks dropped back, throwing the ball to the end zone. Receiver Brett Seither looked up, awaiting the...
Published: 11/15/18
Pitchers Callie Turner (Tennessee), left, and Alexis Kilfoyl (Alabama) could square off in college.  (BOB PUTNAM | Times)

Softball stars Callie Turner, Alexis Kilfoyl sign together

Alexis Kilfoyl was set to have the spotlight all to herself when she signed with Alabama on Wednesday.The Academy at the Lakes senior, one of the top softball pitchers in the nation, planned on being the only one to deliver a speech in...
Published: 11/14/18
Seffner Christian head coach Travis Puleo credits his program's turnaround to kids buying in and his assistant coaching staff.  (SCOTT PURKS | Special to the Times)

Seffner Christianís reversal of football fortunes

The Class 2A, Region 3 bracket is full of teams that had unexpected results.Carrollwood Day (6-5), which advanced to Friday's semifinals, has won more games this year than in the previous two seasons combined.Cambridge Christian...
Published: 11/14/18
Tampa Bay Tech running back Treshaun Ward decommits from a Maryland program plagued by turmoil. (TAILYR IRVINE | Times)

Treshaun Ward, Ahmarean Brown decommit from Maryland

Two of the area's top recruits in the 2019 class, Tampa Bay Tech running back Treshaun Ward and Jefferson receiver Ahmarean Brown, both reneged on their commitment to Maryland on Tuesday.Their decisions, each made via Twitter, come...
Published: 11/14/18
Jefferson head coach Joe Midulla took over offensive playcalling duties for the postseason. (OCTAVIO JONES | Times)

Jefferson shakes up coaching staff, finds playoff spark

Three weeks ago, Jefferson was upset by Robinson 22-19 in the regular-season finale. It was the fourth time the Dragons lost by five points or fewer this season. Despite being 5-5,...
Published: 11/13/18
Kyle Benedict is one of two Carrollwood Day receivers with more than 700 yards this season. He’s a good weapon for 2,000-yard-plus passer Chris Butash to have in his arsenal. (Times file)

These Hillsborough WRs go high, go long, around traffic and to the end zone

From nearly any place on the field, Carrollwood Day quarterback Chris Butash can unleash a pass to a number of quality receivers at his disposal.Then the fun begins.After each throw, Butash watches his teammates streak downfield...
Published: 11/13/18
Jerjuan Newton (4) and Brett Seither (10) have given Clearwater Central Catholic plenty of reasons to celebrate this season. The unbeaten Marauders seem to be postseason regulars for Pinellas County.  (BRONTE WITTPENN | Times)

Why do state football titles elude Pinellas County?

Pinellas County has sent numerous high school football players to colleges and the NFL. Some have been part of national championship teams. Others have hoisted the Lombardi Trophy after winning the Super Bowl.None has won a state...
Published: 11/13/18
Zephyrhills Christian’s Kavbion Marbra is one interception from the Pasco County record.  (Courtesy of Zephyrhills Christian)

Sunday Morning Quarterback: Playoff performances to remember from Round 1

Highlights from the first round of the playoffs:Player of the WeekKavbion Marbra, Zephyrhills Christian: It was a good night for area defensive backs. Armwood picked off three passes, returning all three for...
Published: 11/11/18

Class 7A-3 football: Bloomingdale 45, Fort Myers Riverdale 8

FORT MYERS ó Three years ago, Max Warner left an assistant coaching job at Virginia Tech to take over at Bloomingdale. When Warner first arrived, he told players they would win a playoff game for the first time in school history. It...
Published: 11/08/18
Updated: 11/09/18