Wednesday, November 22, 2017


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.

Clearwater Central Catholic Linebacker Deandre Fitz-Henley (1), right, hits Matt Hannon (60), left,  during practice at the school, Monday, Nov. 21, 2017. CCC plays host to Chaminade Madonna at 7:30 p.m Friday in the Class 3A Playoffs. (Scott Keeler,  Times)

High praise for Clearwater Central Catholic’s linebackers

CLEARWATER — From Colin McCarthy (Miami/Tennessee Titans) to Caanan Brown (Virginia) to Conner Dorris (Navy), a Clearwater Central Catholic defensive staple has been star quality at linebacker. Think Marauders, think linebackers. It has been a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Mitchell football player Nick Ferrini

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Nick Ferrini and Kellyn Trowse

HomeTeam Hot Shots Nick Ferrini, MitchellOn Monday, Ferrini embarked on a five-day cruise with 30 family members. "Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, you name it," he said. Destinations during...
Published: 11/20/17
Plant linebacker Micah McFadden celebrates after quarterback Dane Frantzen ran for the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter of a Class 7A region semifinal game against Lakeland at Plant High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Sunday morning QB, playoff edition

Player of the Week | Michael Penix Jr., Tampa Bay TechPenix, a Tennessee commit, has been good all season and it seems as if he’s getting even better in the playoffs. On Friday night against Palmetto in the Class 7A region semifinals, he...
Published: 11/19/17
SEFFNER - Numbers 6 (running back Brian Snead, middle), 7 (quarterback Devin Black, right) and 8 (lionebacker James Miller, left) lead the Hawks onto the field Friday night. Once the game started, the trio once again played heavily in the victory, 22-0 over Hillsborough. Taken 11-17-17 by Scott Purks

Region football: Armwood 22, Hillsborough 0

SEFFNER — Hillsborough conquered one nemesis with last week’s win over Class 6A defending state finalist Lake Gibson, the team that knocked the Terriers out of the playoffs in the first round a year ago.But there was an even bigger stumbling...
Published: 11/17/17
Calvary Christian quarterback Alex Laccabue has thrown for 1,297 yards, 17 touchdowns and just two interceptions. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)

Alex Laccabue proves he’s worth the wait as Calvary’s QB

CLEARWATER — Two years ago, Alex Laccabue transferred from Alonso to Calvary Christian with the intention of becoming the starting quarterback. The job was not just handed to him. He had to beat out starter Richie Mize. Laccabue said the team...
Published: 11/15/17
Largo senior Logan Doublin has already set a school record with 138 tackles this season. (Dirk Shadd, Times)

Need a hard hitter? Look no farther than Largo’s Logan Doublin

Three weeks ago, Largo linebacker Logan Doublin walked off Clearwater’s field carrying a blue and gold hammer. The prop was the brainchild of Packers coach Marcus Paschal, who wanted to drive home the point that his team was in for a battle...
Published: 11/15/17
Plant senior Morgan Tankersley was all smiles after winning the 500 free at the Class 4A state meet on Friday. Tankersley also finished second in the 200 free. Tankersley still holds three state records in the 100, 200 and 500 freestyle races, which she set last year as a junior. Taken 11-10-17 by Scott Purks.

HomeTeam Hot Shot winners: Morgan Tankersley and Robert Finke

HomeTeam Hot Shots Morgan Tankersley, PlantThere was tons of pressure the past four months for Tankersley. In August, the senior was named the national female high school swimmer by Swimming World.
Published: 11/13/17
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Sunday Morning Quarterback, playoff edition

Team of the Week | LargoTwo weeks after clinching a district title — the first in Marcus Paschal’s four years as coach — Largo’s reclamation project hit another milestone in a 27-24 victory over Naples Barron Collier in Friday’s Class 6A...
Published: 11/12/17
Mitchell High School's Niko Conetti (42) revels in victory moments after defeating Chamberlain High School during Friday's (11/10/17) high school football Class 6A region quarterfinal game between Mitchell High School and Chamberlain High School at Mitchell.

Region football: Mitchell 14, Chamberlain 13

TRINITY — Mitchell coach Andy Schmitz huddled with his staff over the summer in search of a motto for this year’s team. They knew this was a veteran group capable of continuing the string of postseason appearances the program had already put...
Published: 11/10/17
OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
Armwood High School football players Desmond Watson, Dyllun Timmons, Harold Jackson, Allah Whittaker, Fitzroy Gardner, Desmond Watson, and Malcolm Lamar at Armwood High School in Seffner on Tuesday, November 5, 2017.

Armwood’s best D-line? 2017 squad makes its case

SEFFNER — They arrive in opposing backfields from all directions. Malcolm Lamar fights off double teams before charging up the middle. Fitzroy Gardner and Dyllun Timmons race past linemen so quickly that it seems unfair. The Armwood High trio...
Published: 11/09/17