Friday, November 24, 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.

Jon Mott of Lakeland is the first male finisher of the 10K race at the the Tampa Bay Times annual Turkey Trot in Clearwater on Thursday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times )

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k...
Published: 11/23/17
Jon Mott of Lakeland is the first male finisher of the 10K race at the the Tampa Bay Times annual Turkey Trot in Clearwater on Thursday. (LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times )

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth...
Published: 11/23/17
Plant head coach Robert Weiner celebrates with his players moments after beating Lakeland in a Class 7A region semifinal game at Plant High in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.

Lucky or good? Plant no stranger to fantastic finishes because, well, it’s Plant

High school football playoffs
Published: 11/22/17
Updated: 11/23/17
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...
Published: 11/22/17
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