Bob Putnam has covered high school football in the Tampa Bay region of Florida for more than 25 years — first with the St. Petersburg Times and later for the Tampa Bay Times. Writing about locals is his passion. He is a fourth-generation Floridian who graduated from Dixie Hollins High.
Putnam talks about Florida’s return-to-play plan (3:30), which will see teams take the field as early as Sept. 4. He talks about the way in which teams have been running practice drills and the safety protocols in place (6:15). Putnam talks about what it’s like to cover high school football during a pandemic (9:25), the game atmosphere (11:00), and how fans will engage with the teams (13:00). Coaches in Florida have been split on returning this week, as some coaches want to see what the virus numbers look like after a couple of weeks in school (14:20). Putnam suggests a new high school football in calendar with the season starting in October and ending in January (21:47). Finally, he talks about how he’ll spend Week 1 of the high school football season in Florida (31:30).