during football media day Monday, August 14, 2023. Photo by Doug Finger

AJ Putetti
Junior, Coral Shores

“AJ is a phenomenal student and a leader in the school and on the field. He is an unbelievable competitor.” – Ed Holly, Coral Shores head coach

It wasn’t just a 25-yard touchdown run or the 125 total yards Coral Shores’ gridiron great AJ Putetti put in for the Hurricanes this week that impressed the coaching staff. It is also his unrelenting drive to compete. 

“When he shows up, he’s ready to play,” head coach Ed Holly said of his junior running back. Putetti gives his all in every game and every rep, and the results are stacking up. The two-way athlete had three solo tackles, three assisted tackles and three pass breakups during last Friday’s game against Palm Glades Prep, making him a threat on offense and defense. Instead of getting winded or slowing down, “his play actually got better from the first half to the second,” Holly said. “He just didn’t get tired.” 

Holly also noted that Putetti challenges himself in the classroom, opting for AP courses and making excellent grades. 

For his leadership and accomplishments for the Hurricanes football program and the school itself, AJ Putetti is the Keys Weekly Athlete of the Week.

Tracy McDonald fled to the Keys from the frozen mountains of Pennsylvania hours after graduating from college and never looked back. She is a second generation coach and educator, and has taught in the public school system for over 25 years. She and her husband met at a beginning teacher meeting in 1997 and have three children born and raised in Monroe County. In her free time, McDonald loves flea markets, historical fiction and long runs in the heat.