At a time when high school baseball coverage in Hillsborough County is dwindling, Jarrett Guthrie, founder and creator of 813Preps.com, a website that highlights and covers local baseball games and players, has filled a void. Guthrie, a journalist for almost 20 years, shies away from being in the spotlight himself, he would much rather be on the sidelines covering athletes, recording their accomplishments and stories.
Guthrie grew up with sports being a big part of his life. “When I was a kid playing little league, you hit a double and your coach would yell at you, that you got your name in the paper,” said Guthrie. “There was a part of me that felt that it was disappointing that the kids of this generation won’t have those kind of keepsakes or won’t have those kind of things to look back on.”
He created 813Preps.com near the end of the 2017 season. He has covered countless baseball games since then. His sole purpose of this website, he said, is for the student-athletes to receive the recognition they deserve. He is up until two in the morning on game nights, looking up and filling out information on the site, as well as writing his story on the game he covered earlier that evening. He has done so much work without any financial gain. He does it for his love of the game.
The website has been well received throughout Hillsborough County. “The response has been overwhelmingly outstanding, from parents and players being appreciative, local advertising and local members of the community acknowledging what we are doing and a lot of them, at least, having the conversation on how to support it,” said Guthrie.
Will Turner, a young journalist that currently attends USF majoring in mass communications, has been a big key in helping 813Preps.com expand. He has helped cover numerous games for the site this season. “I could not thank him enough for choosing to help me out, and doing it with such excitement and passion,” said Guthrie.
One of Guthrie’s favorite parts of covering high school baseball is seeing the players that one day become superstar athletes. He has covered local high school players that have gone on to become Major League players, such as the late Marlins’ great Jose Fernandez, the Astros’ Lance McCullers, Astros’ top-5 prospect Kyle Tucker and the Orioles’ Mychal Givens. What he really loves though is seeing the kids that are just doing what they love and that don’t necessarily become superstars, but they give 100 percent of their effort and also the kids that go into coaching once their careers are over.
813Preps.com is funded by sponsors and donations to help sustain it. If you would like to donate, anything would help and be greatly appreciated. Todd Allen of Florida Executive Realty helped sponsor the regular season for the site, and George Hunter of the Law Offices of George Hunter helped sponsor the postseason. You can donate or become a sponsor from the website. “I hope that our website is somewhere that the community rallies behind to support the student-athletes in their athletic endeavors,” said Guthrie.