No matter who wins Super Bowl 55 at Raymond James Stadium, the Tampa Bay era will have a homegrown champion —either Bucs offensive lineman Ted Larsen (a Palm Harbor University alumnus) or Chiefs receiver/returner Byron Pringle (from Tampa’s Robinson High).
Here’s a quick look at some of the area’s other natives or residents who won championships or made other noteworthy accomplishments in their figurative backyards. And if we missed one, let us know.
Jeff Mitchell and Kipp Vickers
Both were offensive linemen on the Ravens team that beat the Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl 35 at Raymond James Stadium. Mitchell, a Countryside High alumnus and former Gator, was Baltimore’s starting center, while Vickers — a backup lineman — helped Tarpon Springs High advance to the 1986 state title game and won two national championships at the University of Miami.
The Tarpon Springs native won Super Bowl 18 at Tampa Stadium as a cornerback for the Raiders.
Clemson Tigers’ trio
Receivers Artavis Scott (East Lake High), Ray-Ray McCloud (Sickles) and Deon Cain (Tampa Bay Tech) were all key contributors on the Clemson team that beat Alabama 35-31 in the College Football Playoff national championship at Raymond James Stadium in January 2017.
The Plant High product made history for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1999 when his 3,000th hit came as a home run at Tropicana Field.
The St. Petersburg resident became the third driver to earn back-to-back victories at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg when he took the checkered flags in 2017 and ’18.
The late St. Petersburg resident won the Grand Prix at his home track in 2005 during his only IndyCar Series championship season.
The Palm Harbor resident and Dunedin High alumnus birdied three of his final four holes to win the 2000 Tampa Bay Classic (now called the Valspar Championship) at Innisbrook.
The St. Petersburg native defended his IBF super middleweight title and won the IBO super middleweight crown in 2005 when Robin Reid couldn’t answer the bell for the eighth round at what’s now known as Amalie Arena.
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