Tampa Bay Tech plays for first state football championship

Tampa Bay Tech will face St. Thomas Aquinas Friday night
Posted at 1:52 PM, Dec 14, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Area has been waiting a decade for one of its high schools to win a state championship.

Tampa Bay Tech hopes to be the school to end that drought.

“When I first started coaching here as a volunteer coach we were 0-10,” Tampa Bay Tech head coach Jayson Roberts told ABC Action News sports anchor Kyle Burger. “To see this thing come full circle and now to be 14-0 and playing for a state title from those years of being 0-10 and the laughing stock of the county is really super-gratifying.”

No one is laughing at Tampa Bay Tech now. The Titans are 14-0 and playing in their first state championship game.

“It means a lot, really,” wide receiver Gregory Gaines III said. “You can’t even explain it with words.”

“It’s just not for the football team, it’s for the school,” defensive end Keyon Clark. “The school never did this before. This is for the whole school, not just the football team.”

Tampa Bay Tech will take on St. Thomas Aquinas in the Class 7A championship game. The Raiders are the defending champions and have won a record 12 state titles.

Does that scare these Titans?

Tampa Bay Tech plays for first state football championship

“They’re just like another team,” Clark said. “They put their helmet and shoulder pads on just like we do.”

“We are big enough and physical enough where we are not going to get overwhelmed by their size,” Roberts added. “We are athletic enough we are not going to get overwhelmed by their speed and athleticism.”

One of Tampa Bay Tech’s most athletic players is Gaines, the four-star receiver committed to Iowa State. Gaines has 63 catches for 830 yards and ten touchdowns this season.

“Greg has been huge for us this year,” Roberts said. “He’s our team leader, a captain, in all of our big games he always comes up the biggest.”

Speaking of biggest, look no further than the Titans defensive line.

“Our defensive line is special. Our d-line is generational,” Roberts said. “Very seldom are you going to find a defensive front where all four guys are absolute monsters and unblockable.”

State Championships Schedule:

CLASS 3A - Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna 21, Berkeley Prep 0 (Tallahassee)

CLASS 7A - Tampa Bay Tech vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale), Dec. 17, 7 p.m.

CLASS 6A - Jesuit vs. Pine Forest (Ft. Lauderdale), Dec. 18, 7 p.m.