By P. Haywood Jr.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL — If you were born and raised in St. Petersburg, then you are well aware of the rich sports tradition at Gibbs High School. They have produced NFL players, professional boxers, Major League Baseball players. However, their track program was decent back in the 1980’s with Derek Walker and Kevin Gordon who at one point and time set records in the 100, 200 and 400 meters.
Enter Anthony Givins, who comes from a pedigree of athletes. His father was outstanding athlete in his own right and of course his brother, Ernest Givins who sustained a 12 year NFL career with the Houston Oilers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Givins took over the track program around 2000 but until recently as 2012 the Gladiators had never won a district track championship. Is that hard to believe? They have always had the talent, but according to Givins it is hard to get guys to come out. Since the 2005 season the Gladiators have put together a nice string of district runner-up performances, but never seem to reach the plateau until this season.
What they accomplished this season was a district track title and a region runner-up. The primary reason they fared so well was because they had the top sprinter in Pinellas County. Trayvon Bromell, who has rewritten the record, books at Gibbs with his smashing performances throughout the track season. Bromell outran his competitors to win the Pinellas County Athletic Conference meet in the 100 and 200 meters, in which he was named the MVP. His other accolades include the Ed Wells Invitational MVP in the 100 and 200 meters, a first place finish the regional meet and second in the 200. Recently he participated in the Prestigious Golden South track meet in which he finished third in the 100 meters with a time of 10.39 and a time of 21.3 in the 200. Bromell not only gets it in on the track, but also he is very proficient in the classroom by maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Currently he is being recruited in track by some of the top programs in the country such as, Texas A&M, LSU, UK, FIU and Oregon just to name a few. He is also being recruited as football player by WVA, Clemson and Nebraska.
With guys like Bromell who is a senior to be and former stars such as, Jarvis West (Iowa State/WR) Kevin Williams (AFL) and Jerrell Young (USF/ Jacksonville Jaguars) have all contributed to the resurrection of the track program under the tutelage of Anthony Givins.