Orlando native, Boone High graduate to play in Super Bowl 55

Tommy Townsend is punter for Kansas City Chiefs

Orlando native Tommy Townsend is the punter for the Kansas City Chiefs who will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl LV.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando native Tommy Townsend is the punter for the Kansas City Chiefs who will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Super Bowl LV.

His family visited Boone’s High’s football stadium, reminiscing about the time Tommy Townsend spent out on the field.

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“We’re looking out here feeling gratitude and appreciation. It was like a family out here during the games... very rewarding,” Clay Townsend said.

Clay Townsend said his son’s journey to the Super Bowl didn’t happen overnight. Tommy Townsend played football games at Boone High’s field from Pop Warner as a child, all the way through high school.

“One of our favorite moments was beating Edgewater and winning the battle for the barrel... imagine the boys beating their brains out for this old barrel,” Clay Townsend said. “We hadn’t beat them in a while and Tommy had two interceptions... it was a special moment.”

Andy Johnson is the Boone High football head coach and was at that game in 2014. He said Tommy Townsend’s success on the field is no surprise.

Kansas City Chiefs punter Tommy Townsend (5)'s helmet has "Stop Hate" on his helmet before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

“With Tommy, it was always his competitive spirit, he wanted to be the best and that’s what propelled him to be where he’s at,” Johnson said.

Tommy’s brother, Johnny Townsend, is also a punter in the NFL, playing for the Baltimore Ravens.

The two brother’s played side by side for the University of Florida Gators in college.

“When we both played at UF, Tommy was my backup and when the Chief’s brought me on to the practice squad, I was his backup. It’s funny how the script flipped,” Johnny Townsend said.

The whole family was in Kansas City when the Chiefs beat the Bills to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. His mom Susan Townsend is so proud, showing off a special souvenir: The hand warmers Tommy Townsend wore during the game.

“After they won the AFC, Tommy filled it ( the hand warmers) with confetti and slung it to us with all the confetti inside,” Susan Townsend said.

“It still hasn’t hit me yet. It is the biggest sporting event in the world, there’s nothing like it... just to have my little brother running out on the field is pretty special,” Johnny Townsend said.

Now the family is packing up for the short drive to the big game to support Tommy Townsend.

They’ll be sporting No. 5 in the Chiefs jersey, watching Tommy Townsend’s dream come true as he makes his Super Bowl debut.

“It’s so exciting... I look at them and even though they’re grown men, I see them as my children, I’m going to start crying... it’s hard to express,” Susan Townsend said. “We sat here in this (Boone High School) stadium for all three boys and we have a lot of happy memories with a great community here at Boone High School and it just brings back a lot of good memories.”

About the Author:

Crystal Moyer is a morning news anchor who joined the News 6 team in 2020.