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11 September 2015

BUCCANEERS AND FANS GET ‘BACK TO FOOTBALL’ AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM

Buccaneers Kids Zone, Military Recognition, Youth Football Scrimmages and Buccaneers Academy Gameday for Kids Guests Highlight Fan Engagement Sunday
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will kick off the regular season in front of their home crowd on Sunday, Sept. 13, as Tampa Bay fans get Back to Football while honoring local heroes, promoting youth football, and welcoming special guests to Raymond James Stadium.
 
BUCCANEERS KIDS ZONE AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM
 
Youth fans are encouraged to check out the Buccaneers Kids Zone at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Set up adjacent to Tampa Bay Boulevard, immediately south of Raymond James Stadium, the Kids Zone will include inflatable football activities, interactive PLAY 60 drills, and visits by Captain Fear (2:00-3:00 p.m.) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders (2:30-3:30 p.m.) for children to enjoy free of charge. New this season in the Kids Zone, Buccaneers Football Development staff members Darrell Taylor and Chris Leak will provide football instruction for youth by hosting a Legends Pregame Clinic (3:00–3:30 p.m.) to help encourage activity for at least 60 minutes a day. On Sunday, the Legends Pregame Clinic will feature Buccaneers Legend, quarterback Jeff Carlson. The Kids Zone will be open from 1:00-4:00 p.m., in Lot 6D (Tampa Bay Boulevard between Gates C and D), prior to kickoff.
 
TEAM INTRODUCTIONS
 
For team introductions, Buccaneers Legend, Ring of Honor member and Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks will lead the team out of the tunnel.
 
HONORARY CAPTAIN
 
The Buccaneers will welcome Medina Turner to mid-field on Sunday as the team’s honorary captain. A former University of Georgia basketball player, Turner was named as the first recipient of the NCAA Perseverance Award in April 2015. Hit by tragedy, including the death of her sister and father, compounded by the loss of her home to foreclosure, she and her family found themselves on extremely hard times and without a place to live. Turner, who also adopted her sister’s children, arrived at Tampa’s Metropolitan Ministries in 2013 to get back on the right track. Since then, she was accepted into the University of Florida’s Social Work program and is on pace to graduate in 2016. Having saved enough money to become self-sufficient again, Turner and her two sons moved into a home of their own earlier this year. For her personal achievements, Turner recently received the Freddie Solomon Moral Courage Award in 2015 from the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.
 
HERO OF THE GAME
 
Before kickoff, the Buccaneers will continue a tradition with the team’s military Hero of the Game. At every Buccaneers home game, a selected military member will be stationed on the Pirate Ship in Buccaneer Cove to ring the ship’s bell and ready the team for action. On Sunday, the Buccaneers will honor U.S. Air Force Captain Edwin Levin. Captain Levin served his nation in World War II, flying 28 aerial missions from Italy into German-occupied territory. Captain Levin’s historic 483rd Bombardment Group played a significant role in the eventual defeat of German forces during World War II, and he received the Air Force Air Medal for his aerial combat service.
 
SALUTE TO SERVICE SUITE
 
At every Buccaneers home game, the team honors a distinguished group of military members with an exclusive gameday experience in the Salute to Service Suite. During a break in play, fans are encouraged to direct their attention to the pirate ship and join players and coaches in thanking local servicemen and servicewomen for their sacrifices, including:
 
From the Air Force, Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Camacho and Senior Airman Joshua Ortega;
From the Army, Staff Sergeant Jamie Stockton and Sergeant First Class Nicholas Burhans;
From the Coast Guard, Petty Officer Third Class John Montelbano;
From the Marines, Corporal Nicholas Clark;
From the Navy, Personnel Specialist First Class Matthew Gooden and Chief Petty Officer Josiah Davis 

HALFTIME: YOUTH FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGES
 
At halftime of Sunday’s contest, four local youth football teams will take the field at Raymond James Stadium. In the north end zone, from the Tampa Bay Youth Football League (Super Midgets), the Brandon Bears will take on the Lutz Chiefs. In the south end zone, from Pop Warner Mid Florida (Mitey Mites) the Lake Brantley Patriots will take on the Carrollwood Hurricanes from the Pop Warner Foundation for Youth Development (Mitey Mites).
 
BUCCANEERS ACADEMY GAMEDAY FOR KIDS GUESTS
 
For each Buccaneers home game, the Bucs Care Foundation hosts 100 “Gameday for Kids” from the Buccaneers Academy program to promote academic achievement and positive behavior in children. Selected groups receive game tickets, t-shirts, food vouchers and Buccaneers flags by achieving goals set by their teachers. On Sunday, the Buccaneers will welcome students from Davis Elementary, Edison Elementary, and Potter Elementary. More than 15,000 youths and community members representing over 100 organizations from Tampa Bay have been rewarded through the annual program.
 
About the Bucs Care Foundation
The Bucs Care Foundation is dedicated to making a difference in the Tampa Bay area through programming that will inspire, equip and celebrate the “Champion” in each of us. Tampa Bay Buccaneers players, coaches, cheerleaders, alumni, and staff have an active role in community improvement through a variety of youth health and education initiatives, family outreach, and military support. Innovative partnerships between the Bucs Care Foundation and local nonprofit organizations provide assistance to thousands of Central Florida residents each year. To learn more, visit www.buccaneers.com/community.   
 
 
Contact:    
 
Allen Barrett
Public Relations Manager
813.767.9862 cell
abarrett@buccaneers.nfl.com
 
Eileen Sweeney
Director of Community Relations
813.870.2700 ext. 3813
esweeney@buccaneers.nfl.com
 
Kevin Brown
Sr. Manager of Community Relations
813.870.2700 ext. 1347
kbrown@buccaneers.nfl.com
 

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