Vernon Hargreaves III, Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo and other members of the 2016 Buccaneers Rookie Club enjoyed bowling with more than 20 Tampa Fire Rescue first-year firefighters on Friday at Pin Chasers Veterans in Tampa. Every Bucs player gives back to the local community, and rookies learn to make a positive impact in the Bay-area immediately.
"The things that they do for the community, they can't be thanked enough," Hargreaves, a Tampa native and 2016 first-round pick, said of the firefighters.
"This is a very exciting day not only for my guys but for the entire Tampa Fire Rescue Family, having the opportunity to play with such tremendous athletes as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers," Tampa Fire Chief Tom Forward said.
The 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rookie Club spent the day bowling with first-year firefighters from Tampa Fire Rescue.
Rookie players paired off with firefighters for a couple friendly games of bowling and a pizza lunch. The two groups were able to find common ground quickly as both are acclimating to new teams, and for some participants, a new city also.
"I think it's really cool to come out here and to meet people in the community since I'm new here," second-round pick Noah Spence said.
The Buccaneers Rookie Club is a longstanding program to engage the newest Bucs players in the local community through a variety of outreach activities. In 2015, rookies also participated in events that supported active and retired military, inspired underprivileged youth, and promoted health and wellness for local children.
The bowling event is in its second year. Rookie firefighter Natalee Allen was thankful for the chance to spend a laid back event with her colleagues and the Bucs players.
"We are here to serve the Tampa community, they are here to entertain the community, and we all get to hang out with one another," Allen said. "It feels like I'm out bowling with my friends."