Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Net Gain

There were ‘Bucs on the Beach’ on Saturday, as a volleyball tournament presented by Checkers raised extensive funds for charity

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DE Steve White (middle rear) coached the Coca-Cola team to the title in the inaugural 'Bucs on the Beach'

The Tampa Bay Buccaneer coaches lost 15-12 on Saturday. Maybe they needed Martin Gramatica for one last field goal.

Or maybe not. The Bucs' kicker is renowned for his legwork, and a team of six Buccaneer coaches and football staffers was using its arms on Saturday, competing in the inaugural 'Bucs on the Beach' volleyball tournament. A charitable event presented by the Buccaneers and Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Bucs on the Beach raised over $20,000 (est.) for the benefit of The Spring of Tampa Bay and the Glazer Family Foundation. All proceeds will be split between these two charitable organizations.

The Buccaneers are in the midst of a four-week voluntary practice schedule, but they took time out this past weekend to stage an exciting and productive event on Clearwater Beach at the Hilton Clearwater Beach Resort. On hand from the Bucs' roster were QB Shaun King, S John Lynch, LB Derrick Brooks, T Jason Odom, TE Dave Moore, DE Steve White, LB Jamie Duncan, G Frank Middleton, T Jerry Wunsch, TE Patrick Hape, P Mark Royals, LB Don Davis, CB Floyd Young, WR Yo Murphy, LB Jameion Spencer and WR Tavarus Hogans.

Each Buc player coached a team of six that had entered the inaugural Bucs on the Beach tournament, many under corporate sponsorship. The tournament started at 9:00 a.m. and continued through a single-elimination format until two squads squared off for first place: Coca-Cola and the Lauren Wittman All-Stars. The Coca-Cola team, coached by White, defeated the Lauren Wittman squad, led by Hape, for the top spot and a chance to face the team of Tampa Bay coaches in the championship.

The championship game was a spirited battle. Though the favored Coca-Cola group shot out to an early 7-2 lead, the Buc squad put together a solid run to nearly pull off the comeback. Tampa Bay's group was comprised of Wide Receivers Coach Charlie Williams, Tight Ends Coach Ricky Thomas, Offensive Assistant Coach Wendell Avery, Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach Les Ebert, Assistant Trainer Keith Abrams and Coordinator of Pro Personnel Mark Dominik.

An estimated crowd of 700 people crowded the Hilton resort to cheer on their teams and support the Buccaneers, The Spring and the Glazer Family Foundation. In addition, Sunshine Network filmed the event and will air a 90-minute show devoted to Bucs on the Beach on Sunday, June 11 (2:00 p.m.), Wednesday, June 14 (8:30 p.m.), Tuesday, June 20 (11:30 p.m.) and Friday, June 23 (1:00 p.m.). Sunshine Network will also air the special in July on dates yet to be determined.

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