Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Problem Solved

Community Notes: Michelle Stone, NFL Fan Teacher of the Year, faced a dilemma until the Bucs stepped in...Plus, a Buc Cookbook Sale and an opportunity for high school coaches

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LB Shelton Quarles made L'Asia Maxwell's day on Friday

Tampa's Stewart Middle School held a Super Bowl party on Friday, and Shelton Quarles was the MVP.

Quarles was the featured guest at Friday's event, not only because he is a well-known linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but also because he came bearing a special gift. At the party, he presented student L'Asia Maxwell with a round-trip plane ticket to Hawaii on behalf of the Buccaneers.

That gesture was a follow-up to an award presented to Maxwell's former fifth-grade teacher, Michelle Stone, in January. It was Maxwell who nominated Stone for the NFL's Fan Teacher of the Year Award and, thrillingly, Stone was the national winner. The most exciting part of Stone's award – apart from the reminder that she had played such an important role in a specific student's life – was a trip to the 2006 Pro Bowl provided by the NFL, complete with air fare, hotel accommodations and game tickets.

Now Maxwell will be joining her mentor in Honolulu.

Thanks to the Buccaneers, Stone was saved from having to make a very difficult decision. She had wanted to take both her mother and Maxwell on the trip; none of them had ever been to Hawaii before. The Buccaneers solved the dilemma by stepping in to purchase an extra plane ticket for Maxwell.

"I'm so excited," gushed Maxwell upon learning of the gift. "I've never been anywhere, so this is surprising to me. I'm going to have fun!"

Additional prizes for the Teacher of the Year included a $500 award for Stone and a $5,000 donation to Sheehy Elementary School, where she encountered Maxwell. Quarles' visit was truly a surprise, because Friday's party was not a transparent set-up for a player visit or a presentation. As the student who nominated the winning teacher in the national contest, Maxwell had won the NFL-style Super Bowl party for her class.

As it turned out, that was only the beginning of L'Asia's fun.

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Cookbook Sale

You can make prime rib like Mike Alstott, serve up enchiladas to please Jon Gruden and learn several new was to make Mac and cheese. And so can your friends.

The Buccaneers have put the 2005 Buccaneers Family Cookbook on sale, and the result is a perfect opportunity to pick up gifts for your friends and support a great cause.

The Buccaneers Family Cookbook is now on sale. Purchase one for $20 and you get the second one for $10. The best part: All proceeds for every copy bought go to the PACE Center for Girls in Tampa.

Alstott's recipe is in there, as is Cindy Gruden's enchilada directions. You can also cook meatloaf like Dave Moore, serve up a brie appetizer straight from the coach's kitchen and delight guests with hundreds of other recipes. Looking for the right menu for your next Buccaneer tailgate party? It's in there!

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Coaching Summit

Rod Marinelli, the new head coach of the Detroit Lions and a key contributor to the Buccaneers' last decade of success, has been teaching football for the last 33 years. The first three of those years (1973-75) were spent at Rosemead High School in California.

Just as there is player talent at the high school level waiting for NFL stardom, there is coaching talent waiting to develop and shine, like Marinelli's. That's where the NFL's High School Coaching Summit comes in.

The sixth annual Summit will be held in Canton, Ohio from August 3-6, coinciding with the Hall of Fame game. More than 100 fortunate high school coaches representing every state in the nation will attend, and will learn from the best in the business. And, while career development of the type enjoyed by Marinelli is important, the larger benefit of the Summit is obvious: Better coaching means a better experience for youth football players.

Attendees for the High School Coaching Summit are chosen from among applications sent in on NFLHS.com. If you are a coach who would like to send in your own application, or if you would like to nominate a worthy coach you know, please click here.

The program is open to all active high school-level head football coaches (coaching status will be verified with the school prior to delegate notification). The deadline for applications is February 24, 2006. Winners will be notified by mail of their status during the spring of 2006.

The summit will include three days of clinics, educational seminars and roundtable discussions led by some of the NFL's greatest stars

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