Tonight, when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers host the Cleveland Browns for the third game of the 2016 preseason, the team will engage local youth with the all-new "Bucs Squad Experience" outside Raymond James Stadium and the annual Junior Cheerleaders performance. In addition, the team will continue the tradition of honoring local heroes throughout gameday with the Hero of the Game and the Salute to Service Suite, amongst other recognition activities.
BUCS SQUAD EXPERIENCE & BUCS SQUAD TWO-MINUTE DRILL AT RAYMOND JAMES STADIUM
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Bucs Squad is an exciting new program designed to get the next generation of Bucs fans behind the bench and inside the huddle with their favorite NFL team. By becoming a Bucs Squad member, fans 14-and-under get access to amazing gameday experiences. For more information and to sign up for the Bucs Squad, visit the Bucs Squad Two-Minute Drill locations in sections 112 and 137.The Bucs Squad Experience
will be open 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. in Lot 6D (Tampa Bay Blvd. between Gates C & D) for all children and families attending the game. The Bucs Squad Experience will include inflatable football activities, interactive PLAY 60 football clinics, as well as visits from Captain Fear (5:30 – 6:30 p.m.) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders (6:30 – 7:00 p.m.) for children to enjoy free of charge.
**OLYMPIC-THEMED JUNIOR CHEERLEADERS PERFORMANCE
At halftime of tonight's contest, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will once again host the annualJunior Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleadersperformance. More than 125 youth cheerleaders ages 6-14 will perform Olympic-themed choreographed routines alongside the 2016 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders in front of fans at Raymond James Stadium. The longstanding program, which has included a unique meet and greet event with the Buccaneers Cheerleaders, cheerleading workshops, an exclusive Junior Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleaders uniform, and the opportunity to perform at halftime alongside the Buccaneers Cheerleaders, is designed specifically to promote self-esteem, commitment, and discipline among girls of all ages and ability levels.
TEAM INTRODUCTIONS AND HONORARY CAPTAINS
For team introductions, Jamal Jefferson, Athletic Director for the Tampa Bay Youth Football League Junior Buccaneers, will lead the team out of the tunnel. Following the national anthem, four members of the Junior Buccaneerswill serve as the team's Honorary Captains for the coin toss.
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 for the ringing of the ship bell and to ready the team for action. Tonight, the Buccaneers will honor U.S. Army Private First Class Herbert Manley. Private First Class Manley served in World War II. During the war, Private First Class Manley valiantly fought in the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, at the border of Germany and Belgium, and in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and Luxembourg. For his bravery and commitment to service, Private First Class Manley was awarded two Purple Hearts and one Bronze Medal.
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 Jason Abbey;
- From the Army, Staff Sergeant Wesley Bradley and Staff Sergeant Ella Davis;
- From the Coast Guard, Chief Petty Officer Joshua Marzi and Machinery Technician Second Class Aaron Backes
- From the Marines, Sergeant Matthew Hagans
- From the Navy, Chief Petty Officer Michael Butterfield and Lieutenant Commander Brandy Grossi
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. More than 16,000 youths and community members representing over 100 organizations from Tampa Bay have been rewarded through the annual program. Friday's program attendees will represent Cleveland Elementary, Sulphur Springs Elementary,andKenly Elementary.*
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.