Bucs build fields, hope for the future - FOX 13 News

Bucs build fields, hope for the future

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Clearwater's Greenwood community got a huge gift from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday: Brand new multi-purpose fields.

First-year Buccaneer Leonard Johnson, who grew-up playing on those fields in North Greenwood,

Is now living his dream.

"I'm pretty sure all these guys watched me throughout high school and college now that I'm home, playing for the hometown team, it's even better," said Johnson.

He spent the afternoon mentoring kids who dream to be in his shoes one day.

"I'm just doing God's work and trying to connect with the guys in the community," said Johnson with a big smile.

The Bucs broke ground Tuesday, golden shovels and all, for new multi-purpose practice fields, and when they're done, they'll be called Tampa Bay Buccaneers Field.

The Bucs and Clearwater For Youth are working together on this.

"And we're going to do one foot each hole," said Johnson as he instructed one of the kids through a practice drill.  "And I'm going to be over there. I'm going to throw you the ball, you catch it, I need speed."

After the ceremony, more than 50 Greenwood Panthers, the very same youth league Johnson played in as a kid, ran through practice drills.

"Pick it up! Pick it up! There you go! Good speed! Good speed!" said one of the Bucs' coaches to their young protégés.

To these kids, Johnson is a hometown hero. They can't wait to get a picture taken with him or have him sign their football.

"It's a dream come true," said Leonard's mom Schenique Harris.  "We've been living this moment from day one since he was a little boy."

Harris and their family are so proud.

"To be part of something that's going to be new for the North Greenwood area and also, something new for him, being part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, so he came in at the right time, so we're super excited," said Harris.

She's a longtime Bucs fan and said she still can't believe Leonard is playing with them.

"Hit myself on the back of the head and say, Oh my God! Leonard's out there," she exclaimed.

She's using social media to get a buzz going for the team and hopefully try to get more fans in seats.

"My mom put a post up on Facebook and everyone was liking it and talking about coming out, and I honestly think this year's going to be a big turnaround," said Johnson.

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