Bucs reward Pizzo students for playing - FOX 13 News

Bucs reward Pizzo students for playing

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Pizzo Elementary erupted with applause for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when they arrived for this extra cool day at school.

"That was crazy" fifth-grader Michael Irving said.

On this day it was actually the Bucs that came to honor the kids for their winning effort in the NFL's Play 60 campaign, a national effort created by the league and the American Heart Association to inspire kids to exercise for a minimum of 60 minutes per day.

The north Tampa school outperformed 17 other Bay Area schools, totaling the most hours playing and getting healthy. How many did they log?

"I think 10,000," said Irving.

"No, it's in the millions," said fifth-grader Nate'Quandra Adkins.

Bucs wide receiver Vincent Jackson gets an 'A' for the correct answer. "This school was something around, I want to say 160,000 minutes. It's amazing. The district, with 18 schools involved was over a million."

The Bucs award the Pizzo $2,000 in sports equipment to help keep up the effort to stay fit.

Even rain and cold weather couldn't dampen the excitement to get in today's 60 minutes of play, especially with the chance to do it with the real Buccaneers.

For Da'Quan Bowers, this was a flash back to his days in school. Although, at 6-foot-4, he didn't actually blend in when he took a seat on the floor among the kids.

"It really did take me back," said Bowers. "To be a part of something like this is special. The guys and I enjoyed it."

Jackson looked like he was having more fun than the kids were and the kids had a blast.

"I think I did," said Jackson. "Out there sitting in the crowd with them. Watching them go through the drills. They were just having a blast. You just remember those days. Seems like not too long ago we were in their shoes."

Play 60 is the most successful program the NFL has come up with. They've been doing it for seven years and it's become such a hit that the league owners, coaches and players all know what it stands for by name.

"School is about mental health as well," said Jackson. "We want to not only make sure they are getting their education, but they are being good citizens, being good students with their classmates and behavior. All those good things are a part of being a part of our good community."

As an added bonus, the kids got to check out the Bucs' new helmet, and so did the players.

"It's outstanding," said Jackson. "It's beautiful. I think it's going to tie in well with the uniforms that are probably coming out next week and we are excited to see that as well. It's a new look. A new image. It's fresh."

"I love it," added Bowers. "It's a different look. A new look. It's a trend setter. Looking forward to wearing it."

It was a big hit with the kids as well, who thanked the team with a special cheer: "Go Bucs!"

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