By Marci Shatzman
It took five buses with a state police escort to transport the University of South Florida’s football team to play Syracuse University in the 10th Roofclaim.com Boca Raton Bowl Thursday in FAU Stadium.
An official greeting party held Go Bulls! signs as the buses pulled into the parking lot of the Marriott Boca Raton shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday. They had been on the move since 20 minutes before 1 p.m.
“That’s why we’re here,” said Derek Bowman, an offensive lineman. He was “surprised” at the warm Boca welcome.
Staff from the Bowl’s charity partner Spirit of Giving, Boca Bowl community captains and volunteers from Marietta College in Ohio also greeted the players with signs as they emerged from the buses.
Sunday also welcomed the Syracuse Orange at another venue, the official start of Bowl Week in Boca. The game has a family pre-event on the FAU stadium grounds, and the kickoff is 8 p.m. Thursday Dec. 21. An ESPN Event, the game is televised nationally. For tickets, parking info and details go to https://roofclaimbocaratonbowl.com/ticket/
“It’s always the best part when the teams arrive and they’re really here,” said Boca Bowl’s executive director Doug Mosley. “We’re making sure these student athletes have the best experience possible.”
Mosley greeted USF head coach Alex Golesh as he stepped off the first bus. Next for both teams were events designed to keep the welcome momentum going, including a beach bash.
A public pep rally is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 20 in Mizner Park Amphitheater that will include both marching bands and cheer squads.
Syracuse and USF have met 10 times prior to this game with the Bulls leading the series (8 to 2).
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