TAMPA (WFLA) – The holiday season arrived early at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers practice facility. Mike Evans, who is a wide receiver for the Buccaneers, certainly gave one group of fifth graders from Sulphur Springs Community School a reason to smile.
The wheels on the bus stopped at One Buc Place on Wednesday.
A group of 13 deserving fifth graders filed inside the building. They thought they were getting a tour as a reward for their exceptional grades in school. They never thought Mike Evans would be leading it. He actually surprised the students by sneaking behind them while they were taking a picture in the team’s auditorium.
“It made me feel excited,” said student Damien Hill. “When we were in that one room, he was behind us. My heart popped out.”
They traveled from the auditorium, to the cafeteria, to the weight room, to the practice field.
“We went outside and played,” said Hill.
They also visited the media room. Mike acted like he wanted to avoid it.
“I thought we were just going to see a room but I knew something was suspicious because of Mike’s face,” said Abrianna Earnest, who is also a student. “He acted like he didn’t like it.”
These students were treated to a bundle of Christmas gifts from Mike and his wife when they entered the media room.
“The youth are the future so I think that we should instill good things in them while we can,” said Mike. “My wife and I are very passionate about helping the kids.”
The couple pulled gift ideas straight from the students’ individual wish lists.
“I did not know we were getting all of this,” said Earnest. “I got a karaoke machine, a coloring book, and some CDs for that karaoke machine.”
It is safe to say Mike Evans made their day.
“It was the best day ever,” said Earnest.
Hill said, “God is good!”
Mike Evans agreed with both of them. “God is good! I like them both. I like them both.”