Buffalo, Charlotte Ready for an Exciting Week at Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl

 

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Charlotte Team ArrivalPhoto Credit: Kemuel Stubbs

NASSAU, Bahamas — Buffalo and Charlotte arrived to the Atlantis Paradise Island resort on Monday afternoon to kick off the sixth year of the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.

First-year Charlotte head coach Will Healy is excited that his school’s first-ever bowl game is in the Bahamas.

“This is the perfect destination,” Healy said. “The first bowl game in program history, and a dream trip – trip of a lifetime. Just walking them through the entrance here and walking back to the ballroom and where we’re going to be meeting – I wish I could have seen their faces heading to the beach. It’s a special place, and I’ve been excited since I was here the last time to be able to show it off. We’re very excited to be here.”

Buffalo will be making its fourth bowl game appearance after playing in the Dollar General Bowl last season, the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2008 International Bowl.

Fourth-year head coach Lance Leipold and his Bulls squad were also thrilled to be in the Bahamas.

“You could feel the energy on the bus coming here and we could feel it this morning when we met as a team back in Buffalo,” Buffalo’s fifth-year head coach Lance Leipold said. “I had a chance to be down here a week ago, seeing what it’s all about and seeing the experiences they’re going to have. I know they’re going to make memories that will last a lifetime.”

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Buffalo Team Arrival

Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs

Buffalo junior defensive end Taylor Riggins was amazed at the Atlantis resort.

“It’s amazing,” Riggins said. “It’s beautiful. All the guys saw Atlantis, and everyone got riled up and excited. Everyone on the team is really excited to be here and get out of that cold weather up in Buffalo. Lately it’s been low 30s and snowing every day. To be able to get down here in the sun is really nice for us.”

All of the players and coaches know that balancing the beauty and opportunities at a resort like the Atlantis will be both enjoyable and a key to success in Friday’s game.

Sophomore receiver Victor Tucker of Charlotte is aware of that balancing act between fun and football and making history in the school’s first bowl appearance.

“It’s very exciting,” Tucker said. “That’s something that we talked about collectively as a unit, making history at the school. Why not be the first? That’s the mindset we’ve had this whole season, so we’re just keeping it going. It feels great because at first we didn’t see the results that we wanted to see at the beginning of the season. To stay the course, to stay persistent and to see it pay off at the end of the year by being rewarded with a great trip like this is fulfilling.”

While each team is excited to be in the Bahamas, the primary focus remains Friday’s game, which is set to kick off at 2 pm at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.

BUFFALO QUOTES:

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Buffalo Team Arrival

Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs

Head Coach Lance Leipold
On arriving in the Bahamas today…
“It was very exciting. I had a chance to be down here a week ago, seeing what it’s all about and seeing the experiences they’re going to have. I know they’re going to make memories that will last a lifetime. You could feel the energy on the bus coming here and we could feel it this morning when we met as a team back in Buffalo.”

On the team’s reaction being selected to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“It was crazy. It was what they were hoping for once we hit bowl eligibility. It really solidified when we hit the seventh win that this would be a place that we were hoping to be selected and be a part of. We’re looking forward to a great week.”

On what he’s excited for this week…
“My family and I will probably try to squeeze some time. I’m a dolphin lover so I’d like to get over that way a little bit, and getting in the waterpark area. I try to make the most of it. I’m probably more at an age too where you get a lot of enjoyment watching guys experience things that they’ve never had the chance to do and may never get the chance to do again. That will make this trip very fulfilling at the early part of the week. We’ll make sure to get focused to play against an excellent football team and make this game as exciting as it has been in previous years.”

On the challenges of balancing fun with football…
“We talk about it. It will be challenging. We’ll find out how well we do at that, especially with this destination. You really have to try to balance it. As it gets closer to kickoff, then we get back into more normal routines. The layoff is one part of it – you haven’t played in a while and then you come to a place like this – these are all challenges that we’ve talked about and hopefully our team will embrace and be ready to go out and play well.”

Taylor Riggins, Junior, Defensive End
On the team arriving at Atlantis today…
“It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. All the guys saw Atlantis, and everyone got riled up and excited. Everyone on the team is really excited to be here and get out of that cold weather up in Buffalo. Lately it’s been low 30s and snowing every day. To be able to get down here in the sun is really nice for us.”

On balancing fun and football…
“It’s really important to stay focused. We want to have fun but also stay focused. At the end of the day we still have a task at hand: win a football game and take home the first bowl game in UB history.”

On the team’s reaction to being selected to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“We were so excited, jumping up and down. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. A lot of people on the team may not ever get the chance to come here again. It’s good to be able to do that with the guys and play the sport we love.”

Zac Lefebvre, Junior, Tight End
On his first thoughts about Atlantis…
“It was amazing. I’ve been to the Bahamas on a cruise, but I’ve never been to the Atlantis Resort. It’s a pretty cool experience looking around and seeing everything.

On the team’s reaction to being picked to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“Everyone just started getting crazy. We were jumping around, screaming and yelling. It was a good time.”

On Buffalo’s mindset coming into the week…
“Everyone’s excited. We couldn’t wait. It was between Idaho and here, so we were pretty happy that we got picked here. Buffalo right now is about 30 degrees with snow on the ground everywhere, so coming down here is awesome.”

CHARLOTTE QUOTES:

Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl Charlotte Team Arrival

Photo Credit: Kemuel Stubbs

Head Coach Will Healy
On arriving in the Bahamas today…
“This is the perfect destination. The first bowl game in program history, and a dream trip – trip of a lifetime. Just walking them through the entrance here and walking back to the ballroom and where we’re going to be meeting – I wish I could have seen their faces walking through the casino heading to the beach. It’s a special place, and I’ve been excited since I was here the last time to be able to show it off. We’re very excited to be here.”

On the team’s reaction being selected to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“Well, Twitter got me. I didn’t get a chance to tell them. But I went in and told them in some scuba gear, so I’m sure they wished they wouldn’t have come to the Bahamas if they wouldn’t have had to see me look like that. No, they were really excited. This is the trip of a lifetime for a lot of us. We’re excited to be here, play a great football team and enjoy the experience.”

On what he’s excited for this week…
“We’ve got Signing Day on Wednesday and I’m excited about signing this recruiting class. Also spending time with my family and treating our staff and their families the right way, making sure they get a chance to live it up is very exciting for me.”

On the challenges of balancing fun with football…
“This is my first bowl game, so it’s not like I have all the answers. Lance [Leipold] probably has better answers than I do. My idea is, when it’s time to lock in, let’s lock in. When it’s time to have fun, get away from it and enjoy it. This trip is about this destination. Our guys are mature, we’ve got an older group that’s locked in really well during the week. We’re going to let them enjoy it and we’ll lock back in on Wednesday and Thursday.”

Victor Tucker, Redshirt Sophomore, Wide Receiver
On the team arriving at Atlantis today…
“Everybody, honestly, was surprised. There aren’t too many people on this team who have been to the Bahamas so everyone had the same reaction walking in. We just want to enjoy it all together.”

On balancing fun and football…
“It’s very exciting. That’s something that we talked about collectively as a unit, making history at the school. Why not be the first? That’s the mindset we’ve had this whole season, so we’re just keeping it going. It feels great because at first we didn’t see the results that we wanted to see at the beginning of the season. To stay the course, to stay persistent and to see it pay off at the end of the year by being rewarded with a great trip like this is fulfilling.”

On the team’s reaction to being selected to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“It was a very exciting experience. I was just amazed because this is my first time coming to the Bahamas. To do it with this team and with this staff, I couldn’t picture it a better way.”

Tyriq Harris, Senior, Defensive End
On his first thoughts about Atlantis…
“It was crazy. I’ve always dreamed about going to the Bahamas, somewhere new and different. Just seeing the color of the water, how clear it was, it was really neat. One thing that really got me by surprise was the driving, that’s probably the first thing I noticed when I was coming in, this is some crazy driving.”

On the team’s reaction to being picked to the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl…
“It was once in a lifetime, for sure. We had speculations on where we might be going, but Coach Healy really sealed the deal for us when he came in with the full suit on.”

On what he’s excited for this week…
“Just hanging out with my teammates. Go to the beach, play some games, go to the arcade and everything like that. Get to explore and see what it’s like with my teammates.”

--MAKERS WANTED BAHAMAS BOWL--

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