WOLF PIRATES PHOTO GALLERY
By TOM ZEBOLD
USF Senior Writer
TAMPA, FEB. 24, 2014 – The 7-0 Bulls capped off a stellar weekend with a series sweep of Penn State on Sunday, but a couple of busy Wolf boys were the ones who stole the show at USF Baseball Stadium.
Nick Wolf, 9, and his brother, Scott, 8, got the swashbuckling adventure kids dream of during the Wolf Pirate Takeover, a treasure-seeking journey that took place every half inning and between frames. Nick became a USF baseball team captain last August and joined the Bulls’ family through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation adoption program, an organization which helps improve the lives of children with pediatric brain tumors.
“I know they’re going to sleep well tonight and they’ll have lots of stories to tell,” said father, Jim Wolf.
Both Wolf brothers and members of the USF staff were decked out in pirate apparel for an afternoon filled with fun and many guests. The Crewe of Bobbie C. Davis, the Crewe of De Sotok, the Bonney-Read Krewe, Ye Loyal Krewe of Samuel Bellamy, Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla, the Krewe of Nautilus and the Sirens of The Gold Sabre also were geared up and joined the Wolf brothers prior to first pitch to throw out beads to fans. Joining Rocky the Bull were fellow mascots Raymond of the Tampa Bay Rays and Marty the Marauder of the Bradenton Pirates.
“Today was an awesome day. I could tell the boys had a great time,” said proud mother, Christina Wolf. “They had smiles on their faces and it really means a lot to us to see how much effort everyone from the community and here at USF put in.”
Soon a pirate flag was raised in right field and the chase for the treasure was in full swing.
Nick and Scott escaped a plank walk, rescued a damsel in distress, announced upcoming batters in the press box, sang “A Pirate’s Life for Me” on the dugout during the seventh inning stretch and eventually discovered the treasure along with probably the most fun part of the day – sword fighting pirates while also clanking steel (or plastic) with the mascots.
“They definitely have to feel like pirates now between the treasure and being allowed to fight with their swords without mommy and daddy saying, ‘Stop it.’ I think they really enjoyed that quite a bit,” Christina said.
“Hopefully Rocky’s bruising will go away,” Jim added.
The day was complete after reliever Janick Serrallonga put the finishing touches on USF’s 6-5 victory over Penn State, when the Wolf brothers joined the Bulls for a team photo USF Athletics will treasure for a long time to come.
“It couldn’t be a better day for that family,” head coach Lelo Prado said. “I told my team, ‘We better not lose today because this is important to them.’ They wanted to win it for Nick and the family. It was just a great atmosphere.”
USF baseball has followed the Bulls’ growing tradition of adding honorary captains to teams through the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The USF women’s soccer team welcomed Sydney Goodloff to the family last season and Spencer Guenette has been a part of the USF men’s soccer team for five years.
“Spencer is a huge part of the fabric here at USF,” men’s coach George Kiefer said. “What’s been really rewarding is seeing him go through what he’s gone through and stand so strong. When he first came out he had to meet us at the stadium because he couldn’t run down the hill and now he runs down the hill with the team, it’s awesome.”
Learn more about the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation at the organization’s official web page HERE.