Bulls arrive in the Bahamas – UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff – University at Buffalo Reporter

Posted: December 18, 2019 at 8:53 pm

By DAVID J. HILL

NASSAU, BAHAMAS The Bulls touched down in the Bahamas shortly after 1:30 Monday afternoon and were greeted by sunshine, palm trees, 80-degree weather and reggae music at Lynden Pindling International Airport.

The UB football team is trading in the frigid snow of Buffalo for the warmth of the Caribbean this week as they get set to face UNC-Charlotte in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on Friday. Both teams arrived Monday and will participate in a variety of events throughout the week.

Mondays festivities featured a welcome reception for the teams, which are both staying at the expansive Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas resort hotel. Im stoked. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Were really blessed and fortunate to be in this situation, said Jake Fuzak, a junior offensive lineman from Williamsville.

The weeklong Bahamas trip is the Bulls reward for a 7-5 regular season. Its their second straight bowl appearance and fourth in program history. UB is hoping to make history by capturing its first-ever bowl victory later this week.

Until then, its all about experiencing a new destination with teammates. I know theyre 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, said Bulls head coach Lance Leipold.

Its amazing. Its beautiful. All the guys saw Atlantis, and everyone got riled up and excited, added Taylor Riggins, a junior defensive end from Webster, New York. Everyone on the team is really excited to be here and get out of that cold weather up in Buffalo. Lately its been low 30s and snowing every day. To be able to get down here in the sun is really nice for us.

For junior linebacker Kadofi Wright, just about everything will be new and nice this is the first trip outside of Virginia or New York for the Richmond native. This hotel is ridiculous. Ive never seen anything like it, he said.

The Bulls plan on having some fun while theyre here, but make no mistake, theyve got one goal in mind. Its not really a vacation for us. Its a business trip, Wright said. Were looking forward to a win. Once we win, then itll be a fun trip.

UB has already scored one victory over Charlotte since arriving in the Bahamas. Max Michel, a redshirt freshman linebacker from Elizabeth, New Jersey, used his speedy thumbs to guide the Bulls to a win in the pinball competition held during the welcome reception. Not bad for someone who hasnt even played pinball since he was a kid playing it on a computer game.

The Bulls received a championship trophy, and will return to Buffalo with a pinball machine, the grand prize for winning the event.

When asked how he managed to perform so well despite a severe lack of pinball experience, Michel offered this gem: When its all on the line, you have to lock in, and thats what I did.

The teams practice on Tuesday was cancelled. But later in the day, the players will take part in a beach bash and dinner featuring a dance contest and games, including beach bowling and beach golf.

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Bulls arrive in the Bahamas - UB Now: News and views for UB faculty and staff - University at Buffalo Reporter

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