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    • michael89156

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      Sons of ex-Bucs making names for themselves on prep teamssons1_zps6lz76a3h.jpg Northside Christian quarterback Griffin Alstott plays for his father,  Bucs legend Mike Alstott. LANCE ROTHSTEIN / STAFF sons2_zpsozhqrkeu.jpg Former Bucs fullback Mike Alstott said it is rewarding both as both a father and a coach getting to work with his son, Northside Christian quarterback Griffin Alstott. LANCE ROTHSTEIN / STAFFsons3_zpswzzkxrxf.jpg Cade Weldon, the son of former Bucs quarterback Casey, is starting for Jefferson. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOsons4_zpso2qcfgbs.jpg Decalon Brooks, a Gaither High linebacker who presented former Bucs star Derrick at the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction last August, said learning from his dad has been invaluable. CHRIS URSO/STAFFsons5_zpsq02srieo.jpg Rex Culpepper, the son of former Bucs defensive tackle Brad, was Plant’s starting quarterback until injuring his knee in a 7-on-7 tournament. TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOby Nick Williams      Tribune staff Published: August 28, 2015 judge_zpsvczlhftn.jpg Judge Culpepper is a sophomore tight end at Plant High. jr_zpsorl5hyxh.jpg Lawrence Dawsey Jr. leads Hillsborough at quarterback. ST. PETERSBURG — It was Oct. 3, 2014. Forty-seven seconds left. Down by four.Griffin Alstott, Northside Christian’s sophomore quarterback, dropped back and threw a pass to Darius Williams for the game-winning touchdown against undefeated Cambridge Christian.Across the field stood Alstott’s father and head coach, Mike Alstott, the six-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl-winning fullback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, looking on with pride.“Being able to look over at my dad and celebrate with him after the game, it was one of the best moments of my life,” Griffin Alstott said.The victory was monumental. It created the opportunity for the Mustangs to clinch the program’s first playoff appearance since 2006.“It’s two-fold, from a personal aspect,” said Mike Alstott, now entering his fourth season as Northside Christian’s football coach. “My son being able to do something so clutch to help our team, and then from a coach’s aspect, being able to give him the reins of the offensive side of the ball and conduct something and get in the right position in crucial situations throughout the game and be able to perform. First and foremost as a father, can’t be any prouder of him.”Under the Friday night lights across Tampa Bay, the sons of those familiar last names once printed on red, black and pewter jerseys are creating historic moments of their own.Decalon Brooks, son of Hall of Famer and former Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks, and Dorien Gooch, son of former Bucs linebacker Jeff Gooch, are close friends. They grew up together. Like their fathers, who now operate the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League, both sons play linebacker in high school. Decalon, a junior, was the second-leading tackler for Gaither last season, while Dorien is making his varsity debut at Tampa Catholic. Last Friday, Gaither and Tampa Catholic played each other in their preseason classic.The high school players said they enjoy being the sons of well-known NFL stars, but at times they feel like they must separate themselves from their famous fathers’ legacy.“It’s great having a Hall of Fame dad,” said Decalon, who was selected by his father to introduce him at the induction ceremony. “He played 14 years in the NFL. It’s been great just learning from him and the way he’s taught me at the linebacker position and the way he’s encouraged me throughout my football career. I’m just grateful and blessed to have a dad like him.”“I try to not hold myself accountable to the last name, I try to go out and make a name for myself,” Griffin Alstott said. “Obviously, having the name Alstott on my back is awesome and I love it because it’s my family name, but I try and go out and make a name for myself. Not live in his shadow. Step out and make my own image.”Casey Weldon and Lawrence Dawsey, teammates at Florida State and later with the Bucs in the early 1990s, have sons playing varsity football in Tampa. Cade Weldon, a junior, is the starting quarterback at Jefferson High. Lawrence Dawsey Jr., a senior, is the starting quarterback at Hillsborough.Gaither and Hillsborough will play each other on Sept. 11.“It’s a blessing and also a burden sometimes,” the younger Dawsey said of being the son of a former NFL player. “It’s a blessing, because I know I can ask him any question I want and he’ll have the answer for me, but at the same time, it’s a lot of pressure knowing I’m his son and he was such a great player. People might expect the same thing from me even though we’re not the same person.”Over the years, other descendants of Buccaneer players and coaches have included James Wilder Jr., son of Bucs all-time leading rusher James Wilder Sr. who won a state title at Plant and a national title at FSU; Eric Dungy, son of former Bucs coach Tony Dungy who won three state titles at Plant before playing at Oregon and South Florida; DJ Williams, son of former Bucs quarterback Doug who played at Tampa Catholic and Grambling; Deuce Gruden, son of former Bucs head coach and now “Monday Night Football” color analyst Jon who had a stellar career at Carrollwood Day School; and Vincent Testaverde, son of the former Heisman Trophy winner and Bucs quarterback who recently played at Jesuit.This season, Matt and John Schiano, sons of former Bucs and Rutgers University head coach Greg Schiano, will play as linebackers at Berkeley Prep. Rex and Judge Culpepper, sons of former Florida Gators and Bucs defensive end Brad Culpepper, play quarterback and tight end, respectively, at Plant. Jake Moore, a starting offensive lineman at Jesuit, is the son of former Bucs tight end Dave Moore. Mayan Ahanotu, son of former Bucs defensive end Chidi Ahanotu, is a sophomore defensive lineman at Berkeley Prep and wears No. 72, as did his father.Alstott, who be inducted into the Bucs’ Ring of Honor this season, said the amount of second-generation football players in Tampa relates to the former players’ desire to stay in the city where they once played.“It’s the testament to our experience with the Buccaneers and the community in general, and why we reside here and are raising our family in a great community,” he said.After Bucs games, Griffin would run onto the field and throw the football around with his father.Now, it’s Griffin’s turn to wear the helmet and pads. And there’s a promising future in it.“He’s growing up, taller than me and bigger,” Mike Alstott said. “It’s pretty cool to see the development.”nwilliams@tampatrib.com@NickWilliamsTBO

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    • Anonymous

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      Good for them, hopefully they can make it to the big dance someday.

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