TAMPA — Steinbrenner High School students and teachers have raised close to $1,000 for the family of Greco Roman Bouzakis, a 2-year-old who is battling a rare and fatal form of brain stem cancer.
At the school’s recent home football game against Tampa Bay Tech, nearly 600 students, teachers and fans wore yellow “Team Greco” T-shirts. The shirts sold for $5 each, with profits going to help the family.
In August, Bouzakis was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an inoperable and fatal brain stem cancer found in children. The initial diagnosis was a life expectancy of 11 months.
Greco, who will turn 3 in November, was an honorary team captain at the game, which Tampa Bay Tech won 54-28. The family also had a lunch at Steinbrenner High prepared by students in the school’s culinary program.
The idea for the fundraiser and other showings of support began with Steinbrenner High’s head wrestling coach, Paul Noble, who met the Bouzakis family at a local youth wrestling camp. The Bouzakis family moved to the Tampa area from North Carolina last year, and have relied on wrestling connections to help cope with Greco’s condition.
Troy Bouzakis, Greco’s father, will be a volunteer coach with the Steinbrenner varsity wrestling team this season.
Named after the original Olympic style of wrestling, Greco Roman comes from a lineage of wrestlers. Troy Bouzakis was a junior All-American and three-time high school champion in New York with a record of 172-2. He went on to win an Atlantic Coast Conference championship for Clemson in 1991. The tradition of wrestling success continues, with Troy Bouzakis’ 7-year-old son, Vince Bouzakis, the reigning Southeast Region Greco Roman champion for his weight class.