Thursday, November 23, 2017
News Roundup

Ten-year-old Bucs dancer becomes Internet sensation

RECOMMENDED READING


Ten-year-old Christian Bottger loves being in the spotlight.

It's a good thing, too, because videos of him dancing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cheerleaders at Sunday's game have made him an Internet sensation.

"He's in awe," said Christian's dad, Ed Bottger, the video production manager for the team.

Videos of Christian's Gangnam Style routine, which he performed alongside the team's mascot, Capt. Fear, have been featured on popular sports blogs such as the Big Lead and have attracted attention from TV shows such as Ellen and Good Morning America.

Christian, dubbed "Little Fear" by the team, is set to appear on the Today show around 8 a.m. today, his dad said. Christian took his first-ever plane ride with his parents Monday night to New York and hopes to meet Bruno Mars — his favorite singer and a fellow guest — after the show.

"He likes the attention, and he just loves performing," Bottger said. "He likes being out in front of everybody."

Christian, who has two older sisters, lives with his family in Largo.

Bottger said he — and some other impressed fans at the game — posted videos of Christian's performance on the Web.

"I'm shocked. I really am," Bottger said about the sensation the videos created. "But I knew it was popular in the stadium. You could hear the roar of the crowd."

Bottger said Christian, who is a fifth-grade student at Fuguitt Elementary School in Largo, has been dancing competitively for five years. He has participated in the Bucs' Junior Cheerleader program for the past three years.

During Christian's first year in the program, he was the only boy who danced to a Michael Jackson medley with about 300 girls, his dad said.

The instructor was so impressed with him, she invited Christian to do a routine with the cheerleaders, Bottger said.

Christian has performed at three games so far and will perform at least at one more, Bottger said.

Christian's dance teacher at StarStruck Dance Studio in Largo, Stefanie Valentine, said she isn't surprised by how popular Christian has become. She said he is never nervous about performing and practices his dancing about six days a week.

"He was born for this," Valentine said. "He's such a star, and he's so special. If you have met him, you don't forget him. I knew this was going to happen. I'm so happy and so proud."

Times TV/media critic Eric Deggans, staff writer Danielle Paquette and news researcher John Martin contributed to this report.

Comments

Motorcyclist, 27, dies in crash with taxi cab in Largo

LARGO — A motorcyclist died after crashing into a taxi cab Thursday morning, police reported.Sydney Pender, 27, was riding a 2012 Yamaha motorcycle southbound on 66th Street about 10:30, according to a Largo Police Department release.At the same time...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Update: Mother, toddler hit by car in critical condition at TGH

TAMPA — A mother and one of her two small children who were hit by a car while trying to cross Dale Mabry Highway on Wednesday were still in the hospital on Thanksgiving, according to Tampa General Hospital.Cassandra Marie Spicola, 29, and 18-month-o...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Pasco County put under immediate tornado warning

The National Weather Service has put out a tornado warning for Pasco County. Thunderstorms capable of producing a tornado and strong winds are expected over Jasmine Estates, New Port Richey and Hudson until 1:15 p.m., according to the NWS warning. Ba...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

Thanksgiving forecast: Rain today, but sunny skies this weekend

It’s going to be a wet Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay, but sunny skies are coming during the long weekend, according to WTSP 10Weather meteorologist Ric Kearbey. 10News WTSPThe latest Tampa Bay-area radar 10...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

Self-proclaimed Nazi banned from University of North Florida — but allowed to remain a student

A self-proclaimed Nazi is banned from the University of North Florida’s campus — but will remain a student, university officials said.Ken Parker, a 37-year-old Navy veteran who once served as the grand dragon, or highest-ranking leader, of the Ku Klu...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Days after a high fever, Jon Mott wins his fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

CLEARWATER — On Tuesday, Jon Mott had a 103-degree fever. That was not enough to keep him from maintaining his dominance Thursday at the 39th Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot.The former Northeast standout added to his record with his fifth title in the ev...
Updated: 6 hours ago
President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

President Trump presents his report card, passes with flying colors

PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump has a Thanksgiving Day message for the nation: Look at all I’ve done. Trump is telling followers in an early-morning holiday tweet that, "your Country is starting to do really well." He says: Jobs are "coming back,...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Lutz pedestrian dies in accident on U.S. 41

LUTZ — A man is dead after deputies said he walked into the path of a car on U.S. Route 41 Wednesday night.Charles Miller, 69 of Lutz, was walking east across the highway at 7:34 p.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.Daniel Johnson, 35 and also o...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

Tarpon Springs seeking to honor sponger George Billiris

TARPON SPRINGS — The city is considering a way to honor the legacy of the late longtime sponge merchant George Billiris at a city building. "We know how he promoted Tarpon Springs," Commissioner David Banther said at a recent City Commission meeting....
Published: 11/23/17
New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

New Weeki Wachee basketball coach transitions from years on college sidelines

WEEKI WACHEE — Mark Lee was looking for an accomplished coach to take over Weeki Wachee High’s boys basketball team. Not only did he find what he was searching for, but he may have gone above and beyond with the hiring of Rick Scruggs.The 30-year vet...
Published: 11/23/17