Fly, Knight & Win: UCF Fans Donate Tickets to Luke Air Force Base Personnel

Dec. 27, 2013

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By Andy Seeley

ORLANDO, Fla. ( – There will be at least one USF fan at University of Phoenix Stadium cheering for UCF during the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday.

Senior Airman David Owsianka is a native of Bradenton, Fla., and a self-described Bulls fan. But as part of UCF’s initiative allowing Knights fans to donate tickets to military personnel at Luke Air Force Base, Owsianka will be part of the crowd – and he will be supporting the Knights.

“I’m pretty excited to go see a team from Florida play in the Fiesta Bowl out here,” Owsianka said. “It’s not very often that you get to see a team from Florida play out here. Even though I am a USF fan, I guess I can root for UCF in the Fiesta Bowl, because they are the home-state team.”

Ironically, Owsianka was home on leave over Thanksgiving and he was at Bright House Networks Stadium when the Knights and Bulls renewed their rivalry on Black Friday. The 23-20 UCF victory was tough for a USF fan to take, but helped generate more respect for the Knights from Owsianka.

“It was great being able to go to the UCF-USF game in Orlando,” he said. “It was my first time ever to be in UCF’s stadium. I was kind of hoping for a victory for USF, but it was a great game. It was a great feeling for me being there. There was a great crowd and it was definitely an experience.”

Owsianka said the Floridians around the base have been discussing the game and they are excited to have an opportunity to support UCF at the Fiesta Bowl.

One of those Floridians is Airman First Class Renee Polk, who hails from Crestview, Fla. She has family who attended UCF and spent a great deal of time on campus.

“I attended Santa Fe Community College for two years. Being located in Gainesville and just an hour outside of Orlando, I spent time down there, got a chance to tour the campus,” Polk said. “I was always in Orlando. Orlando is a second home to me.”

With her affinity for Orlando, it was a natural for Polk to follow the Knights, along with many of the other teams in the state.

“I’m very proud of what they’re doing and how far they’ve come,” Polk said. “I followed them through my collegiate career and kept up with them. I’m proud they’re representing the state of Florida.”

Meanwhile, it was UCF fans, alumni and donors who are proud of the men and women at Luke Air Force Base who are representing their country. Through their generosity, 500 Luke Air Force Base personnel and their families will be in attendance at the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

“I’m very appreciative,” Owsianka said of the donated tickets. “It’s kind of unbelievable. It helps us get out and involved with the community and shows their support for us and what we do.”



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