Wednesday, September 4, 2013
OU Football Club set to make anticipated first appearance By Katie Williams, contributing writer
The black and gold helmets and jerseys are in, and for the first time in Oakland University history, fans can cheer on the Golden Grizzlies as they take to the gridiron.
The OU Football Club
will make its first public appearance with an inter-squad scrimmage at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Auburn Hills Civic Center Fields, located at Featherstone and Cross Creek Parkway, just west of Squirrel Road.
“The Auburn Hills Civic Center Field is going to be our home field, and we want it to feel like home for the team and for the fans,” Nic Bongers, the club’s advisor, said.
Admission to the scrimmage and all home games is free, and tailgating is allowed, but no charcoal or alcohol is permitted. Bongers, who also plays wide receiver, hopes football will bring the OU community closer together.
“Where I grew up, you wanted to go to a college that had a football team. Even if you didn’t like football, the game was the place to be. You came for the game, but you stayed for the atmosphere,” he said. “Obviously we can’t compete with Michigan or Michigan State, but we want to have that same feeling and camaraderie at OU.”
The team will play other club teams in the NCFA Great Lakes Conference, including the University of Michigan-Flint, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Cougar Club Football (Columbus, OH), Wright State, the Miami (OH) University and Ohio State University.
The first official game will be against the University of Michigan-Flint on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Atherton High School in Burton. View the complete schedule here
There are approximately 30 players on the team, and the roster includes undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students with varying athletic experience. Most have played football in high school, but some are new to organized football. Others have previously played for NCAA teams at other universities.
The OU Football Club is also currently seeking corporate sponsorships to support their program.
“We operate under a very meager budget and it’s just not enough to create and run a football team. We’ve had to supplement it with money from our own pockets and we’re looking for anyone in the community who wants to invest in Oakland football,” Bongers said. “This our first year, and we need a shot in the arm in terms of funding. We’re getting there, but we’re not quite there yet.”
Membership is open year-round and players are invited to join at any time. The deadline to play for fall 2013 is Monday, Sept. 9. Players that sign up after that date will be added to next year's roster. For more information about volunteer and sponsorship opportunities, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
or view the Facebook page at facebook.com/ouclubfootball
Oakland University is a vibrant academic community with nearly 20,000 students and more than 260 degree and certificate programs. To learn more about academics, achievements, and events at OU, visit the news site at oakland.edu/newsatou
and follow the news team on Twitter at @OaklandU_News