By: Lauren Barthold
The very first Football Club at Oakland University (OU) held a press conference on Monday, August 5th at 10am officially announcing their season that starts on September 7th with scrimmages.
The conference was introduced by Nic Bongers, adviser and defensive back. He works as the Instructional Graphic Designer in E-Learning and Instructional Support at Kresge Library. “We are treating the creation of this football club like a new chapter in OU’s history books,” Bongers said.
Second year student David Brosky is the Club President and wide receiver. He had an urge to play football last fall, so he started looking into other club football teams. Brosky discovered that the University of Michigan – Flint has a club team, and are a part of the National Club Football Association (NCFA) in the Great Lakes Conference. After doing more research on it, he contacted the association about getting started. He then contacted the club adviser of OU, generated enough interest, and had it approved by the Club Sports Advisory Council. The team is filing to become a 501(c)(3), or a nonprofit organization.
Head Coach Al Manfroni “has been coaching since Jesus was a baby,” he joked. He discussed that his main priority is to make sure his players’ priorities are straight first and foremost, and their education has to come first. He believes that the hard work, dedication, and work ethic in the classroom will translate onto the field. Manfroni’s second priority is to give them the tools that they need to make them successful.
“Why do I do this? I have a full time job, but I do what I can because I love football. It’s been a lifelong passion. I love the game because I love what it does for young men, if it’s done right, and if it’s done the way it should be done. These young men learn a lot of life lessons that they carry with them for the rest of their lives about discipline, about hard work, about reward, about consequences, and the list goes on. I do it because I love to see success from the guys who play. I’m doing this sheerly for the love of the game. That’s my motivation,” Manfroni said.
The team will play at Auburn Hills Civic Center Park located at Cross Creek Parkway and Valley View Drive, which is walking distance from campus, and the team is working on having the Bear Busses to transport fans to and from OU. The team has four home games including a breast cancer awareness game against Miami (OH) University on October 19th.