Football Club hosts team banquet


Ian Levinson

On Monday, Jan. 23, the football club at Oakland University celebrated its successful season with a banquet in the Oakland Center.

In honor of its 2016 championship win, the Football Club at Oakland University hosted a team banquet on Monday, Jan. 23, in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.

On Dec. 3, 2016, the Golden Grizzlies (12-0) defeated the Middle Georgia State University Knights (7-4) in the National Club Football Association national championship game. At West Family Stadium in West Virginia, Oakland dominated the field and won 24-14, with the Knights unable to score in the second half.

The Golden Grizzlies made college football history by becoming the first team to have 13 members make the All-American Team Selection. Among them, Raymond Artist received two All-American Awards for kick and punt returns, as well as wide receiver.

James Bartsch received special recognition and was given the Outstanding Community Service Award for his efforts of continuous community service that exceeded the required limit of community service hours.

The NCFA awarded Bobby Saad the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award, while head coach Tom Menas received the 2016 NCFA Coach of the Year Award.

“He wore dual hats, and he wore them well and is most deserving of this title,” reads Mena’s certificate.

At the beginning of the banquet Club President Chris Polite, thanked the coaches, family and fans for supporting the team during the entire season. He then turned the mic over to Menas.

“Tonight is a night of celebration and reflection,” Menas said in the opening of his speech.

Menas told a story he had shared with the team about living their lives between the numbers — a lesson about opportunity and their accomplishments.

“On every tombstone, your life is laid out for strangers to see,” Menas said. “When they look at, it they see the day you were born and the date you died, but they really don’t see any of your accomplishments, that’s that dash in between the numbers . . . the forty other [teammates] will know what your dash means.”

Menas reviewed the team’s accomplishments from this season and discussed the team’s motto: “Trust the process.” The motto stems from five main points: recognize that everyone is the same, commitment, learn to be uncomfortable, understand what being a teammate means and be humble.

“Be unselfish, be confident, pick up some life tools and, above all, be fearless and durable,” Menas said.

Toward the end of the banquet, Menas stated that the team will not lose any games in the 2017 season.

“When I say we’re not going to lose a game, I have no cares what the scoreboard says,” Menas said. “I’m talking about giving perfect effort. If we give perfect effort, regardless what players are here, we’ll be successful.”

The head coach also stated some of the things the 2017 season will be bringing. Next season’s motto will be “Perfect the process.”

“We know what it means now, and we’re going to work to perfect it,” he said.

For the first time, the Club Football at OU team will be hosting their games on-campus during the 2017 season.