The Oakland Post

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Game day from the perspective of the Grizz Gang

The+Grizz+Gang+shows+their+spirit+during+a+tailgate.
The Grizz Gang shows their spirit during a tailgate.

The Grizz Gang shows their spirit during a tailgate.

Taylor Stinson

Taylor Stinson

The Grizz Gang shows their spirit during a tailgate.

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In the Horizon League there is one student section that reigns supreme over all other schools. The Grizz Gang at Oakland University is by far the loudest and best, student section in the Horizon League and they have even received recognition on the national level. This student organization is something that has grown tremendously over the years and has reached new heights this year.

Grizz Gang has been around for longer than the Division I era at Oakland University, but it was formally founded as a student organization in 2008 by Anthony Gallina.

 

“When we started Grizz Gang, some of my friends and I were really passionate about it like the students here today” Gallina said.

The board members have put in countless hours of work to set up programs with giveaways and tailgates before home games to get the student body fired up for Oakland Athletics. One person in particular, Jake Wolok, has had a huge impact on the development of these events through Grizz Gang.

 

“We just encourage student support on campus and make sure that they not only come to the games but events before the games like tailgates or giveaways” Wolok said.

Some of the events Grizz Gang has put on this year include tailgates, tabling in different places around campus and setting up their first ever VIP program.

The VIP program includes a t-shirt and customized lanyard which permits admittance into the O’rena 30 minutes before the rest of the fans. Members also get a ticket to the Oakland vs. Michigan State game at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 16.

Neal Ruhl, the voice of the Golden Grizzlies, has had the pleasure of listening to the [Grizz Gang] for years now, and he knows they have a huge impact on the atmosphere in the O’rena.

“As somebody who goes to every single gym in the Horizon League, it’s not close, there’s no competition to them (Grizz Gang) at all,” Ruhl said. “They are far and away the best student section in the Horizon League and that is a fact, not an opinion.”

Jeff Konya, the Director of Athletics at Oakland University could not agree more.

“They are a huge part of our game atmosphere, their support is invaluable and you see the passion, it’s just tremendous” Konya said.  

Another iconic voice for the Golden Grizzlies is PA announcer Kevin Beers, who has seen the growth of Grizz Gang and loves the call and response he can have with the student section.

“That interaction is just awesome,” Beers said. The essence of college athletics is the student section and anything we can do to get that student section going just adds to the experience.”

The Grizz Gang pride themselves on being one of the loudest student sections in the area and as long as these students bleed Black and Gold for their Golden Grizzlies, the O’rena will remain one of the toughest places to play in the country.

“It’s not just a student section, it’s more than that, it’s a community on campus” Wolok said. 

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