(09/17/13) - The University of Michigan-Flint's club football team is ready to kick off it's fourth season. The Kodiaks face Oakland University on Saturday.
"We've been practicing all summer, getting ready for this game. I know Oakland's excited, because it's the first time they've ever had a team, and we're excited to just out there and kick some butt," said UM-Flint safety Alex Trombley.
The Kodiaks spent the last three years at Atwood Stadium, but decided to move their five home games over to Atherton High School in Burton. Cost was one of the factors.
"The old school atmosphere doesn't really work for us, and we just wanted to get a smaller venue and really pack them in every week," said Head Coach Don Mathews.
After struggling to stay afloat financially, the Kodiaks are now receiving some university funding, and moral support as well.
"Higher-ups in this university are coming to us and saying, hey, you guys are doing an excellent job, so we're stoked to hear that," said UM-Flint center Aaron Bigler.
The Kodiaks have also received help from those Wolverines in Ann Arbor.
"They donated a lot of shoulder pads, pants, jerseys, and all that stuff. We just want to give back even to our community now, just to show them how much they support us," Trombley said.
Last year, the team finished five and two, and even beat Southern Illinois, the number one team in the nation. Regardless of their level, the guys are just proud to wear the Maize and Blue.
"I don't look at it as a club sport or Division Three. It's college football. We play Ohio State, The Ohio State, and I know they look at it the same as the University of Michigan, not Michigan-Flint," Trombley said.
UM-Flint's success has caught the attention of recruiters, and even led to one player earning a scholarship.
"Marcus Tucker, a standout receiver last year, he actually caught a touchdown last weekend at Northern Michigan, and we're very proud of him," Bigler said.