SIUE Club Football had quite the whirlwind season this year! They were ranked #1 in the country for the first time in the club’s history and played in a bowl game versus Rollins College in Florida in November. The team finished 6-2, also the best record in the club’s history. We caught up with Matt Malak, club president, about this year’s success and what to expect from this team in the future!

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When was Club Football established at SIUE?
Club Football at SIUE was established in 2005 and is currently in its 8th year.

When did you start playing football?
I started playing football roughly 10 years ago, and will be playing in my 4th and final year of club football in 2013.

Why did you join the club organization at SIUE?
I joined Club Football because I had a passion for the game, and knew I had something missing in my life that was once there. Playing has given me the opportunity to dig deep down, and pull out what was once there for another go around. Also it has given me other opportunities to show leadership on and off the field.

DSC04665What is your favorite thing about playing Club Sports at SIUE?
My favorite thing abut playing Club Sports is the team unity. The strength our group is that were all part of a brotherhood. We have gotten close to one another for the last few years, and it has really affected us both on and off the field. You can see from our past alumni just exactly how the club should be. They are all in each others weddings and have become part of each others families and lives. I am definitely looking forward to a future like that.

How often do you practice? What is a typical practice like?
We practice roughly 4 times a week, Monday-Thursday for about an an hour and a half to two hours. The theory on practice is get in, do all the work we have scheduled on the agenda for the day and get out feeling good about what was done.  A typical practice consists of stretching, hitting drills, offensive and defensive group training and then scrimmage.

How often do you have games?
We are either traveling or having home games every weekend, throwing in an eventual bye week at some point. The season usually lasts 8 games for the year and a championship/bowl game.

DSC04710What is it like to travel and compete against different schools?
Traveling to the other schools is a great experience. There’s nothing better than going on a trip every other weekend with your best friends. You get to compete in different states and get the real college football atmosphere. Going into every game it feels like its you against the world. You have rowdy parents and fans as well as the other team against you, all while your there with just the guys you brought. It’s an amazing feeling walking out of there with a win.

What was it like traveling to the team’s first bowl game in Florida?
Playing in Florida was amazing. It was great to see a culmination of everyone’s hard work come together for an amazing season. The core of our group has been playing together for the last 2-3 years, so everything we worked for was displayed this season. Taking this team to Florida was an experience all on its own. Taking a crazy group of twenty plus guys anywhere is fun, throw in the warm sunshine state and your bound to have an experience.

What is a tradition your team has?
Team bonding. You wont find a close nit group of guys like this, and when we all get together on trips or the weekend we definitely know how to have fun. Also we do team dinners before home games, try and get that last carb load in.

What is your favorite memory participating in Club Sports?
The memories that I will always have from all the trips. Throughout my Club Football career I have traveled to play football in Ohio, Michigan, New Orleans during Voodoo Fest and Florida. Every trip has a different memory. I will also never forget helping get our team the #1 ranking in the nation for part of the season, a achievement the Club has never had before.

What is your team most looking forward to?
Continuing on the tradition of winning. We have established a base to build upon for generations to come. This year was the 2nd consecutive and 2nd overall winning year in club history. While although we didn’t achieve or goal of winning the national championship, going 6-2 will be the bench mark going forward and into the next season. Next years goal is already being put into motion, National Championship or bust.

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What if someone is interested in playing Club Football? How can they find more information?
If someone has the slightest interest in playing Club Football, they should definitely check it out. Football is a sport where you only have so many years of your life where you can physically play it. Don’t waste any opportunity to go out there and do something you love. Anyone who is interested can get more information by checking out Club Football on Facebook by searching SIUE Club Football Team, following us on Twitter @SIUEFootball or emailing President Matt Malak at mmalak@siue.edu.

We Club Hard,
Maria

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