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Warthogs excited for new home

June 01, 2011 - A new football team is coming to Clarkston- get ready fans for the Waterford Warthogs.

The semi-professional team, created in 2004 in the Waterford area, was looking for a new home and found what they needed at the Clarkston High School stadium.

"The nicest facility we found was Clarkston," said Mike Zak, owner and head coach for the Warthogs. "It feels really great to be in Clarkston. The field is wonderful and people are showing interest."

While looking for the Warthogs new home they wanted someplace not only the team would be comfortable, but the audience as well.

"We have a decent fan base so we needed to go where we could accommodate," said Zak. "We are really happy with Bethany Kerr, the way she handled herself and bent over backwards to accommodate us."

Audiences can expect 50 minutes of 11-on-11 full contact football, including six referees, announcer and a DJ.

"It is just as rough as a pro game," added Zak. "Sometimes rougher."

The team plays in the Greater Midwest Football League in the Tri-State area, currently with over 2,000 members with players ages 18-35.

"The semi pro is mostly set up for the guys who didn't go anywhere after high school or college," said Zak.

The team currently has 35 players from Clarkston, Waterford, Lakeland and Pontiac. Zak added though the team is established, they can take more players.

The team was formed after Zak's son graduated in 2004 and didn't go anyplace to play football.

"He wanted to play but he didn't want to go to Detroit and there was nothing in Oakland County," said Zak. "So we started a team in Oakland County for kids who didn't play after high school and after college didn't move on to the pros. It is a good chance for players to get noticed. We do have scouts that come to games. We have had a couple guys be promoted to the CFL and a couple of the arena leagues."

The team is excited to work with the Clarkston Chiefs and hold camps with kids. They also donate to Make-A-Wish and Children's Hospital.

The Warthogs play the Michigan Outlaws on Saturday in their home opener of their 10-game season.

The game begins at 4 p.m.

Admission is $5 for adults and kids ages 12 and under are free.

"We promote a safe family atmosphere," said Zak. "We have zero tolerance for shenanigans and foul language."

Warthogs holds an after party at local establishments following the home games and fans can interact with the coaches and the players.

For more information about how to join the team, sponsor the team or for games, go to www.WarthogsFootball.com.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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