Grambling State University’s football team showed fans, faculty, staff and the community appreciation during Grambling Tiger Football Week activities.
The G-Men began their week with an ecumenical worship service at Campus Community Worship Center in Ruston.
On Monday the group held a reading hour at Alma J. Brown’s Elementary School.
On Tuesday, in conjunction with the Alpha Theta chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha, the team showed appreciation to students via an ice cream social in front of the Favrot Student Union.
There was a faculty and staff appreciation gathering in the Tiger Football Field House. Members of Zeta Phi Beta helped the football team to serve guests.
Kalvin Pearson, a former G-man and assistant defensive back coach, was the coordinator of football week. He said he included sororities this year because it was a good way to reach out to female students as well since football is an all-male sport.
Landis Anderson, an English and art major who is a Zeta, said she and her sisters were happy to help.
“We like to give back to the community, especially to the faculty and staff who are helping us to matriculate. This is a good way to show them that we appreciate and pay attention to them,” she said.
Dr. Fred Osadebe, assistant professor of marketing and management said his students insisted that he attend the appreciation lunch.
“This gathering is great. It is a good way to bring together the football coaches and staff, players, faculty and staff. If there is a problem with a student, we now know who to contact,” he said.
GSU softball and volleyball coach Demetria Keys Johnson said that football week is good because it gives people a chance to interact with athletes and students.
“It gives us a chance to interact with students outside of the classroom setting,” she said.
Outside linebacker Cliff Exama said, “It felt good to show appreciation to the faculty and staff for everything they’ve done for us. Also, this was a great way to get fans and students involved.”
He said many people think they only play football, so it was good for them to see themselves in a different light.
“It felt great to give back since people always give to us and support us throughout the season,” said Exama, a senior majoring in criminal justice.
Head Coach Doug Williams said, “Football week is about us, Grambling. It is about our players showing love to the Grambling community, other students, faculty and staff.”
Williams said it was good for the coaches to see the young guys working. “After this week, the players will understand what Grambling is all about.”
Thursday is Jersey/Community Service Day. The players will assist in McCall Dining Hall.
On Friday the Douglas L. Williams Alumni Chapter of Houston is sponsoring a barbecue cookout for the players and coaching staff at Tiger Football Field House.
Football week will end with the annual Black and Gold Spring game, which will begin at 5:00 p.m. Fans will have a chance to tailgate, listen to the World-Famed Tiger Marching Band, purchase items from Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and of course, cheer for their favorite G-men.
Pearson said, “This was a good way to meet different people and get the community involved. It was a good way to get support for the team.
“We are going to make this an annual event to get the tradition back to the way it used to be,” he said.