Now that Georgia Gwinnett College’s athletics program has launched, the faculty and staff have decided to jump into the action.

A rag-tag collection of faculty and staff, dubbed the "Old Gray Grizzlies," will match their athletic skills against the GGC Grizzlies varsity women’s soccer team. The Oct. 30, 3:30 p.m. game will take place on the college’s intramural soccer fields, next to the residence halls.

While the women’s soccer team has amassed a 9-5-1 record in their first season of play thus far, the Old Gray Grizzlies have been practicing on occasional Friday afternoons since last semester.

Coach Domenic Martelli sees the game as more than an extra scrimmage for the Women Grizzlies.

“To play members of the faculty is a win-win on so many fronts,” said Martelli. “It builds a relationship with the school, and with faculty and administrators, which in turns helps all parties whenever we need help on or off the field. This game will help the ladies on the team see their professors in a different light, too. They’re not just professors or administrators; the Old Gray Grizzlies are people who really love the game of soccer the way we do.”

Old Gray Grizzlies organizer and team captain Dr. Richard Pennington couldn’t agree more.

“We love the game, and we wanted to show our support for the women's soccer team at GGC," said the associate professor of chemistry. "Some of us Old Gray Grizzlies may not have the best skills or even be in the best shape, but we figure we still have some gas left in our tanks. Our goal on Oct. 2 is simple: go out and play, and have some fun. After all, if you can't enjoy it, what's the point?"

Joining Pennington on the field will be Drs. Joseph Ametepe (physics), Eugene Asola (exercise science), Eugene Berger (history), Neville Forlemu (chemistry), Simon Mwongela (chemistry), Lydia Soleil (director of the Center for Teaching Excellence), Andy Xu (IT), Riccardo Fiorillo (biology), Fengjie Sun (biology), Rebecca Higgins (biology), Stefan Desrochers (psychology), Sebastien Siva (IT), Justin Jernigan (student success) and Luis Torres (business).  Pennington said there may be other faculty-staff athletes joining the team for the game.
 
“It depends on who is injured that day,” he joked. “And who has papers to grade.”

The GGC women’s soccer team travels tonight to Thomas University in Thomasville, Ga., for a 7 p.m. start, in search of a 10th win.

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