A Little Extra for the Ring - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

1/19/2007 - Alto

A Little Extra for the Ring

by: Coleman Swierc

The Alto Yellowjackets earned the right to be called state champions. Undefeated and unblemished, the 'Jackets were the best.

Now the must literally earn the right to show it off.

Head Coach Keith Gardner summed it up best, "Everything in life you have to pay for, and just because these kids worked all year long for the right to wear their ring, to me there is just a great honor to pay for the ring yourself."

Because of UIL regulations, the players must pay for thier own championship rings, which can be between $300 and $800 and has the 'Jackets looking for any kind of work they can get.

"I loaded up scrap metal, going to take it to the scrap yard to try and earn some money, to pay for my ring," said Clayton Scott.

"I have been raking leave around my community and the yards, but at least I have a chance to get another ring," added Brandon Thacker.

Whether it is fair or unfair that the kids must pay, they all agree there is a sense of satisfaction, of wearing a ring, that you earned, twice.

"That gives us the respect from everyone around here, the ring is material and we need to pay for that ourselves," said Trevor Haggerty. 

"We figured we worked this hard so far, so we might as well work a little bit harder," added Scott. 

"I really did not want to, but I figured we worked this hard, might as well continue to get my ring," Thacker added. 

So as the 'Jackets look back on the work they did to earn the ring, they will charish the moment when they earn the ring again...literally.

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