The Portola High football players show off their fancy new rings at a school assembly March 1. Each player received a commemorative ring for winning the section championship last November. Photos by James Wilson
The Portola Tigers’ football players have more than just their memories to remind them of their 2012 Northern Section championship. Last week the school awarded each player with a commemorative ring in honor of their remarkable season.
At a special assembly March 1, Portola’s football coach Steve Heskett handed a unique ring to each member of the team. The rings are platinum with a green stone mounted on. Each ring has a player’s name and jersey number inscribed on it. “NSCIF Champions” is also proudly displayed around the stone.
The assembly started with accolades given to Coach Heskett. Heskett was recently given the model coach award, an honor only given to 12 coaches in California each year.
“I really don’t deserve this award,” commented Heskett. “It really goes above and beyond. This team is truly who deserves the honor.”
When the season first started, a couple players asked Heskett what they would get if they took the championship. Somehow, a houseboat trip was brought up. As the team started winning more and more games, the prospect of winning the section division became more realistic.
“I didn’t know how we were going to fit 25 boys on a houseboat,” continued Heskett. “Then towards the end of the season a couple alumni from the 2009 championship came into the locker room and showed off the rings they received after winning.”
The team quickly changed their minds, much to the relief of Heskett, and requested rings rather than a houseboat trip. The money obtained from the boosters at each game went to buy every player their rings.
Heskett went on to describe the qualities Portola’s team possessed to be able to take the championship. Heskett asserted the commitment the Tigers held on to was an inspiration to him.
“I recognize the dedication, sweat and hard work all of you put out,” Heskett said to his team. “You all showed me what true dedication can accomplish. Congrats boys. You are champions.”
Each player was then handed their own custom ring, and the team huddled together one last time for a Tiger rally shout.