Thompson football receives championship rings celebrating fourth straight title

Published 12:56 pm Monday, May 29, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The 2022 Thompson Warriors celebrated their fourth straight Class 7A state football championship with their official ring ceremony on Monday, May 22.

Although coach Freeman said the goal is to be win the state title for a fifth straight year, Monday’s ceremony gave the players one more chance to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work to win title number four, especially for the graduating seniors.

“I think it’s a great time for them to be able to come together with no pressure on them and just to honor and rejoice with each other a little bit,” coach Freeman said.

For the class of 2023, the moment was extra special because this was their fourth state championship in a row. Some players, like Clemson-bound defensive lineman Peter Woods, were even called up as eighth graders and got to play in five title games.

Coach Freeman hopes the rings remind the players of the journey they took throughout the 2022 season to earn it.

“I just think it’ll be something they’ll have, and have it forever, hopefully, and they can look back on the hard times it took to get there and the commitment, the effort,” “It’s this kind of traditional thing in high school football to win the ring and, you know, the guys that just graduated, they won it every year in high school. And that’s unheard of.”

Because this is Thompson’s fourth ring in a row, they decided to get creative and do something different. They took a nod from the Atlanta Braves’ 2021 World Series rings by having the top of the ring open up to reveal another design underneath the surface.

“We had had a really nice one last year, and, you know, we were looking at it and thinking, ‘what can we do different?’” coach Freeman said. “So, we just saw a certain style ring. We looked into that the top would come off, you know, flip up, and there was a professional baseball team, I think that had one we just was [sic] looking through to try to get something different.”

When the diamond-encrusted Thompson logo is flipped up, it reveals a mountain with four diamonds for the four state titles and “DYNASTY” printed below it. The opposite side reads, “When the fog clears, the Warriors are still champions.”

One side of the ring has the player’s name on it along with Thompson’s custom state champions logo and a cross, and the other side has a picture of Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, where the Warriors won the title at, along with the year and the state championship trophy.

The Warriors’ four straight titles are referenced around the top of the ring with each year listed, and inside the finger of the ring, Thompson’s motto #OutWorkEmAll, the final score of the title game win over Auburn, and the scripture John 14:14, when Jesus says, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”

The players hadn’t seen the ring design before they received them, which means the reveal is always coach Freeman’s favorite part of the ring ceremony.

“We get the rings, give them out, we pray, dedicate the rings back to the Lord for blessing us with those rings, an opportunity to play, to have a chance to have those rings and then watching their eyes when they all open the rings simultaneously together,” coach Freeman said. “It’s just awesome.”