High school football champions typically earn traditional title rings to go with their accolades. Sure, they’re a bit toned down from the hyper bling handed out in the four American professional leagues, but the rings are still a point of pride for high school champions.
Usually, the rings are provided for in part by school booster clubs or other fundraisers. But what happens when an urban school doesn’t have those resources?
McClymonds High of the Oakland Athletic League found that out in 2016 when McClymonds won the first-ever state football title by an Oakland public school. After some brief concerns, the Oakland Athletic League (OAL) commissioner paid for rings for the 2016 McClymonds team to honor the historic nature of its victory for the OAL.
When McClymonds turned the trick again in 2017 it was clear something else would have to give for the team to receive another set of rings. Enter the A’s.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland’s professional baseball team has voluntarily entered the fray, starting a YouCaring campaign aimed at raising $25,000 for equipment, academic support, a celebration and rings at McClymonds. To drive up donations, the A’s offered up tickets and apparel and partnered with Oakland Unified School District and OAL.
It took very little time for the A’s to rack up $7,000 in donations, and the drive has yet to tap into any of the area’s sports heavy hitters like Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch or Chiefs defensive back Marcus Peters, whose father, Michael Peters, is the coach at McClymonds.
All of that means the odds of the McClymonds squad landing another set of rings remains high, even if the A’s involvement doesn’t quite guarantee it.
“Some kids can’t afford it. That’s the main reason the OAL stepped in (in 2016),” Michael Peters told the Mercury News. “If everybody couldn’t get a ring, we were not going to get them. It’s a team thing.
“I knew a couple of people were trying to rally around the players. I didn’t know about the A’s and all that. That’s great.”