Shelby Williams takes a more brazen approach than Ashley Asouzu.
Where Asouzu leaves her state championship ring at home and safely stored, Williams still regularly brings it with her to class at Brewbaker Tech.
Williams uses her bling to inspire the rest of the Rams.
“I tell them, ‘This is what you’re playing for right here,'” Williams said Saturday (sans ring) after Brew Tech’s 43-31 win over St. James in the Class 4A, Area 4 championship.
“We constantly tell the younger ones about it,” Williams said. “We know what it’s like to win state, and we know what it’s like to lose. We want to win again.”
Asouzu and Williams are the only starters remaining from the 2011 Class 4A championship team. One other current player, Grace McKenney, played in Brew Tech’s 59-39 win over Midfield two years ago. Two others were on the roster.
“The ones who have been there are always trying to make sure they motivate the other girls,” said first-year Brew Tech coach Cynthia Thompson, who was in the stands two years ago.
“It motivates me knowing how badly they want to get there.”
Asouzu finished with 15 points and Williams 11 on Saturday for the Rams (21-1), who will host a subregional game Thursday or Friday — site TBA.
Kelly Joyner had 14 points for St. James (23-5), which travels Thursday. The teams are paired with Charles Henderson and Ashford, who play Monday.
“It means a lot for us to win the area championship,” Asouzu said. “It means we’re one step closer to our ultimate goal.”
Asouzu’s 2011 ring has lived a hermetic existence the last two years, stowed in a case at home, sheltered from sunlight and prying eyes.
“I don’t want to mess it up,” she said. “I don’t want to scratch it.”
But there is one way she’ll allow it to be seen in public again.
“When we get our second ring,” Asouzu said.