When the Fort Hamilton High School Tigers won the PSAL Footballchampionship game at Yankee Stadium against Abraham Lincoln HighSchool in December, they capped the season with an undefeated(13-0) record and were awarded a championship banner, medals andsweatshirts.
However, the team members didn’t get championship rings — atleast until June 23, when team members were presented with theglittering tokens of their achievements, thanks to the efforts ofCity Councilmember Vincent Gentile who set out to find a company tosponsor the award, and the owners of Bay Ridge Ford, who providedthe necessary funds to help the school present the team withchampionship rings.
The school wanted to buy the rings after the memorable perfectseason, but the price to make the jewelry for a nearly 40-playerfootball team was too costly for the public school.
I think it (the rings) reflected the level of achievement thatthey had, but it’s more than just winning a game, it’s about howthey built a team network, and being able to work with each otherto achieve a goal, noted Gentile. That’s something that’s goingto transcend football and go into their lives, so we werecelebrating that.
At the ring ceremony in the school’s auditorium among family,friends, and school officials, the boys were called up one by oneto receive their shiny new rings with the team logos.
It’s awesome. This is a very beautiful ring. This is what we’vebeen working for, said senior Ivan Foy, who is going to play forSyracuse University in the fall. He added, It feels greatfinishing undefeated and winning the city championships, andgetting a beautiful ring.
Richard Cappetta, Bay Ridge Ford’s general manager, said, Whenwe moved back into the Bay Ridge neighborhood we, as the local Fordretailer, made promises to support the community. Today we wouldlike to reward the Tigers’ excellent season by assisting inpurchasing well deserved championship rings for the entireteam.
It’s a championship ring and these kids deserve it
First-year head coach Ruben Sanchez was very grateful for therings for his players.
Sanchez said getting the rings would have not been possiblewithout their support. They helped us out tremendously. It’s achampionship ring and these kids deserve it.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Reddish, who won MVP honors at thechampionship game and will also play for Syracuse University, wasecstatic about the rings and proud of the team’s accomplishment. Hesaid I’m very happy and very excited. We worked hard all seasonlong and we finally got it.