“State football champs Milton High School” always had a nice ring to it, but now the team has something to show for it.
The community raised thousands of dollars and gave more than 100 people — including players, trainers and cheerleaders — their championship rings Thursday night, said Colby Leonard, president of the Milton Touchdown Club booster program.
“They’re unbelievable,” he said, ” … It’s like a Super Bowl ring.”
On Dec. 12, the Milton Eagles beat south Georgia’s Colquitt High School — the 21-point favorite — and created maybe the biggest upset in the history of Class AAAAAAA football, considering Colquitt was undefeated and ranked as a top-five team in the nation. The championship was a first for Milton High and the 12-year-old city.
The team hadn’t budgeted for the rings and, in addition to donations from private donors, raised more than $13,000 on GoFundMe.
“It was an unplanned expense but a welcome unplanned expense,” Leonard said. He added: “It was one we start to keep in mind as we start the season.”
Milton, an affluent horse town of 40,000 residents, partied hard the night they won: The unofficial pub for team parents, Olde Blind Dog, stayed open late letting people kiss the trophy with drinks in hand. The mayor even came by. Leonard said 60 to 70 football players packed his basement singing Queen’s “We Are the Champions” sometime before he went to sleep at 7 a.m.
The students were just as excited Thursday when they got their rings during the half-time of a match for the school’s also-champion girls lacrosse team.
Leonard said the seniors designed the rings, which feature individual names and jersey numbers, the school’s “M” logo atop an outline of the state, the phrase “Mbrace the Dream” and the team’s motto of B.E.T. — Brotherhood. Effort. Toughness.
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