Members of the Port Neches-Groves High School Class 5A state championship baseball team received commemorative rings Saturday during the school’s homecoming football game.
Ten returning teammates were recognized on the field at halftime along with 10 coaches and 13 graduates.
Prior to the ceremony, player Holden Lane said coach Scott Carter, who wanted to let the anticipation build, hadn’t let the team peek at the $395 rings, which arrived several days before the homecoming game.
Senior Austin Bost said the rings were appreciated, but that the team wasn’t “really thinking about (the medals, plaque or rings)” during the Indians’ 4-2 win over Grapevine on June 10 in Round Rock.
“You’re trying to take it one game at a time, and just know that you keep fighting, you keep working and you’ll get there,” he said before the ceremony. “Just seeing everybody up in the stands, being in the middle of the field with my brothers that I played with all season and won the state title with, it’s going to be great.”
Each diamond ring includes purple stones on the face that spell out the letters “PNG.” The words “State Champions” are engraved above and below the face.
2017 PN-G State Baseball Team
Scott Carter (Head coach)
Norm Abshere, Chris McKeller, Kane Segura
Crystal Oden, Rico Serna
One side of the ring includes the players’ or coaches’ last names and the district number (22-5A). Listed on the other side of the ring is the school’s mascot, motto and the team’s record, 34-8.
Engraved inside each ring is the name of the individual player or coach and the hashtag #UATW, which stands for “Unified Aggressive Tenacious Warriors,” a slogan the team uses.
Upon seeing the rings for the first time, Carter said they were”gorgeous,” calling them a “great representation of a great year.”
“I tell people all the time, this moment never gets old,” Carter said. “I’m just enjoying this moment.”
One of the team’s returning pitchers, Josh Hranicky said he’s still in awe of his team winning the state title.
“I still watch the game on TV all the time, every day, and sit there and think, ‘Wow, that actually happened,” he said. “I’m actually there.”
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