In a small, intimate setting inside Sonoraville High School’s cafeteria, Phoenix Wrestling head coach Randy Steward presented his team with their new team state championship rings on Monday.
“What (this ring) signifies to me is if you can convince a bunch of kids that anything’s possible, that if you work hard and do the right things, the reward’s out there,” Steward said. “To me, it signifies the culture we’ve developed here.”
The Phoenix are back-to-back state champions. Earlier this year at the state title match, Sonoraville scored 172 points, beating out second place North Hall by 3.5 points.
The most decorated of Sonoraville’s wrestlers is Trevor Burdick. Burdick, a graduated senior heading to Reinhardt University in the fall, earned rings number five and six.
“(I’ve) been working toward it my whole life and to finally accomplish it, I love it,” Burdick said. “(These two rings) have definitely got a special place considering they are my last ones and they show that I accomplished my goal.”
Burdick’s six rings symbolize his four individual state titles and his two team state championship.
“(They symbolize) a lot of hard work and determination, but nothing’s better than the team rings,” Burdick said. “It just shows how hard we work all year to finally accomplish the goal and then just the brotherhood really.”
This year’s rings were produced by a man who wrestled for Steward at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.
“He works part time in a side job for a guy that has a ring company,” Steward said. “He called, and we started talking, so he put these all together. That was really cool because I coached the kid.”
Steward said the wrestlers themselves decide on the design of the rings.
The ceremony was attended by the wrestlers and their families. Steward said he liked the more close-knitted setting.
“This is more special to me because all these parents traveled every weekend from November to the middle of February,” Steward said. “They get it and they’re excited. They’re all smiling. That to me is the coolest part, getting to see the smiles on everybody’s faces. This is one of my funnest nights of the year.”