Havelock football players picked up their 2013 state championship rings on Wednesday, the third straight time the school has held a ceremony for the occasion.
But, the Ram players and coaches are already looking ahead to the chance to win a fourth consecutive title in 2014.
Wearing T-shirts reading “One More for Four,” Havelock football players were called by name to collect their rings during the ceremony at the school’s Performing Arts Center.
“We start a new motto every year,” Havelock coach Jim Bob Bryant told the crowd. “It’s ‘One More for Four,’ and what that means is we’re doing one more rep, one more sprint, one more crunch, one more sit-up, one more squat because we’re not satisfied winning three. We want to win four next year.”
Havelock defeated Concord 21-13 on Dec. 14 in Raleigh’s Carter-Finley Stadium, capping a 16-0 season and winning a third straight 3A state title.
“It’s great,” Havelock senior Derrell Scott said, looking at his three rings on his left hand. “It’s what we work hard for every year. It’s great getting what we worked so hard for.”
Looking at his three rings, he said he hadn’t quite put the accomplishment in perspective.
“It probably won’t hit me until I’m gone,” he said of leaving Havelock High. “I probably won’t really think about until maybe five or 10 years pass.”
Rumors about Bryant possibly leaving Havelock for other coaching jobs swirl almost constantly, and he admitted to the crowd at the ceremony that he hears them as well.
“I have people come up to me all the time, and ask me and say ‘coach we hear you’re leaving. We hear you’re taking another job,’” Bryant said. “I’m not going to leave this program while we’re beating everyone’s tail. We’re winning rings.”
And with that, the crowd erupted into applause.
Havelock’s junior varsity players were also recognized after an undefeated season, and Bryant pointed out that the varsity and junior varsity teams have gone a combined 77-1 in the last three seasons.
“We’ve got some seniors who are going to be sorely missed,” Bryant said during the ceremony. “These guys do not know what it means not to play in the eastern finals. They have broken all kinds of school records and state records. We love you guys and we’re going to miss you.”
Bryant thanked all those associated with the program as well as those who donated money toward the purchase of the rings for the players. When it was pointed out that he had been named the state’s Coach of the Year two the last three seasons, he deflected credit.
“Being lucky enough or blessed enough to have been selected Coach of the Year for two years, it doesn’t mean that I’m a great head coach,” Bryant said. “It means I have great assistant coaches, a great administration, and I know we’ve got great football players.”