Henderson Lions receive championship rings - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Henderson Lions receive championship rings

By Ryan Peterson - bio | email

HENDERSON, TX (KLTV) -   This wasn't your typical ring ceremony.  The rings handed out to the Henderson Lions were more than jewelry.  They were a symbol of a what a team and family were able to accomplish even in their darkest hour.

Henderson senior Michael Acres lost his brother Mahlon in October.  Mahlon Acres was killed after falling from the back of a truck.

"It's been really tough just missing him," said Acres.

A star baseball player and member of the JV football team, Acres' mother Arlene was presented with the final ring of the ceremony in honor of Mahlon.

"Mahlon told me the week before he died, 'Mom we're going to win state this year,'" said Arlene Acres. 

The family was surprised by the presentation.

"It made me feel good to know that he was still remembered because it meant a lot to him (Mahlon)," said Michael Acres.

One of the largest ovations of the night went to assistant coach Ken Little.

"I'm very fortunate," said Little.  "Lucky and thankful."

After 37 years of coaching, Little is leaving the sidelines as he continues his fight with prostate cancer.

"The ring is great," he said.  "The relationships are greater."

The 60 year old had never received a championship ring.

"Six come from behind victories, a state championship, Cowboys stadium," said Little with a laugh.  "It's Fairy tale come true."

Tears of sadness and joy.  That was the story of the state champion Henderson Lions.

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