The Alto Yellowjackets won their second straight state championship this year. How will they celebrate?
They're going back to work, and not in the metaphorical sense. The Yellowjacket players are literally taking offseason jobs to pay for their $250 state championship rings.
"I loaded up scrap metal," Clayton Scott said, "to take to the scrap yard and try and sell to pay for my ring."
"I've been doing a little community work, " Brandon Thacker said, "to get the money to pay for mine."
You earn a ring on the field, but you have to pay for it yourself. The UIL or school district doesn't provide them, so each player has to come up with a couple hundred bucks. That can be big money for a high school kid looking to sport the ultimate Texas trophy.
"We just figured they were all given out," Scott said. "We learned the hard way, and we had to all work last year to pay for them."
"Everything you get in life, you have to pay for, " Alto head coach Keith Gardner said. "Even though these kids battle all year long and have the right to win their ring, to me, it's just a great honor to get to pay for it yourself."
On the field, the Yellowjackets have won their last two state championships and last 28 games. That dedication to finish the job continues into the offseason.
"I really didn't want to," Thacker said, "but I worked this hard, this far, I might as well keep working to get my ring."
And so, even in the offseason, Alto goes back to work so they can show everybody that they are still the best.