The LPHS football team has overcome obstacles that some might call extremely challenging, but instead of giving up, they pushed through and worked tirelessly towards an outstanding season.
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Together as a team, they earned a record of 7-7, which led them to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis where they competed against Indianapolis Cathedral at State. Although they did not come out with a win, these Semi-State champs were honored for their impressive season by a ring ceremony held in the Slicer gym.
"To see everyone push themselves past their limits and compete against one another was beautiful. We definitely put forth the time and effort. The ring ceremony is like the icing on the cake," Football Captain Tyler Littlejohn said.
The rings, which were paid for by supporters in the community and a special fundraiser night at Buffalo Wild Wings months ago have united the coaches, players, managers, trainers and cheerleaders in a bond that will be unforgettable.
"The team has grown so much, and it took a lot of faith and character to overcome the adversity we faced while losing a close brother in Jake West. This team was special, and it was a blessing to be a part of. The relationships we all made will never be forgotten. I’m glad we made the city proud; they deserved it just as much as we did," Littlejohn said.
Months ago at Buffalo Wild Wings, a certain percentage of each bill went towards the funding of the rings. There were also generous community members and several local businesses who were helpful in the process of paying for the rings. Each ring costs roughly $100.
The community outreach and support for LPHS's football team has been astounding and wholesome this past season.
"I am very appreciative and very fortunate. I am fortunate in the fact that we have a community that helped us do this. I am thankful for each and everyone who helped make this possible for our young people," Head Coach Robert Schellinger said.
The rings are not just a piece of jewelry to these Slicers, nor are they just a piece of memorabilia to be tucked away for another day. Each player, cheerleader, manager, coach and trainer has a different reason for why they are proud to represent the rest of their Slicer family, and have a different reason behind what the rings mean to them.
"It’s a proud moment in which we get to celebrate as a team, as a school and as a family. To me, these rings don’t symbolize a loss at the State Championship, but rather, a fight to the finish. Things happened this season no one thought could and it’s unbelievable. They symbolize all of the sweat, tears and laughter the boys put into this season. These rings unite us as one," cheerleader Gabby Harris said.
This is the first time the Slicer football team has made it to State Finals. This is also Schellinger's last year as a coach, ending it on a bittersweet note. The boys, along with everyone else who helped bring the team to success, are deserving of the rings and are proud of all the hard work they have put forth thus far.
"The boys, along with the coaches, worked hard to achieve something that has not been accomplished before. It is a great thing to see the smiles on their faces," Schellinger said.