The final piece of bringing closure to a 2019 Class 4A State Championship for the Elizabethton Cyclones took place at Citizens Bank Stadium when players, coaches, and support members that were part of the 2019 championship run finally received their state championship rings before family members.
With the team being separated by class in the stands to accommodate social distancing and temperature checks made at entry, it was a fitting night to celebrate and commemorate a special time in Cyclones sports history in recognition of a team that finished the 2019 season in perfection with a 15-0 record and bringing the state championship trophy back home to Elizabethton.
Athletic Director Forrest Holt opened the ceremony and spoke about how special the team was and how honored he was to be the athletic director at the high school.
PA announcer Jason Holly then took those in attendance through some special moments of the 2019 season before each class made their way to the field to receive their rings beginning with the graduated seniors who were members of the team.
The seniors were presented with banners and each player on the 2019 team received their orange jersey from the 2019 championship season from their coaches before Cyclone head coach Shawn Witten gave them their rings.
After receiving the rings, each player had their photo taken with the state trophy before they joined their family for photos spread out throughout the stadium.
A fitting moment occurred the next day when Witten paid a visit to his grandfather, Dave Rider, and presented Rider with a championship ring noting that it was the foundation that Rider laid when he took over the program that led to this point in Cyclone history.
When talking with members of the returning 2020-2021 Cyclones, each player said that the rings were special but that last year is over and they must focus on the upcoming season where many throughout the state believe that Elizabethton has a team that could make it two straight.
Time will tell but for now, the 2019 team will wear their rings with pride for years to come.