The inside scoop on state championship rings


Photo courtesy of instagram @dubfieldathletics

WHS state championship teams 2021-2022

A handful of talented individuals at WHS know the feeling of winning a state championship. On their finger, they wear an elaborate and custom-made ring; but what many non-ring bearers may not know is that this ring carries a substantial price tag for the athletes.

According to three-time state championship coach and Assistant Principal Jim DeSarno, it costs between $180-250 per ring, and he orders close to 80 of them for his championship teams. In the past, the football program has relied on fundraising to pay for these rings, namely selling Westfield football apparel or asking for donations. “For as much as I was running around in that room back there with 8,000 t-shirts, you just think that these kids are going to have something that they will cherish for the rest of their lives,” DeSarno said.

The fundraising process typically takes his teams between three and four months. However, most other teams do not see much success with selling apparel. As a result, individual players have to pay the price for a ring in full, rather than opting to raise the funds. According to Athletic Director Sandra Mamary, many state championship teams rely on fundraising or GoFundMe donations to pay for the rings. “I think that teachers and students feel as though the district or the Boosters purchase these rings,” said Mamary. “We do not. Nothing is given to them. They work to win the championship, and then they have to work to get the award.”

The girls soccer team won the state championship this past season. Senior captain Elise Fox said, “For fundraising, the coaches set up a site where anyone who supports the team can purchase state championship merch.”

When a team wins the state championship, team captains work with Mamary to design a customized ring. Common design features include a player’s last name along with some version of the team logo. Additionally, in most cases, the rings have a slogan or other added detail that is unique to the particular team and its accomplishments. 

The girls basketball team won the state championship for the first time in WHS school history this past season. Senior girls basketball captain Chloe Kreusser said, “When designing the ring I worked with Grace Klag who is the other senior captain, our coach, and Sandy. We looked at other rings for references and ideas and then after talking and looking at what some of the other state champ teams from Westfield designed we came up with a great ring that I am excited for the team and everyone to see.”

Each team’s personalized ring design makes it special. “I knew that it had to have lots of diamonds on it and I wanted it to be a memorable ring. The ring design process was the easiest part of it all. The final design incorporated a beautiful top design, on the side it has the last name of the swimmer, a picture of a swimmer diving off the block, and 16 time state champ, because this year marked the 16th time that we won,” said senior girls swim captain Sarah Kennedy. “On the other side it has Westfield along with the state and number 1 in it, and our record for the season which was 16-0. On the inside of it has written county champs and sectional champs.”

Senior winter track captain Ben Hacker said, “After school one day we were told to meet with the jeweler and Sandy, and we sat down with all of them and talked about different ring styles we would like to see on the ring. We brainstormed and drew up a lot of ideas, saw what we liked best and just went for it.”

Although they come at a cost, most WHS athletes agree that the rings are a worthwhile investment as a physical reminder of their athletic accomplishments. “If you don’t cherish these moments and you just worry about the next year or the next win, you are going to regret it in the end,” said DeSarno.