Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Championship Ring Ceremony Held to Honor Lumberjacks

Football players, fans, family, and coaches attended the championship ring ceremony.

The Family Life Center of Immanuel Baptist Church was filled to capacity as fans, friends, and families gathered to honor the 2014 4-A State Championship Football Team, the Warren Lumberjacks.

The evening began with meal of fried fish and chicken with all the trimmings.  Team chaplain Brother Charles Woolley of Central Missionary Baptist Church asked the blessing over the meal.

Coach Bo Hembree began the evening with accolades for the community.  He told the crowd that in two weeks, the fans and community came together to raise the $30,000 to purchase the rings.  Super Boosters, those donating $300 or more, were recognized and presented a football autographed by the championship team.  The footballs were presented by seniors on the team.

The presentations to the Super Boosters were followed by the retiring of three jerseys.  Greg Childs's mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Greg Childs, Sr., accepted the honor on behalf of their son who could not be present.  His father thanked the crowd and told them that Greg would have been there but was scheduled to meet Wednesday with representatives of the New York Jets.  The crowd erupted into applause, wishing Greg Childs well.  With that, #81 was retired.  Chris Gragg, now a Buffalo Bills tight end, was present to accept the honor of having his jersey, #19 retired.  He, too, thanked the people of Warren, Coach Hembree, and the athletic program for all it did for him.  He said he was very humbled by the retirement.  Viking wide receiver Jarius Wright was the third former Lumberjack great to be honored with the retirement of his jersey during the night.  Jarius also thanked everyone who was involved in his progress and told the crowd that his success was largely due to the many people who worked hard to direct him down the better path.  Jarius credited Coach Bo Hembree much of his success.  Seeing #6 retired was definitely an honor according to Wright. Coach Hembree noted that these young men have not forgotten their home nor the people in it.  He said in addition to a multitude of giving back to the community, they were the first to make a donation to the ring fund.
Coach Hembree and Mr. and Mrs. Greg Childs, Sr. 

Coach Hembree retires jersey of Chris Gragg.

Coach Hembree and Jarius Wright holding #6 jersey, now retired.

Following the retiring segment, Coach Hembree gave out the football letterman plaques, the P.H. Herring Awards, the Wisener Award, the Cecil Kemp Award, the Defensive Line Award, All Conference, All State, leading tackler, Most Improved Awards, Special Team Award, Total Yards Award, Receiving Award, MVP of the 4-A State Championship Game,  the All-Southeast Arkansas Quarterback Award, and All-Southeast Arkansas Defensive Player of the Year Award.  salineriverchronicle.com will have a complete listing and a photo of these recipients later this week.
Junior Peyton Hargis accepts award from Coach Clark Watkins.

At the conclusion of the presentation of the awards, Coach Hembree presented the seniors with their championship rings.  He took a few minutes to speak about each senior personally.  Rings were then presented to the underclassmen and the cheerleaders.

At the conclusion of the program, no one seemed to want the night to end.  Players, families, and fans hung around to relish the moment.  Jarius Wright and Chris Gragg stayed to sign autographs and pose with friends from home.

Senior Wesley Cornish accepts Championship Ring from Coach Bo Hembree.

Wesley Cornish, Salih Robinson, Justin Gorman, J'Kyron Hines, and Adam Nolan show off the latest in Jack Jewelry!

Darveon Brown, Trent Broughton, and Kilay Cox (the last to wear #6) show off their rings with pride.

Cheerleaders and their sponsor were happy to attend the special ceremony.

J'Kyron Hines and his father Fred Hines share a look at the championship ring and J'Kyron's All Conference Award.

A celebration of a hard-fought battle to win the 4-A State Championship

A proud moment for families!


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