Whitwell community coming together to fund championship rings

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WHITWELL, Tenn. (WDEF) — It’s like Drake says, cause they’ve got a really big team and they need some really nice rings.

The citizens of Whitwell are making that happen for the class A football state champions.

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Time stood still for Whitwell fans in Cookeville Saturday as the final seconds ticked off the state championship clock.

“They’re still talking about it. It’s Wednesday, and they’re still talking about it. It’s the greatest thing I can think of that’s happened positively for this town,” Raceway’s Darin Rogers said.

Whitwell, undefeated for the first time in history. For the small town of 17-hundred, the title win means way more than a football game — proven as the community rallies together to get every football player a state championship ring.

“That’s what we do as a community. We all come together,” Citzens Tri-County Bank’s Cindy Woods said. “This has been a long time coming. Never in the history of Whitwell high school. And so this is something we want to do to give these boys. They’ve put so much pride back into this valley, and we want to try to make sure they all get a ring.”

And the donations have been pouring in. Jesse’s Grill in Kimball is donating the first ring, no matter the cost. Raceway collected 100 dollars in change alone Tuesday. And First Volunteer Bank is trading a state championship shirt for a dollar.

“When we say a dollar, everybody’s very surprised. And usually we get more than a dollar. We’ve had $250. We’ve had hundreds,” Kay Smith of First Volunteer Bank said.

The bank had about $400 in donations in 30 minutes.

“I hope it’s as good as they can possibly get. If it was up to me, it would be like a Superbowl ring for all I care,” Rogers said.

Citizen’s Tri-County Bank also has an account solely for donations.

“If we can buy them all a ring, that’s what we want to do,” Smith said.

Tennessee American Water Spokeswoman Daphne Kirskey tells me the company will also be donating money. If you would like to add to the ring fund, you can donate here.

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Angela joined the News 12 team in November of 2017 as the weekend sports anchor and reporter. Angela is a proud member of an Army family, which means she has hometowns all over the Eastern Seaboard. Most recently, she calls Peachtree City, Georgia, home, where she graduated from Trinity Christian School and spent her free time driving her purple golf cart. She then headed to Milledgeville, Georgia, to attend Georgia College and State University. A proud Bobcat, Angela graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Mass Communication and represented her December 2016 class as one of three valedictorians. Angela comes to the Scenic City from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where she worked at the NBC affiliate, WMBF News. Before the big move, she worked as Georgia College's Sports Information Assistant, which let her get paid to be the Bobcats' biggest fan. It all started in Savannah, Georgia, though, where she interned for SAV's number one station, WTOC. When she's not working, you can find Angela watching the New York Giants, Rangers or basically any other game that's on. She also loves traveling, hiking and exploring new places, all with her camera in hand. If you have any story ideas, big or small, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook and Twitter, or email her at amoryan@wdef.com."