Let the Titans have their rings, seriously | Full-Court Press

Ground-breaking hard work pays off, and it usually gets rewarded.

Academic institutions of all levels and employers across the world have preached it since the dawn of time.

The Todd Beamer Titans boys soccer team’s hard work did just that on June 2. They brought the school, which opened in 2003, its first-ever state championship in any sport.

It was ground-breaking and challenging work — not just for the high school, but also for those 18 players who put the game before individual success. They should have something personal to forever remember what they did as brothers for 21 games.

That kind of work should be rewarded.

Sure, they have a state championship trophy that will be a part of Todd Beamer forever. But what about seniors Austin Stafford, Dmytro Demchuck, Dylan Alley, Mark Filimonov and Luke Gregg?

After June 22, it’s possible those five Titans may never walk the halls of the school again with a chance to relive the sweat, tears and work it took to earn that trophy. Those seniors and the 13 other players deserve championship rings.

And they, nor any other program in the state, should have to completely foot the bill for them.

Recently, Titans coach Joel Lindberg created a gofundme.com account. In it, he states neither schools nor school districts are allowed to completely or partially fund such a request.

“The purchase of state championship rings for students would be considered personal use,” Federal Way Public Schools spokeswoman Kassie Swenson confirmed in an email. “State law prohibits the gifting of district funds for the purchase of personal use items.”

So, per state law, a school district can’t outright purchase championship rings for a school sports team.

That’s fine, it’s a law — not going to argue with that. And, with a price tag of over $3,000, championship rings would cost a lot of money.

So, how are school districts helping their athletes obtain mementos like championships rings?

In other words, if school districts can’t purchase state championship rings outright, they should be doing more to help their athletes, who represent them in a sports setting, find ways to raise money so teams are not doing all of the work themselves, especially when their biggest contributors to fundraising efforts tend to be district staff and employees.

Wouldn’t a chance to provide the program aid in the form of “how to” be an ideal … teaching opportunity for the athletes? Specifically those seniors who are on the cusp of entering the real world.

Again, the statement saying districts can’t legally provide tangible items is fine. Championship rings are for “personal use.” Therefore, it’s not the state, school or district’s job to provide such a “gift.”

So don’t provide them with the prize, but, please, at the very least, provide them with tools, ideas, strategies and anything else districts can so that players aren’t pandering for something they’ve rightfully earned, but are, instead, proactively executing a plan to obtain what they want.

These 18 players did exactly what their job as athletes at this point in their lives has trained them to do: They worked hard for something. In this case, the Titans worked harder than any other 4A soccer program in the state and took home the state championship.

Now, though, Beamer is stuck spending the summer, or longer, in its 22nd match of the season. It’s opponent? Money. And the athletes get to do all of this while trying to keep the memory of their accomplishment alive.

The educators, both scholastically and in the work force, have been right all along. Hard work does pay off.

Apparently just not if it is for “personal gain.”

Jerod Young is the Federal Way Miror sports reporter. He can be reached at jyoung@fedwaymirror.com.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Sports

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

COURTESY FILE PHOTO, Emerald Downs
Emerald Downs announces revised 2020 stakes schedule

Racing starts June 22; first featured race Aug. 2

Emerald Downs to open for horse racing June 22

No fans initially at Auburn track; fans can wager from home

FILE PHOTO, Brian Liesse, T-Birds
T-Birds issue ticket refunds, exchanges for cancelled games in Kent

17,000 tickets sold for three March contests at ShoWare Center

Decatur senior to bowl at collegiate level

Team captain and league MVP Ruth Magana signed her National Letter of Intent at home last week.

T-Birds select 13 players in Bantam Draft

Seattle trades goalie Roddy Ross to Regina for three draft picks

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

Emerald Downs still plans to have horse racing season in 2020

Horse training continues at Auburn racetrack

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

T-Birds select Dauner, Mackie in Western Hockey League U.S. Prospects Draft

Dauner is a center from Fargo; Mackie is a defenseman from Anchorage

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Federal Way Mirror Male Athlete of the Week for March 13: Sampson Mitchell

Decatur wrestler wraps up senior season as NPSL 220-pound sub-regional champion.