When Aledo wide receiver Hunter Rosson unpacked his “celestial silver” 2016 state championship ring a couple of weeks ago, he smiled, remembered the state championship win over Corpus Christi Calallen and showed it off around the halls of the high school, of course.
But he also breathed a sigh of relief.
It was a size-4X, precious-metal confirmation that he had done his part to uphold the state championship tradition at Aledo, not to mention the state championship tradition in the Rosson household: Rosson’s father, Blake, has four rings (1998, 2009, 2010, 2011) from his time as wide receiver coach and co-offensive coordinator, and brother Brett Rosson won one with the 2013 football team, to go along with a 2014 baseball state championship ring. Blake left Aledo in 2012 to pursue another career opportunity.
“It was [a sigh of relief]. When we lost at the state baseball tournament my freshman year, I thought, ‘It’s OK — I still have three years to get me one,’ ” Hunter Rosson said. “But then it didn’t happen sophomore year, and you start to wonder.”
7 Number of football state championship trophies for Aledo since 1998 — six just since 2009
He wondered because, as Aledo has piled up the state championship trophies, with seven in football since 1998 and a ridiculous six since 2009, bringing home trophies and rings is almost expected now. Rosson was not on the varsity team full-time as a freshman when the Bearcats won in 2014.
“It was a big deal for me, for sure,” Rosson said. “But I still have one year left, and I’d like to be able to show off two of them.”
Steve Wood, whose fourth season as head coach begins when the first whistle blows for spring practice May 2, has led the Bearcats to state championships in two of his first three seasons at the helm, and advanced to the state semifinals in 2015.
In all, Wood has six championship rings, dating back to his time as defensive coordinator under now-athletic director Tim Buchanan. The run the program has been on and the hard work it has taken to get each one of the rings, though, isn’t lost on Wood.
“To be a state champion in the state of Texas is special,” Wood said. “It’s hard to really grasp the whole thing, because so many coaches and so many kids work just as hard as we do, but we’ve kind of had a perfect storm here.”
The seniors on the 2016 team got to design this year’s ring, with just a little input from Wood.
“We’ve gotten rings as big as size 6X. Typically each class wants to get something bigger than the year before,” Wood said. “But my point with these guys was, if you want to be able to wear the ring, then we need to go down to 4X in size. I tried to push that on them, but it was easy because that’s what they wanted too. Other than that, I let them run with it.”
Looking at [the ring] is the reminder for the thing I’ll remember the most: playing in that game with those guys.
Aledo wide receiver Hunter Rosson
The team motto “All In” is carved on one side, and Aledo’s “A” logo is emblazoned on the face of the ring, in orange, for the first time. The design gives players the option for their name on the left side, as well as something engraved on the inside of the band.
Rosson, appropriately, had “TitleTown” inscribed inside, after helping Aledo to its most recent title with 51 catches, 930 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior.
“It’s more about the relationships you have with your teammates than getting the ring,” Rosson said. “I mean, look at this thing, I’ll always look at it, but looking at it is the reminder for the thing I’ll remember the most: playing in that game with those guys. Just being with them on that field. That’s what I’ll remember more than the ring.”
Matthew Martinez: 817-390-7667; @MCTinez817