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For a sixth time, a championship ring’s the thing at Lake Travis

Lake Travis football coach Hank Carter says it’s hard to pick a favorite from the six state championship rings he’s been presented during his high school coaching career.

“It’s kind of like choosing which child is the favorite,” he said recently, “(but) it’s hard to beat this last one, though. It’s very special.”

Since the dawn of this century, Carter has been on the sidelines for six UIL state championship teams. He was an assistant coach for Bay City when the Black Cats won a Class 4A title in 2000 and he directed the Lake Travis defense as the Cavaliers won Class 4A championships in 2008 and 2009. This past fall, Carter won his third state title as the Cavaliers’ head coach, adding to Class 4A crowns in 2010 and 2011.

The historical significance of Lake Travis’ 2016 championship makes it particularly exceptional, Carter said. With their 41-13 victory over The Woodlands in the Class 6A, Division I final, the Cavaliers won their first state title at the University Interscholastic League’s most-competitive level.

Last week, the Cavaliers had a ceremony to give out almost 200 rings celebrating the 2016 championship, presenting them to players, coaches, trainers, team managers and school administrators. Here are a few facts about the 2016 ring as well as some of the other jewelry that the Cavaliers have collected over the years:

  • The latest championship ring was designed by the players and produced by Balfour, an Austin-based company. One side lists the Cavaliers’ 2016 team motto — LTakeover — and also includes an outline of Texas designed to resemble the state flag, complete with the lone star.

  • The ring’s other side includes an image of AT&T Stadium in Arlington — site of the 2016 UIL football championships — and a red star that contains the number six, a nod to the half dozen state titles that Lake Travis has won in football.
  • Each ring also is personalized with a player or coach’s name and jersey number of coaching role.
  • One 2016 ring went to Hayden Trigg, an 8-year-old student at Lakeway Elementary who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy. Hayden became “an honorary team member” of the Cavaliers, Carter said, and accompanied the team to games throughout the season.
  • Carter wears the Cavaliers’ 2008 championship ring the most, he says, because it’s the smallest. “The others are really big — not as low-profile or as easy to wear,” said the coach, who added that he typically wears the other rings only on “special occasions.”
  • There have been some misadventures involving various rings over the years. Carter recalled that one Lake Travis coach lost his ring in the snow during a trip to Salt Lake City, where Cavaliers assistants were picking up tips from University of Utah coaches. The ring was found and returned a few weeks later.

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