Champions Inside Newberry's 2016 sac championship rings

Newberry became the 16th football team in the 42-year history of the South Atlantic Conference to win the conference title by going undefeated in league play during the 2016 season.

The Wolves won their first six SAC contests by an average of 23.8 points per game. A thrilling, come-from-behind win over Wingate before a national television audience gave Newberry the school’s third crown, all of which have come in the last 11 seasons, and clinched its first perfect SAC record.

Newberry College football players, coaches, and male support staff and administrators received rings to commemorate Newberry’s third South Atlantic Conference championship. Female support staff and administrators received pendants of the ring face.

The rings were produced by Herff-Jones and were based on the design of the University of Alabama’s rings from the Crimson Tide’s championship in 2012.

The ring face includes the Howling N logo with the phrase, “2016 SAC Champions.” The three footballs signify both the three playoff appearances by the senior class and the three SAC championships in Newberry’s history.

The scarlet football represents the 2016 team, which finished the season a perfect 7-0 in the SAC and earned a school-record No. 2 seed in the NCAA Division II Football Championship.

The last name of each player, coach, support staffer, or administrator appears on the right side of the ring along with his position. Those identifiers surround a replica of the 2016 SAC championship trophy secured with Newberry’s 27-22 win over Wingate in the regular season finale.
The left side of the ring has gold ribbons, signifying victory, inscribed with “South Atlantic Conference” and “Undefeated.” This side also references the team’s 10-2 overall record.

The ring’s most unique quality is its height. Two rows of additional elements give the ring face a stunning height, noticeably taller than most championship rings.

The first row includes 34 stones around the perimeter of the ring. Ten of the stones are scarlet, one for each of Newberry’s 10 wins on the season.

The second row is certainly the ring’s most striking element. Country singer Bobby Bare released “Drop Kick Me Jesus” in 1976. It has been appropriated as Newberry’s victory song, with Pastor Ernie Worman leading the team in song following a postgame prayer on the field at every Newberry win.

The phrase “Drop Kick Me Jesus” encircles the ring on its second level, paying homage to the 10 times in 2016 the Wolves ended their gameday in song.

The inside of each ring is inscribed with the phrases "No Excuses" and "Family," two of the team's mottos this season.

Newberry's 10 consecutive wins to close the regular season tied the 2006 team for the longest winning streak in school history. The Wolves have an active streak of 10 straight wins against SAC competition dating back to October 2015 that they will carry into the 2017 campaign.

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