Wednesday, April 15, 2009

West Charlotte's state champion girls team has ring problems

Every player on West Charlotte's state championship girls basketball team may not be able to get her state ring.


The Lions beat nationally ranked East Meck and Butler on back-to-back nights to reach the state championship game last month, then stopped Durham Hillside with a furious fourth quarter rush in the championship game. It was the first girls basketball state title in West Charlotte's 71-year history.


Lions athletics director Masanori Toguchi said the school was able to cover half the cost of the $200 rings, but had "serious concerns" that some players wouldn't be able to raise their half. Toguchi said he tried to raise the remaining funds by trying to get local businesses to buy banners to be shown at school athletic events but current economic conditions prevented those businesses from doing so.


"We don't make that much money off tickets so we're trying to do the best we can right now," Toguchi said.


One Lions parent said the team's eight seniors, faced with fees to cover senior packages, college applications and proms, were particularly stressed.


"Money is tight for everyone," the parent said, "and I find it truly heartbreaking that these young ladies worked very hard and overcame so much to win, and now they have been told that if they don't have money they cannot get their prize."

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

The prize is that they won, not the ring. The banner in the gym that will be there forever. The ring is not the most important thing here and hopefully these parents will be able to express that to their children so they can still be proud of their acomplishment instead of feeling like they are missing out.

Anonymous said...

Has the school considered asking individuals, especially alumni of West Charlotte to make contributions to the purchase of the rings? When Harding needed funds to go the the Inaugural, the city rallied around them and the money was raised. If a fund was established I would contribute. I can't imagine these young ladies being unable to get the rings they worked hard so hard for and deserve.

Anonymous said...

So, get the word out-talk radio,tv and let them know where to send donations....

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of a boys sports team beong unable to get their rings. Why is there a problem with this team?

kris1219 said...

The NCHSAA should pay for the W. Charlotte girls basketball team state championship rings. What do they do with the monies they collect from high school games?

Anonymous said...

Let me try to remember - I WORKED to pay for my prom, my HS ring and back then we had to pay our own SAT fee - Buy this ring and the next thing you know we will be buying class rings (since they worked so hard to graduate) And what about the otehr schools in CMS - how is it fair to help one school and not all ?????? This is why we have probelms in Charlotte - everyone thinks they are owed something for nothing

Hub Stancil said...

Is there only one high school championship ring supplier in the world? Take the $100 per student you already have and get someone else to make rings for that price.

Anonymous said...

Here comes Al Sharpton!!!

Anonymous said...

The person who made the comment about using another supplier was right on the money. When my sons graduated from high school they purchased their class rings from Brownlee Jewelers. The rings were hundreds of dollars less than the school supplier and they looked just as good. Why make such a major investment in a high school ring when in many cases there will be a college ring to take its place.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between a class ring and a championship ring.I agree they should purchase their own class rings. But,those young ladies represented their school and the city of Charlotte when they won the state championship. They are not trying to get something for nothing they earned those rings.

Anonymous said...

They get medals, screw the rings...

Anonymous said...

We all know that it is common practice for any varsity sports team that wins the state championship to get rings. The girls deserve it just as much as the next team...As a person who played varsity sports in high school, winning the state championship is not an easy feat and should be rewarded.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to the girls for winning. It's a great accomplishment. I don't think, however, that they are owed rings...They could have done car washes, fundraisers, etc to raise the money...not just make the issue known in the hopes of getting a public handout. JMHO.

Anonymous said...

To the person that worked to pay for for prom, class ring, etc...It is very hard to work and play sports in school. And I do not share the belief that these girls are trying to get something for nothing. We should support these ladies. They worked hard to win the championship and deserve the ring. Definitely get the word out, I'm sure people will be more than happy to help.

Anonymous said...

When my son achieved a similar goal, I was unable to afford the ring, and so he didn't get one. Life has gone on. We know that when we can't afford something, we don't get it. I never went to the paper asking for anyone to buy it for us.

Anonymous said...

I am a parent of one of the young ladies who was told she need $100.00 to pay for her ring. I also have some concerns. These girls deserve their ring and should not have to come up with $100.00 they are asking. My first question is What happened to the money? The parents took care of these girls during the season and the school have not really paid for anything. What happen to their funds the school received? There got to be another solutions than making them pay that much.

Anonymous said...

I would think that the WC Boosters would be able to help to some extent and I'm sure that the girls didn't approach the paper about this matter. There are plenty of WC supporters in the community who can donate some money towards this cause.

Anonymous said...

First of all...$200 is a lot for a championship ring! However...this team has worked 4 years for the opportunity to play for the championship. They deserve a RING! It is a shame that the school will not pay the entire cost of the ring...trust me, there are monies paid at each home game...and some of that money should be able to pay for the rings. This is sad! It is funny on this blog that people say they should not get a ring...they are obviously not an athlete OR jealous because they did not win a championship.

Anonymous said...

How about the cheerleaders? Those cheerleaders work just as hard as the team..in some respects. The cheerleading coach or AD has not said anything to the cheerleading parents about a Ring! Last year when E. Meck boys won the state championship...the cheerleaders were included!! Toguchi & Coach Heath..please contact the cheer parents and let us know that ya'll are at least thinking about the cheerleaders. I want be holding my breathe!!! Maybe Toguchi will leave with Mr. Modest!

Anonymous said...

The prize is not only that you won! the prize is the glorification of someone asking you "whats that ring from" and you being able to say "we won states!" i am an alumni of west Charlotte and currently play NCAA division 1 football, and have won two conference championships and have two rings! I watched those young girls develop lady lions basketball into a powerhouse, they deserve to have their rings and showcase their hard work. They are the ones who busted their tail day in and day out to reach their ultimate goal. I'm hoping for their sake that a prayer is answered and ALL of the girls receive their rings. Congratulations Lady Lions!
#88 c/o 06

Anonymous said...

a ring for the cheerleaders? Your kidding, right? I'm not saying that competitive cheer teams aren't sports, but the girls who clap and cheer at BBall and Football games aren't the same as a competitive team. If you give a ring to them why not just make it available for any fan to buy. Never the less the Bball girls deserve a ring, so if you have $100 get a $100 ring.

Anonymous said...

When Butler won the state championship in softball the booster club only paid for $100 of the ring and the parents were responisble for the rest. Parents need to stop holding their hands out for support and just pay for their children moment in school history.

Anonymous said...

...THE WEST CHARLOTTE LADY LIONS 4A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM DEFINITELY DESERVES THESE RINGS!!! THEY WORKED EXTREMELY HARD ALL SEASON AND OVERCAME MANY OBSTACLES TO EVEN GET THERE. AND FOR ALL OF THE IGNORANT PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT THEY DONT DESERVE RINGS YOU ARE THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE THEM SMILE EVERYDAY AND MAKE THEM LOVE THE FACT THAT THEY WON THE CHAMPIONSHIP AT "THE DUB" EVEN MORE!!!!!!!!!!! WE STILL LOVE YALL!!!!! C.C. ; )

Anonymous said...

I read some of the comments that have been posted and I am appalled at some of them. Take it from a West Charlotte back to back state champion in basketball, the rings do matter and the school gets recognition and should pay for the rings not the parents. We all know that at WC your expected to win state championships, your team is not recognized unless you do so. We don't hang banners like others schools for conference championships there are to many and that is expected on the way to a state championship, at WC we compare which state championship teams was better. I blame the school for not having it in their budget or raising the money that's one job of the AD and the athletic department. When we won the state back to back they measured our fingers and cost was not even brought up. These young ladies worked hard and had the expectation of winning the state championship from when the current seniors set foot on campus by themselves and others, so why wouldn't the school budget for the rings. They are the first Women's basketball team to win the state. These girls & coaching staff worked hard and sacrificed a lot of time(parents to time, money, gas and games are not free for parents). WC has won state championships in just about every sport so this should be expected every year, no excuses.

Coach Green said...

First of all, thank you to all of the West Charlotte supporters and all of the haters alike, we appreciate you for your support. Next, I would like to say that it is ashame that the lady lions that worked so hard against adversity so many times and came up victorious are being looked upon as charity cases and looking for a handout. If you look back on the history of the core group of girls that helped bring West Charlotte from a 4-19 laughing stock of the Meca-8 at the time in 2005-2006, to the 2008-2009 4A State Champions you see more than just a group of young girls looking for a handout. This group of girls have not only made history for West Charlotte but for the state as a whole having compiled a record in a four year period that many could only dream of having less known making two state championship appearances in a row. These girls are not only good basketball players but good role models to young girls on a larger scale. I commend these girls and parents for staying the course and being supportive when so many people had doubts. To this I say, "well done" Trena, Ebony, Christal, Nikki,Jessica F., "Pooh", Kiara, Demetria, Kierra, Jessica G.,and Joletta. No matter if I have to referee flag football every saturday from now to the end of the school year or work at the dmv everyday with no days off, NO ONE WILL BE LEFT OUT!!
Coach Green--DUB-C!! U KNOW!!

Anonymous said...

I thought since it was a "state" championship, the state was covering the cost for everyone on the winning teams. I had no idea it was the onus of the school and participants, that's kind of backwards in my opinion, but I guess that's why the NCHSAA keeps millions in endowment money, because of choices like this.

Anonymous said...

Yeah....nobody said the Indy Players didn't deserve the rings they worked hard for, but they didn't have a problem collecting for their players, either. For years...thats been the norm. A ring, a medal, a banner.....now we get people (haters) on here who say the girls now don't deserve it?? And that they should be happy with what they get? If this was Butler, this news would be on Good Morning America...LOL The NCHSAA should be responsible for this. They made sure they got their Six figure salaries, but they can't make sure these kids get something that has been the norm for decades in High School Sports here in North Carolina?? This is why I know they're OVERPAID!!

Anonymous said...

If other schools require their state champions to pay half of the cost, why should West Charlotte be any different.
If the girls don't have the $100, then do some fundraising or ask for sponsors.
But seriously we are talking about $100 here. I know times are tight, but a couple of weeks at a summer job will do the trick.
I think that most of the parents probably have the money but are looking for someone else to pay. Most of these girls play travel basketball and that doesn't come cheap. It is a matter of priorities.
Maybe they have a lay away plan and you can pay $50 now and $50 later.
I wonder if The Observer would run this story about a Myers Park team being "forced" to pay for a ring???

Anonymous said...

the girls deserve the rings,,my son won them at INDY,,his ring was 300 with all the upgrades,,but he could have gotten a free ring,,,but with no upgrades,,the extra 100 is for upgrades,,they have know about this for months,,and can't come up with a 100,,i'm sure they made enough money all year long at the games to help these ladies out,,,what happen to the money AD,,,he needs to leave with Modest,,,

Anonymous said...

Offourse they wouldn't post Myers Park "forced" to pay for a ring cause we are talking about two different economic classes here! West Charlotte is dear to my heart and its a shame that the NCHSAA or even the City of Charlotte government does not intervene??? Asking the girls to pay for thier ring is placing a double standard on the matter. It's not about whether they can raise the money or not, but rather its the principle of the matter. A ring is earned by 2-a-day practices and late nights scrutinizing film of ranked opponents, not by raking leaves and having a carwash...

#6 Class of '06 Dub-C!!!

Anonymous said...

"The NCHSAA should pay for the W. Charlotte girls basketball team state championship rings. What do they do with the monies they collect from high school games?"

STATE Championship! STATE Champions! I agree that the STATE should pay for these rings!

Anonymous said...

Someone will bail West charlotte out on this one. They always do.

Anonymous said...

If the NCHSAA pays for WC's rings they need to pay for the seven other state champions. Some schools give rings to the players, coaches, and immediate support/admin staff, others to more involved people.

Allowing the school to handle the rings allows them to choose the ring style and who gets them.

It has always been up to the school to provide the rings. Tough economic times are the large hinderance. Should CMS give $2,000when they are laying off employees? I don't know.

They deserve the ring and I am hoping they get them. Although they may not wear the ring in twenty years or so it will be in special place for visitors to see.

Anonymous said...

These kids on any given weekend can drop $100 on a pair of shoes they want or clothes they want...If they want the ring then they should work and pay for the balance that is their responsibility. That's what is wrong with the world today...they are afraid they may have to actually work for something they want.

Anonymous said...

Every school that wins a state championship handle things differently. Normally football state champions bring in enough gate money to cover for the rings. But, I have seen some schools still have to fundraise for have and the school pays half. Basketball normally does not make a lot of gate money. Sometimes they lose money. The biggest thing here is the 14,000 dollars WC had to return from the football forfeit 2 yrs ago.

Paying for half is not bad and I do believe you can get a good looking ring at a cheaper price and yes the cheerleaders should be included.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... I wonder where that $14000 in football forfeiture money came from??? Sounds like a good investigative report to me....

Anonymous said...

The $14,000 came from collected gate money from home football games... investigation closed :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... Then where'd the money for the new uniforms, pads, etc., etc. bought after the '07 football season come from? Where'd the gate money the ladies made in the '07-'08 basketball season go??? Perhaps that money paid the fine.... Looks like there might have been misappropriation of funds to me. But this is all theory, of course...:). Case reopened.

--Concerned taxpayer/WC supporter

Anonymous said...

Man, Coach Green is real!! He said that he is willing to do what ever it takes to make the situation right for the girls including working extra hours?! Why are the people who should be stepping up to take care of this situation at? Coach Green doesn't even work at WC and he is willing to make things right!! He is a true leader and one that I wish would be around for the future lions. With this type of negative attention who would blame him if he leaves.

Anonymous said...

Great group of girls...BAD administration!! Who is in charge of the money that the team split with the other teams at the regionals and the state championships? The AD?! OH NO!!

Anonymous said...

This whole situation has put yet another black-eye on something which was so beautiful for West Charlotte and the state Championship squad. Whoever started this debacle did not think of the scar that would be there long after this situation is resolved. Not placing blame anywhere but I feel that this could have been handled in a better and more private way. As a prominent West Charlotte alumni this is a great embarrassment to the school and community. To Coach Green, Thank You Brother!! For trying to make a terrible situation better.

Anonymous said...

This is such a shame that the largest city in the state of North Carolina that is the home to multiple professional athletics can not ensure that these girls get what they deserve. Maybe it is time for Bob Johnson, Michael Jordon and the Bobcats to step up. I am sure it would be a drop in the bucket for them whereas for many it is a weekly grocery bill. Congrats to WC!!!!!

Anonymous said...

When I first came to Charlotte in 1979, West Charlotte High School was the pride of the community and I do not mean just the west side community. Why all the hate on WC now? What has the hardworking kids, parents and alumni done to deserve such distasteful comments and comparisons? I do not care if it is Myers Park, Butler, Providence, Indy or West Charlotte, if you win a championship, you deserve a ring!!!

Kim Bailey said...

I believe that some of these people posting are missing the whole point here, and that could very well be as a result of the comments made in the article. This is not an issue concerning the socio-economic status of the young ladies involved, for those who feel that they should raise the funds through car washes and working. Most of these ladies have been working part time jobs in addition to working hard on and OFF the basketball court. To practice as much as they have (most for the past 8 years together as a team) to get to this point, work to make money to pay for various extras teenagers like to have AND have a team GPA above a 3.0, is OUTSTANDING!!! These ladies have earned scholarships--athletic AND academic--to prestigious colleges and universities across the country. They have achieved national recognition!

The principal was rewarded for what he did to contribute towards getting the school to where it is today, so why not reward these girls for the hard work they have put forth in bringing a positive light to the school and to the West Charlotte community?

It's tacky and embarrassing for it to appear that these ladies are looking for handouts because they are not. I'm calling for those in power to do what's right and provide these young ladies with the memorabilia they deserve to have. I am not a West Charlotte student, parent, alumnus, or teacher. I don't even live in Mecklenburg County, but I support the school and its students as I do all CMS schools and students when they are doing positive things. Let them have the rings!

Anonymous said...

World Class City??? What a joke!!!! The simple minded comments made in this blog makes Charlotte look smaller than Mayberry! At least in Mayberry, everybody sought out the best even in Ernest T. Bass. WC- If you are raising funds for these rings, please provide more information. I would love to help make sure these girls get the rings they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Can someone confirm if there is money to buy the basic championship ring but the girls would need to pay for any extras. I have scene hihg school title rings costs a little over $100 but with additions they get into the $300 range. If it is for extras the girls need to pay for that.

Someone wrote that Butler's softball team paid for half of the cost of their rings. What's the difference in the two scenarios?

Anonymous said...

WC is not always asking for a handout! The press just makes it seem that way! That is so unfair to make it seem like they are looking for sympathy...Just because a couple of players cant afford the money does not mean they are just pitiful...they look at themselves as a TEAM! So they feel like if EVERYONE on the team cant afford rings then it's a problem..WC is not a selfish school they are family...something some of you on this blong need to learn!

Anonymous said...

I'M ONE OF THE 8 GRADUATING SENIORS FOR "THE DUB" AND I FEEL THAT EVRYBODY NEED TO JUST STOP HATING ON US, BECAUSE WE'VE BEEN DOING NOTHING BUT POSITIVE THINGS. ALL OF THE JUNK TALKING AND HATING EVERYONE DID ON US WE STILL CAME OUT ON TOP ISN'T THAT ENOUGH. I AGREE WIT C.C AND COACH GREEN AND A COUPLE OTHERS. FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SAID WE SHOULD JUST ACCEPT THE MEDALS AND GET OVER IT YOU ARE "CHILDISH." WHAT IF IT WAS YOU IN OUR SHOES AND YOU HAD TO PAY SENIOR DUES AND EVERYTHING ELSE FINANCIALLY THAT YOU ARE HIT WITH BEFORE YOU GRADUATE? WOULD YOU WANT TO PAY FOR SOMETHING YOU EARNED? WOULDN'T YOU WANT TO RECIEVE A RING THAT YOU LOOK BACK AND BE LIKE, "DANG MAN WE DID IT WE WON STATES?" I BET THEN YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND WHERE WE ARE COMING FROM. FOR THE RECORD WE ARE NOT A CHARITY CASE!!!!!! THE ECONOMIC WOES DISABLES SOME OF US FROM EVEN BEING ABLE TO COME UP WITH THE MONEY NEEDED. IT WOULD BE NICE IF PEOPLE WOULD JUST GIVE US OUR PROPS AND KEEP IT MOVING. IF YOU DON'T GOT ANYTHING NICE TO SAY DONT SAY NOTHING AT ALL. IF YOU WANNA HELP THANK YOU, IF NOT THANK YOU TOO.
KIE THANG #11

Anonymous said...

Kie, congratulations, but stop shouting in all CAPS. It makes you seem like an angry young woman of color. Why not work together for a fundraiser and build more team unity and spirit and stop waiting for a handout that other parent's & studends never got.

Anonymous said...

I hate this article every got to the paper. I know this is just about the PRINCIPLE of the situation. I agree the girls should not have to pay for the rings, but if they do have to pay half, they can. It is a shame these parents are complaining when MANY of these girls have every NEW JORDANS that comes out and normally are the first ones to get them. The money is there, it just an argument over the Principal of the situation.

Anonymous said...

To any and all that donate. Make sure it is ear marked for the girls and the coaches. Not the Administration, the AD etc. I think they can take care of their on rings.

J.L. Hunter said...

Does anyone know of any possible fundraisers that being scheduled? I really would like to make a donation, but I want to be sure it goes to help the players and coaches. Not something else. Please advise if you have any suggestions on this. Class of 81.