High school football: Bingham coach shared championship ring to help players understand the ultimate goal
Heninger said he told his teammates that he loved and trusted them, and that he’d like to finish their time together as champions. But he admits, he may not be able to say what it means for him to win a state title until the undefeated Miners earn one more win.
“I don’t know how to answer that still,” he said of what it might mean to him to win a state title. “I ended up putting it on my bedside table, and I remember every night before I go to bed, staring at it and just thinking about the season.”
Wahlstrom said he thought it would be awesome to have the ring for a week, but thought it would be an honor reserved for other players.
“When he said my name, I was so surprised,” he said. “I was speechless. I couldn’t even think of words to say.”
He found a few words, and then he kept the ring at home in a safe place.
“I felt like I had to live up to all of the people who’ve won one before us,” he said. “All of those great, inspirational people who set a path for us.”
Like the other boys, he was shocked that Peck would trust the teenagers enough to share the ring.
“I’m not sure if I would be able to do that,” Wahlstrom said.
Inside linebacker coach Everest Matagi was not surprised when Peck started letting the boys take the ring for a week at a time.
“I think when a guy wins championships like Coach Peck has, you want to share it,” said Matagi, who is one of two assistants who has not won a state title. “You want everyone to feel it. I think that’s just how Dave is. You begin with the end in mind, and he wants those kids to see what it looks like.”
Peck gave the ring to Matagi the day before Bingham’s semifinal game. After the Miners won, Matagi showed the players that he’d been wearing it on a cord around his neck.
“I kind of felt like the 2006 team was with us,” Matagi said. “(Peck) has probably lost more opportunities at rings than most people even have a chance to have. He wants these kids to experience that. It’s special, and these kids work hard.”
Heninger said he practiced harder and felt prouder during the week he possessed the ring.
“I thought, ‘This is Coach Peck’s ring, so I have to be exactly like Coach Peck,'” Heninger said smiling. “I can’t make any mistakes this week. It’s one of those things where you think, 'I’m going to do the best I can at everything I do this week.'”
When asked if he better understands what the boys are working for, he shakes his head.
“I don’t think I’ll understand until I have one.”