Whitwell High School football players brought home the school's first ever state championship last Friday, but now they're trying to bring home the rings.

The players have to pay for each championship ring; there are about 44 players and coaches on the team.

A restaurant owner in South Pittsburgh is asking other small businesses to join her in donating the money needed for a ring to make sure every player and coach gets one. 

"They worked so hard for it. They deserve it," said Tammy Kilgore, owner of Jesse’s Grill.

Kilgore doesn't have a child on the Whitwell football team now, but her family has a long history at the school.

She said they all celebrated Friday night after the team won the state championship. Then they learned those state championship rings come at a cost.

"It's Christmas time and a lot of families can barely afford Christmas, if any. And the thought of a family wondering how they're going to buy their kid's Christmas plus their ring...yeah," Kilgore said emotionally.

Each ring will cost from $200 - $400.

Kilgore said she just wanted to find a way to help.

"I laid awake this morning," Kilgore said. "I was up at 3 o’clock thinking what could I do?”

So she posted on Facebook telling the community she would donate money to help cover at least one ring and challenged other local businesses to do the same.

 
User: Jesse's Grill To: link


Within hours several other companies messaged her, wanting to chip in.

"Everybody just wanted to make sure that the kids got their rings,” Kilgore said.

The Whitwell High School coach said the support from the community is incredible.

Kilgore said the community is helping the team get what they earned.

“This is a great community. Great people. The most caring people," Kilgore said.

If you would like to help, you can take donations to the Citizens Tri-County Bank.

The money will go directly to the school for the rings.

Stay with the WRCB app for updates to this story.