CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County commissioners declared one week in February as "Harding University High School Week" after the football team won their first state championship since 1953.
The school won their division championship football game in Winston-Salem on Dec. 9. The school hasn't won a state championship in 64 years.
On Tuesday, county officials issued a proclamation stating that February 12 - 16, 2018 will be "Harding University High School Week." The proclamation states that the football team "exemplifies exceptional sportsmanship, talent and hardworking athletes."
"The football team's drive and perseverance through adversities led them to earn a championship title and school recognition on the national, state and local levels," the proclamation stated.
Carolina Panther linebacker Thomas Davis and his wife donated $20,000 for the championship rings of Harding University High School's football team. The money donated by the couple took "care of all the rings" for all of the students on the football team, the school's principal said.
Davis announced his donation for the rings on Power98. He declined to do media interviews through the Panthers Public Relations Department saying "that's not why he did it and will let the act stand alone. Just trying to help out."
Team members said the game was a dream come true and it proved that hard work pays off.
Quavaris Crouch is a running back on the team. He says a few years ago the team only won one game the entire season. He says they got better each year and now they are champs.
"All the hard work that we put in, blood, sweat and tears working together. Getting up early that morning for practice on Thanksgiving, it was cold outside. I think we did good as a team, as a family, coming together and playing our hearts out for each other," Crouch said.
County officials also proclaimed Feb. 7 as "Quavaris Crouch Day." The proclamation states that Crouch was named the championship's Most Valuable Player and named the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year. He was also a prospect for Gatorade's national player of the year award.