Weeks after capturing the 2023 LA City Championship baseball crown, the Sylmar High School Spartans are still on cloud nine.

In May, the charter high school in the northernmost part of the San Fernando Valley sent its baseball team to the LA City Championships, winning the City Division I title in dramatic fashion.

In the 7th inning of the championship finale, Sylmar’s Victor Carrera hit an RBI single against the Kennedy Cougars at Dodger Stadium, driving home the game’s only run and giving the Spartans a 1-0 walk-off victory. For the first time in more than 40 years, the Sylmar baseball team were champions.

In the pros, when you win the “big one,” you get a nice bonus, a championship parade and a trip to the White House.

But for a school like Sylmar, once the lights at the stadium fade to darkness, the team bus arrives back at school and you head home for the evening with your family, all you’re left with is memories.

Sylmar’s head coach Ray Rivera wants to give his kids something they can hold on to for the rest of their lives, a physical token that serves as a reminder of what will likely be the greatest athletic accomplishment in most of the players’ lives.

Rivera wants to get his players championship rings.

“This wasn’t something that was accomplished overnight. This was the culmination of years of hard work,” Rivera said in a GoFundMe page set up as part of a fundraising initiative to pay for the costly championship rings.

The CIF Los Angeles section, the local chapter of the governing body in charge of California’s high school sports, has partner companies that it works with on championship rings. The mementos look and feel like the rings the pros wear, albeit at a much lower price point.

But still, the rings aren’t cheap and they can be out of reach for many of the players who earned the right to wear one.

So Rivera is asking the local community to chip in and help out. For the first time since 1980, the Spartan baseball team brought honor and joy back to Sylmar baseball fans, and now he hopes his neighbors will pay back the favor and gift his players something they can take with them into life’s next chapter.

“I have seen how this title has brought back so much excitement and pride to the community,” Rivera said in a post on the GoFundMe page. “To see the boys get the attention they deserve for the work that they put in means so much to me.”

He said any donation would be shared evenly amongst each member of the team to ensure every player has the opportunity to claim a championship ring.

“I know times are difficult for everyone. I hate that I even have to ask for assistance,” Rivera said. “All I am trying to do is offset the cost for the families for something that I feel the boys have earned and really shouldn’t have to pay for.”

The team is looking to raise $9,000 for its championship rings. As of Friday evening, they were about halfway there. Rivera said even the smallest of donations will go a long way.

He hopes that the community will rise to the occasion just like his players did.

“The memories they have created for themselves and their families can never be taken from them. These are the things that most people work so hard for, but most times fall short. The boys didn’t,” Rivera said.

If you’re interested in donating, click here.