Former AC Reynolds players provide social media Rocket fuel for state title run

AC Reynolds alumni have turned to social media to root for the Rockets. The 2017 team is on the verge of a state championship. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff/Facebook)

AC Reynolds alumni have turned to social media to root for the Rockets - a team on the verge of a state championship. The team leaves for Durham Saturday morning on their quest for another title.

"Hey, Rocket family, Ben Councell, congratulations," said the star of the 2009 championship team in a video posted online. "Living up to that reputation, mountain boys hit harder. You guys are outlasting the opponent. Continue to do that, you'll remember it for the rest of your lives."

"Winning a state championship will always be one of the monumental pinpoints in my life," Councell told News 13. He's attending the game, which will be broadcast live on WMYA on Saturday at 7 p.m.

"Go ahead and bring that fourth state championship home and show them how the mountain boys do," said former quarterback Levi Ledford in another online video.

"The tradition at Reynolds runs deep," Justin St. Onge, a linebacker on the 2009 team, explained. He'll be cheering for his brother Nathan who's playing this weekend.

"It's a big moment," Justin told News 13. "It's something they'll look back on for the rest of their lives, and I hope they don't take this for granted and really relish the moment and enjoy it."

Over the years, AC Reynolds has been the launchpad for championships. The dream teams in 1999, 2002, and 2009 won a combined 43 games while losing just four.

Steve McCurry was defensive coordinator for two of those title teams. He says the alumni interest is part of the rocket fuel for high standards.

"Once you're a part of the program, especially these state championships, Reynolds football is a part of your life," said McCurry, who's AC Reynolds athletic director.

Social media posts from ex players like Caelan Rinehardt and Chase Rice rally Rockets past and present.

"Go out there, trust the process, and believe in yourself," Rinehardt said.

"Live in the moment, study, and most of all enjoy," Rice urged.

Coach Shane Laws said what's at stake certainly isn't lost on the 2017 squad.

"Oh, they know, they know the tradition here and the expectations and how much it means, and that's part of what drives them," Laws said.

They're driven by the possibility of a place in an already rich history.

"So, I hope all these guys take it in and enjoy this moment," Justin St. Onge said.

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