Help ring in the new championship

Skyhawks’ ring ceremony at FLC comes with historic memorabilia

Remember when Fabian Kling and Fort Lewis College won the 2011 national championship in Pensacola, Fla.? FLC will host a ring ceremony for the men’s soccer program at 6:30 p.m. today at Whalen Gymnasium, and Kling’s autographed San Antonio Scorpions’ jersey will be auctioned off, too. Enlarge photo

Shaun Stanley/Durango Herald file photo

Remember when Fabian Kling and Fort Lewis College won the 2011 national championship in Pensacola, Fla.? FLC will host a ring ceremony for the men’s soccer program at 6:30 p.m. today at Whalen Gymnasium, and Kling’s autographed San Antonio Scorpions’ jersey will be auctioned off, too.

In case you had forgotten, the Fort Lewis College men’s soccer program won a national championship this season.

In case you want to relive it all over again, the Skyhawks will receive their championship rings at 6:30 p.m. today at Whalen Gymnasium on the FLC campus.

FLC is hosting a ring ceremony free and open to the public.

“This event is another opportunity to celebrate the program’s third national championship with the soccer community of Durango,” FLC head coach Oige Kennedy said in a news release to The Durango Herald.

Kennedy has led the Skyhawks to two Division II national championships in his three years as head coach. He was a goalkeepers coach for FLC during its first title in 2005.

FLC was 24-1-0, which tied the NCAA Division II mark for most wins in a season set by Kennedy’s 2009 championship team.

“We are always extremely proud to represent such a wonderful town, and we know we have the best college soccer supporters in the country,” Kennedy said. “The importance of the Durango community cannot be overlooked. If it was not for them, then we would not have come close to achieving the success we have in recent years.”

Today’s event will include a host of activities:

The event will begin with a reception and silent auction of autographed jerseys worn by the Skyhawks at the championship game.

There will be a video highlight package, then the ring ceremony for the coaches, players and staff.

The ring ceremony will be followed by a live auction of jerseys worn by FLC seniors during the championship victory in Pensacola, Fla.

FLC also will launch its Golden Ticket raffle. Fans who would like a championship ring engraved with their names – just like the players – can purchase raffle tickets for $25 each.

Other raffle prizes: dinner for two at Seasons Rotisserie & Grille; one night’s lodging at the Leland House and Rochester Hotel; a game-day experience with the 2012 men’s soccer team; six private coaching sessions with the FLC staff and an autographed Stanford University jersey signed by ’05 championship coach and current Cardinal coach Jeremy Gunn; four private coaching sessions with the FLC staff and an autographed San Antonio Scorpions jersey signed by former FLC players currently on the North American Soccer League’s first-year franchise’s roster.

Golden Ticket sales will continue throughout the summer, with the winners to be drawn Aug. 25 at Irish Embassy Pub downtown Durango.

“We wanted to offer the soccer supporters of Durango an opportunity to share in the 2011 national championship success by having the chance to win their own personalized ring,” Kennedy said. “The raffle is another way we can give one lucky fan a golden memory of Fort Lewis College soccer.”

Before the event, there will be a tailgate party from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Dirks Field for the Durango Youth Soccer Association. Youth coaches, parents and players also can tour the Skyhawks’ “Locker Room of Champions” with members of the FLC side.

DYSA players who wear their team jerseys will receive a raffle ticket to win an autographed ball signed by last year’s entire FLC championship team.

heraldsports@durangoherald.com