Big South Champion Hawks Host Ring Ceremony

Monmouth football held their long awaited Ring Ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Kessler Stadium to celebrate their Big South Championship from last season. Both graduated and current players gathered in socially distanced fashion on the field that they went a perfect 7-0 at in 2019 to collect their rings.

“It was great to have everybody from the 2019 team back and assembled on campus to celebrate,” said senior wide receiver Lonnie Moore IV. “Being a part of that team will be something I cherish and remember for the rest of my life.”

Last year’s Hawks went 11-3 but were a conference best 10-2 and 6-0 in conference play in the regular season leading to their first ever Big South crown. They also reached their highest national ranking in program history by the end of the season as the #12 team in the nation.

Team cr

“We made history and set the bar for expectations going forward,” said Moore IV. “This team will go down in history and I’m astounded to have been a part of the success.”

The senior wide receiver was certainly a massive part of the Hawks’ success putting up a career-year leading the team in receptions with 74 (a program record) and receiving yards at 1022. Moore IV also recorded nine receiving touchdowns which was second on the team to the now senior wide receiver Terrance Greene Jr. who had ten.

Moore IV is among the leaders of this current team alongside fellow teammate and fifth year offensive lineman AJ Farris. Both players were First Team All-Big South selections in 2019 and Preseason All-Big South selections leading into 2020’s postponement.CoachRing

“The ring ceremony is something I will never forget for the rest of my life,” said Farris. “Having President Leahy present us with our rings was really something special. As I watched the season recap on the jumbotron it felt as if I was reliving the whole season.”

Not only reaching the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Football Championship Series (FCS) Playoffs but winning their first round game against Holy Cross was a monumental step for the Monmouth football program.Farris

It could not be done without the leadership of their veteran head coach heading into his 28th season at the helm, Kevin Callahan. The 2019 American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Region II Coach of the Year is seventh among active coaches in FCS wins. He also finished fourth in 2019 for the Eddie Robinson Award named to the nation’s best FCS Coach.

“The ring ceremony honoring our 2019 Big South Championship team was a very special event for our players,” said Callahan. “In addition to reliving all of the outstanding accomplishments from last fall, the day was filled with an energy and excitement that we have not experienced in a while. Kessler Stadium was filled with positive vibes, and seeing the joy on the faces of our players and their parents was something special. I could not be prouder of this 2019 team and all of the great things they have achieved.”

Callahan will look to lead the ropes again for the Monmouth football team and defend their Big South crown whenever they return to play. Unfortunately, at the moment their biggest test to date and opportunity to really put Monmouth football on the map opening the season against the Big Ten’s Rutgers was cancelled. If they do return to play at some point this season it seems likely that the schedule will remain in-conference like they are doing across college football this year.Lonnie

Regardless, the Ring Ceremony was a much-needed lift of positive energy for Monmouth athletics and specifically the football players who accomplished so much in 2019.

“I’ll never forget this last season and the relationships I built going through the ups and downs to get to this point,” said Farris. “The guys on this team are my brothers for life and now we share an unbreakable bond. Now we are going to take this past season and use it as motivation going right into the next season. Back-to-back is the goal and trust me, we will be ready!”


PHOTOS TAKEN by Karlee Sell