Downey football team still without championship rings

DOWNEY - Downey High School alumni and civic leaders are spearheading a fundraising effort to purchase championship rings for the Viking football team, which captured the CIF title last December to end a 55-year championship drought.Hundreds attended an alumni event Thursday at Stay Gallery, which hosted a live auction where supporters bid on such memorabilia as signed footballs, T-shirts, game-worn jerseys, sidelines passes and tickets to future Downey-Warren games. While the event was free, donations were accepted at the door. Downey High alumni showed up in support, including players from the school's '56, '57, '96 and 2000 teams. Game highlights from these past teams (and the 2012 title team) were shown. Drink and snacks - provided by Bastards and Downey Pizza Co. - were sold to help raise money. According to head coach Jack Williams, the team needed $7,000 to purchase championship rings. Valentin Flores, executive director of Stay Gallery, said his venue agreed to host the fundraiser because "Stay Gallery is more than just an art gallery, it's a hub for local culture." "We believe that Downey is deeply embedded in its football teams and we will host different events that celebrate its local sports culture," he said. For more information, e-mail

********** Published: February 21, 2013 - Volume 11 - Issue 45