Championship players never run out of closet space.
They just run out of time.
The seniors from Glassboro earned another jacket yesterday - they are thinking this one should be special, maybe with those black leather sleeves and some fancy embroidery - with another big-time performance in another big-time game.
Ricky Tunstall isn't sure how many titles this group has won in the last 10 or 12 years. But he knows he has "a lot of coats."
Joshua Bell thinks it might be six or seven championships since the seniors first started playing together as 6- and 7-year-olds with the Glassboro midget program.
"We used to watch the guys that were here then," Bell said after Glassboro's 28-8 victory over Penns Grove in the South Jersey Group 1 championship game. "This has been our goal since we were little and now it's a dream come true. It's a dream come true."
Glassboro coach Herb Neilio watched this senior class make its way through the town's athletic programs, winning championships while they were wearing those baggy uniforms as preteens and setting themselves up for high school glory by capturing an unlimited-weight title as eighth-graders.
But how many youth-league and grammar-school and middle-school phenoms actually follow through and maintain the pace at the high school level?
How many special classes of athletes make it all the way from first- and second-graders learning the basics to seniors finishing their scholastic careers with back-to-back undefeated seasons?
"It's a credit to this town and a credit to the Glassboro midget program," Neilio said. "Last year's team and this year's team, they both had kids who came through those programs, who had a lot of success at that level, and just carried it through the high school level."
Glassboro went 12-0 in 2007, when these guys were juniors. Lots of them were prominent players for that team, too.
But the Bulldogs also lost a lot of veterans, especially along both lines. There were questions about this team all season, even in the mind of their coach.
"It's hard to rebuild up front," Neilio said. "But these kids have worked and they've gotten better and better as the year has gone along."
With an uneven schedule in the Tri-County's Classic Division, sometimes the Bulldogs' toughest competition came during the week, when they would clash on the practice field.
"Our schedule is up and down," Neilio said. "So there were times when we as coaches had to really get on these guys just to keep them focused. We had to do it."
Tunstall said the players are "like brothers," but that there would be some sibling squabbling during the week.
"We fought in practice because we played so hard against each other," Tunstall said. "But we love each other."
Some of the softer spots in the Glassboro schedule might have raised some questions about the Bulldogs. But they met every challenge against every quality opponent, beating Gloucester twice, Penns Grove twice, and perennial Group 1 power Paulsboro in a semifinal game on the Red Raiders' home field.
Yesterday, they played sturdy defense, forcing three turnovers, and made enough big plays to compensate for a few uncharacteristic mistakes. In the end, they put the finishing touches on another 12-0 season.
"The thing about this class, when it was a big game, they showed up," Neilio said. "The last two years, when they needed to step up, they were there. They played."
The class has some top athletes. Tunstall, a wide receiver/defensive back, and Tim Breaker, a quarterback/defensive back, have been offered scholarships by Buffalo, which beat Ball State the other night. Delaware has made an offer to Tunstall, and tight end/defensive end Danien Green is also drawing serious interest.
The Bulldogs celebrated in style after winning another title on a cold, gray afternoon. They circled the field a few times with the championship trophy, then ripped off their jerseys and shoulder pads and executed a bunch of cartwheels and other flips.
It was like a gymnastics exhibition, guys doing backflips and sticking landings in the moist dirt near midfield.
"Football players in leotards," Bell said.
A few minutes later, a bunch of the seniors sat down on the cold grass, near the big "G" on the field. They posed for pictures. They savored the moment.
They'll make room in the closet for another jacket.
But it will be the last one, and surely the best.
"I'm not even sure what I'm going to do next year," senior running back Stephen Davis said. "But I'll always have these memories."