State title game: Origin behind Jimmy Jacks - East Valley Tribune: Ahwatukee Foothills

State title game: Origin behind Jimmy Jacks

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Posted: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:45 am | Updated: 3:45 pm, Thu Apr 12, 2012.

Those who have been around the Desert Vista football program knows exactly what the Jimmy Jacks are and what they mean to the program.

For those, like me, who are relatively new I thought I'd share the story behind the postgame ritual.

After the team huddle the team spreads out into several circles within in circle and they do jumping jacks while spelling out J-I-M-M-Y W-I-L-L-I-A-M-S.

Williams was a former Tempe High and Arizona State star linebacker who died suddenly from heart failure on Jan. 24, 1999, at the age of 35.

Williams, whose son, Lee, played for the Thunder and graduated in 2009, was Desert Vista's head junior varsity coach and a varsity assistant under Jim Rattay.

After Williams' death, Rattay came up with the idea that the last thing the players did together on the field were the "Jimmy Jacks."

That tradition has continued under Dan Hinds, who was the freshman head coach when Williams died, as the team heads into Saturday's Division I state title game.

Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or JSkoda@ahwatukee. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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