A 12 year old 7th grader received an in-school suspension for sporting a mohawk, affectionately referred to as a “Rayhawk,” in support of his favorite team, the Tampa Bay Rays. See photos and video of players wearing the “Rayhawk” style below.
12 year old Zachary Sharples of Palmetto, Fla. was so excited when his favorite baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays, beat the Chicago White Sox to win the American League Divisional Series, he decided to get a “Rayhawk” to match a hairstyle worn by several players and numerous Rays fans. His middle school, however, was not very into his ‘do, and they gave him an in-school suspension the following Monday.
Tampa Bay designated hitter and right fielder Jonny Gomes learned of Zachary’s story, and said:
“The kid got punished for being a Rays fan. What’s wrong with that?”
After learning that Zachary and his father were planning on attending game 2 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, Gomes scored them two field passes for the Rays pre-game batting practice. When Zachary stepped onto the field, he was thrilled to learn that the field pass wasn’t his only gift. Gomes gave Zachary a bat signed by many of Tampa Bay’s players. Additionally, several players came over and said hi to Zachary during batting practice. Pitcher Andy Sonnanstine gave Zachary a fist bump and said “Keep the mohawk, man,” and First baseman Carlos Pena offered to write a note to Zachary’s principal if it would help his cause.
Asked if he would shave his Rayhawk, Zachary replied “not until they win the World Series.” Luckily, Zachary’s family moved after his suspension, and he landed in a new school district. His new school doesn’t have a problem with the ‘do, so Zachary should be free to support his team and learn… whatever 7th graders are learning these days.
The Tampa Bay Rays are currently tied 1-1 in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. This is the first world series appearance for the Rays in franchise history.
More photos and a video of the Tampa Bay Rays are below.
Kids Get the “Rayhawk” Video