BAXTER - Troy Britton discovered on Wednesday that his Brainerd High School class ring still fits - five or six years after he lost it.
The Brainerd man had long since given up on ever locating the ring which was left at his former wife's residence in either 2003 or 2004.
Trent Wagner, 9, showed Troy Britton where he found the high school ring that Britton had lost five or six years ago when Britton lived in northeast Brainerd. After a trailer-full of dirt was relocated to the Baxter home of Wagner's grandfather the fourth-grader spotted the ring and notified the owner. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
He said she could have lost the ring or gotten rid of it.
The ring's location probably would have remained a mystery if not for the keen eye of Trent Wagner, 9, a Baxter Elementary School fourth-grader. Wagner was helping his grandfather, Owen Lease, haul and spread dirt from Wagner's home in northeast Brainerd to Lease's Baxter home. The dirt had been cleared for a driveway at the Brainerd home, hauled in an open trailer to Baxter and then spread in a low spot in the grandfather's backyard.
A Brainerd High School ring found by Trent Wagner (left) prompted the Baxter Elementary School student to locate its rightful owner, Troy Britton. Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls » Purchase reprints of this photo.
The Brainerd High School ring apparently had been in the dirt at the northeast Brainerd home where Wagner lived and that had previously been owned by Britton.
While spreading the relocated dirt at his grandfather's home the fourth-grader sifted through it looking for any glass that might have been transported with the dirt.
Wagner noticed the high school ring and called it to his grandfather's attention.
"He was so excited," Lease said of his grandson.
Wagner and his grandfather then set about to see if they could find the owner of the Brainerd High School ring. Their only clues: the name Troy, the class of 1990, a football emblem, the number 80, and the letters TE.
With the help of Brainerd Police Officer Troy Schreifels, school resource officer, they learned that Troy Britton was a tight end who wore number 80 on the football team and graduated in 1990.
Britton said he was surprised to receive a phone call that his ring had been recovered. Wagner and his grandfather turned the ring over to Britton on Wednesday and the boy received a reward from the grateful BHS graduate.
Lease said his grandson's mindset was that if he had lost a ring he would hope the finder would make an effort to return it to him.
"That's in good shape for being that old," Britton said.
Britton agreed with Lease that he would have guessed the odds that he ever would see his ring again were "slim to none."
MIKE O'ROURKE may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5860.
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