To say that this proposal was a team effort would be an understatement. Justin Cruz is the Head Football Coach at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School. He’d been with his girlfriend, Lindsay Phillips for two years before deciding to pop the question on Wednesday, April 28.

“I had a lot of people in on the surprise,” said Cruz. “My players, coaches, our AD, and our families were all part of the day.”

Cruz had the Athletic Director reach out to Phillips to tell her that the Standard-Times was doing a spotlight article on him and that they would like to take a picture of all of his family and the team.

“She showed up thinking that she was there to surprise me for some type of award,” Cruz said.

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One of the photos that were taken on Wednesday evening included everyone that knew what was about to happen, except for Phillips who was completely in the dark.

Contributed by Justin Cruz

“I had my family clear out of the picture and the guys got down on a knee with me behind her," said Cruz. “Obviously there was a big-time celebration when she said yes!”

Contributed by Justin Cruz

Phillips explained that the AD texted her on Tuesday night to say that he was going to be honored as a positive influence in the community and that he wanted her and all of their kids to be there for a picture at the end of practice.

“I was told to be there for 5 pm,” said Phillips. “I was at work, but immediately called his mom to plan how we could make his day perfect and to go pick up his sons so that they wouldn’t miss it!”

The ironic part about all of this was that while talking to her family members about it, she thought they were all agreeing to go to make the event special for Cruz.

“I truly thought they were just being extra supportive,” Phillips said. “I honestly had absolutely no idea that this was going to happen.”

Contributed by Justin Cruz

Cruz tied in one more special feature for the proposal to make it just right.

“He made a movie collage last year for our family to the song ‘Blessings’ by Florida Georgia Line,” Phillips said. “As it came on while we were taking pictures, you could just see the confusion on my face. I had no idea what was happening.”

Phillips is still in shock over the whole thing.

“I felt like I was in a movie scene,” Phillips said. “I seriously still can’t believe it!”

Contributed by Justin Cruz

LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.