56 years in the making: Another charmed season for Manual football?
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - This is a story about a high school football program, a family, and a bond that spans generations.
“He always likes to tell me what I did right, what I did wrong, and of course the pass pro still needs some work in his eyes,” Manual senior offensive lineman Trey Ryan said.
He’s referring to his grandfather.
Tom Flood played football at Manual High School, and in 1966, #64 was a member of the Crimsons State Championship team.
“In ‘66 when we won the State Championship, they gave us a football that indicated we won the state that year, and I passed it on to my daughter and then she gave it to her son,” Flood said.
Kim is Tom’s daughter, and her oldest son is Trey, a starting offensive lineman for the current Crimsons.
He wears the charm on a chain around his neck every day.
“At the start of the season, she thought it would be really cool for me just to wear his necklace, or just to wear this football because it’s so significant because it’s the most recent team to ever win a state championship from Manual,” Trey said.
The picture of that title team hangs in the Manual locker room. Combine that with the charm and the Crimsons 6-0 start in 2022, and bookend titles 56 years apart doesn’t seem so crazy.
Flood is a believer.
“It’s the best chance and they’ve just got so many tools now to work with,” he said. “Before they always were one or two short. Now they got the full package with a coach that can take them there.”
Donnie Stoner is in his first season as the Manual head coach.
“I believe that the tradition here at Manual High School is second to none, and we on our way to getting back on track to that,” Stoner said.
“Ever since I’ve been here, this is as good a start as we’ve had,” Ryan added. “This one just feels, it feels different to be honest with you. This team, they just play so together.”
It actually would be a finish Trey predicted in his application to Manual five years ago.
“I mentioned in my essay that this, that he was on the last state championship team and how I thought it was important for me to at least try to bring a state championship back to Manual, so it’s been a goal of mine since I was in eighth grade,” he said.
On the essay question about Manual’s tradition, Trey wrote that when he attended the 50th reunion for his grandfathers team, he realized with certainty that evening Manual was where he wanted to be.
Finishing his answer with, ‘What an amazing story that would be.....having a member of the last championship team’s grandson be on the next championship team! It would prove dreams come true.’
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