For Manual and Central high schools, football is king.
“The spirit of the school is built around the football team,” said Ty Scroggins, coach of Central’s varsity football team, which has won five of the last seven Class 3-A state championships.
Near Manual’s front entrance, a framed portrait of the school’s 1893 team sits behind glass among trophies and other memorabilia.
“Oh yeah,” said Manual Athetic Director David Zuberer. “It’s a big deal.”
Kailey, cq, Campbell, 14, is lifted by Alex Revor, cq, 17, left, and Alaina Ratanapool, 14, right, as they learn a routine during practice for the Manual High School varsity cheerleading team. Aug. 20, 2014
The two schools will face off Friday night at Central High School Stadium, one of more than 20 high school matchups in the Lousville Metro area marking the start of football season.
Some of the traditions surrounding football season have changed, said Mike McDaniel, Manual’s alumni association director. But he said the size and vigor of the student section haven’t waivered since he was a student 50 years ago.
Central’s band director, Thomas Cheatham, said during home games the Marching Yellow Jackets contribute to school spirit by entertaining fans with pop music and dancing. They play Central’s unofficial school song, “I’m So Glad,” and crowd sings, “I’m so glad I go to Central High School.”
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Scroggins said he expects Friday’s game to draw a “huge crowd” after weeks of “everybody getting amped up” — hanging game-related posters and making sure the school’s trophies are displayed near the front office.
Although the game is away for Manual and isn’t the team’s biggest game of the season — the Male-Manual game last year drew about 11,000 spectators — Zuberer said he expects a sizable group of students to show up to support the Crimsons.
“We usually bring a good crowd on the road,” he said.
Reporter Kirsten Clark can be reached at (502) 582-4144 or on Twitter by following @kirstenlmclark.