The Male/Manual rivalry is one that rules the school during Red/White Week. However, Male isn’t Manual’s only rival in sports.
Manual’s swim team considers Sacred Heart Academy, Saint Xavier and the Christian Academy of Louisville to be their biggest rivals because they are the top girls’ and boys’ teams in the state.
“We’re always trying to be competitive and beat them,” Kristin Adams (12, HSU), a Manual swimmer, said. “There isn’t a lot of pressure during dual meets against teams like St. X, but at regional and state meets, there’s a lot because we want to do well and score points for Manual,” Adams said.
While rivalries can bring out the best in players, playing sports is all about having fun in the long run for the athletes.
“Although we’re ‘rivals,’ most of the swimmers from both teams are very friendly with each other. It’s pretty fun,” Jake Burd, a swimmer for CAL, said.
Being part of a team is what makes rivalries so enjoyable, the swimmers said.
“I really just love the team atmosphere. We all have so much fun at meets and team dinners and it’s really nice to have something that lets me experience the fun part of swimming because I’m so used to the competitiveness of club swimming,” Adams said.
Zorry Mason (12, HSU) is also a swimmer on the team and this will be her fourth year swimming for Manual.
Along with swimming, the Lady Crimsons field hockey team also considers Sacred Heart to be among their top rivals along with Assumption and Ballard High Schools.
“They always bring so much competitiveness and intensity to the field. We have had our runs with each of these teams in previous state tournaments and the games are always close,” India Reed (11, VA), varsity field hockey player, said.
Competitiveness of rivalries brings even more action to the field than a regular game would.
“I love the speed and fast pace of the game. When you have an amazing team like I do, it makes the games fun. [Field hockey] is a game that never gets boring, especially when it’s played between two extremely competitive teams,” Reed said.
The Lady Crimsons soccer team also considers Assumption to be one of their biggest rivals.
“We have had bad run-ins with them in the past so our team always tries their best to beat them,” Camille Chandler (12, HSU), varsity soccer player, said.
Just like the Male/Manual football game, a lot of training and practice go into the weeks leading up to a big rivalry game.
“Our coach runs marathons so she likes to make us run,” Chandler said. “We do sprints and sometimes run two miles before practices. We do train harder for [rival] games for sure. We also have Fitness Fridays where we do more fitness because it motivates us. One practice we did 300 burpees,” Chandler said.
The boys’ soccer team also trains very hard during the weeks leading up to their game against Oldham County High School.
“High intensity, close until the end, very aggressive, good crowd turnout and great goal celebrations make our rivalries great,” Meyer Mercker (12, MST), varsity soccer player, said.