12 Days of Manual: Holiday athletic tournaments

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Students across the country look forward to the winter break because it presents an opportunity to get away from the responsibilities of school: academics, clubs and athletics. While some Manual athletic teams will have a true “break” from their respective sports, a variety of teams will still have practices and games over the two week hiatus. Here’s a look at the Manual teams that will be in action over winter break.

Boys’ basketball

The boys’ hoops squad is still finding itself as a team this year. The Crimsons started off the year strong with a domination of perennial powerhouse Eastern High School, but have since dropped games to Male and Pleasure Ridge Park. The team will get the chance to establish an identity as they head to Lexington, KY to take place in the Woodford County Invitational Tournament from Dec. 18-Dec. 21. A week later the team will make the trek to Somerset, KY to partake in the Lake Cumberland Classic at Pulaski County High School. The tournament will run from Dec. 27-Dec. 30.

Luke Carns (12, #23) is excited about the opportunity to play basketball and be with family over the break.

“We [the team] are going to one [a tournament] in town and one out of town so I’ll be playing a lot of basketball and hanging with family.”

Carns said his family was able to plan their holiday events around his basketball schedule in order to prevent any conflicts.

“I knew before that we were doing a tournament, we just didn’t know where. We’ve always just planned around basketball so I will still have Christmas at home,”Carns said.

Noah Hawkins (12, #32) and Lesther Perez-Garay (10, #4) get instructions from Coach Jimmy Just during a timeout. Photo by Cicada Hoyt.

Girls’ Basketball

The girls’ basketball team earned a big win over the Christian Academy Centurions last Friday night. The team will use the momentum from the victory to fuel themselves in the 2017-2018 homecoming game against Central High School. Over the holiday break the Crimsons will travel to Nelson County to partake in the Franklin Family Chevrolet Holiday Jam. Manual will play at least three games (depending on how far the team advances in the tournament) from Dec. 20-Dec. 22. Other teams competing in the event include Wolfe County, Western Hills, Notre Dame Academy, Danville and Nelson County.

Some players are upset about having to sacrifice rare days off in order to come to basketball.

“I feel like we should have more days off during the break because I feel like it’s not even a break for like basketball,”Tyonne Howard (12, #12) said, “I appreciate and have fun during the tournaments but I wish that we could have more days off during the break.”

Jaela Johnson (12, #3) drives the ball up the court as Tyonne Howard (12, #12) streaks down the opposite sideline. Coach Jeff Sparks instructs Aniah Griffin (12, #21) in the background. Photo by Cicada Hoyt.

Wrestling

Over the break the wrestling team will participate in the Gladiator Tournament at Fern Creek high school. The meet will take place on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22. Jacob Bratcher (12, HSU) looks to continue his dominance over Louisville area opponents.

Bratcher, a seasoned veteran, doesn’t mind having a meet over his winter break, said “I’m used to it [having wrestling over break] [so it doesn’t bother me].”

A Manual wrestler lunges at an opponent during a match against Male High School in 2017. Photo by Bryce Grant.