R/W Week 2019: What is it like to have the barrel?


At the end of the game, the football team lines up to take a picture with the barrel right after their win.

Macy Waddle

Five years. It has been five years since the barrel has sat in the trophy case at duPont Manual High School. Five years since not just our football team, but the entire school, has felt the energy and satisfaction of winning the Old Rivalry game.

No current student at Manual has ever won the barrel, and the past two years students have graduated without ever seeing it. There are a few people throughout the building, however, who do know what this experience is like: our teachers.

Richard Sharp, an AP World and AP Government and Politics teacher, has been teaching at Manual for 12 years. During his tenure here, Manual has had the barrel six times; in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

He explained that the Monday after the big win is like no other.

“We have a pep rally, and the football team brings the barrel in and parades it around the gym. It’s like the president is coming,” Sharp said. “It’s that big of deal to our student body.”

When the barrel is at Manual, it sits in the far corner of center hall. Photo from Manual RedEye, 2013.

Sharp also described the pep rally as “just as electric as the game itself.” He predicts that should we win this year, it will a bigger deal than before, since we haven’t had the barrel since 2013.

“Especially since we haven’t had it [the barrel] for a while, I would assume the first day back will be quite loud and exciting when we beat Male Friday night,” Sharp said.

He also added with great certainty that he believes the Crimsons will come out of Friday with a win.

Students who haven’t experienced the barrel, however, don’t feel like they’re missing out.

“I feel like if we lose this year, I won’t really care that much,” Emmanuel Negasm (10, MST) said. “I want us to win, but it won’t have that big of an impact if we don’t.”

Other students are excited to see the barrel.

“Since we haven’t won it in five years, if we win the barrel this year for the first time since I’ve been here, it will just feel unreal,” Sabreen Hussain (10, HSU) said.

The Crimsons will make an attempt to earn back the barrel this Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:30.