Manual football seniors depart; some sign to play in college

Katie Baird

After a 9-3 season, 25 seniors will say their farewells to DuPont Manual football forever. Many of these players have been a part of the team since freshman year and feel a strong sense of unity with their classmates.

Some believe it’s been a successful four years with three out of four wins against rival Male, but some believe it’s been a rough road, losing a head coach and majority of coaching staff after sophomore year.

Manual’s head football coach, Dr. Oliver Lucas, believes that though the coaching change was difficult on many players early on, his coaching style has taught his players well for college. 

“Everything we do is preparation for college. The practices and coaching we do is by the college system. They have first hand preparation because I know how it works after coaching in the Big 12,” said Lucas.

Because of this, many Manual seniors do plan to play football at the collegiate level next year. 

“I’m playing there (Eastern Illinois) because they are paying for my school and I like football too much to quit now. I also think it is an experience I can’t pass up,” said defensive linebacker, Jake McNair (12).

Defensive linemen, Thomas Chapman (12), made his decision to play after high school based on family connections, a recruitment offer, and a first impression.

“I liked UK since I was little, my dad went there. I like the atmosphere and the family environment that the coaches and players have. They were the first to recruit me, first to offer, and showed me the love,” said Chapman.

While there are several players who have already decided to play in college, there are some seniors still waiting for offers from their dream teams. But all the seniors, playing in college or not, have agreed the experience is one they will not forget. 

“I’ve learned a lot from Manual football, life lessons included. It basically taught me how to be a better learner of the game and a better leader which helps me with other things non-football related. ” said Luis Thompson (12), Manual’s quarterback.

By Katie Baird and Morgan Loy