Friday, May 8, 2015

Years ago, I was standing around, Fat, Dumb and Happy ( FDH ), when the persistent Voice of a Change (VC) pounced on me. The VC spoke unbelievable words: "Manual has abandoned the goat as its mascot and has adopted the ram as the official mascot of the school."

FDH: "Why would they do that?"

VC: "The goat is not cool, and were living in a cool world these days where form always overtakes substance."

FDH: "For decades the noble goat has been the official mascot of Manual."

VC: "Not cool."

FDH: "What about the Navy? They have used the goat as long as Manual has used the goat, and no one has tried to change their goat to a ram."

VC: "Sorry, you are out of touch with reality."

FDH: "What reality? Since the Miter Club, as part of its initiation scheme, required candidates to walk around the school with a goat, the goat was numero uno." Because of uno cool the goat was pushed into the closet of ancient history. After centuries of neglect, from out of the red haze of forgotten glory, John Wright appeared and created the Old Goat Web Site, which is an amazing step in the right direction, but it was not without problems. There were generations of students and parents who never heard that Manual's Mascot was once the goat and they could not believe that, in our dotage, we returned to our roots.

Another question: How old do you have to be to be an Old Goat?‚

Well, John Wright has established some strict rules about age. No one under two years of age or over 120 years of age is eligible to be a goat. Other than that, everyone is welcome.

Also asked is whether this is strictly a Manual football location. Well, the focus is Manual football, but the site contains information about other schools and other sports, and it is sure to grow as time passes.

Does it cost anything to be a goat? Actually interest and attitude are more important than money. However, if you can turn loose of a few bucks it would help keep the site up and running. I send John $20.00 a year to defray the cost of keeping the site running, but any amount would be appreciated.

Also, you can join us at any athletic event and complain and moan with the rest of us. If you have a keen sense of justice, leave it at home. There is no justice for the Goats. However, if you want a stimulating discussion about the great teams of the past and unrealistic hope for the future, you have found the right group.

Don Heavrin

My Earliest Memories

My earliest memories as a child was not going to visit Santa Claus. It was dressing up in a Manual football uniform with horns painted on my helmet by my father John 62.' The first game I remember was the 1969 Thanksgiving Day game against Male at the Fairgrounds. Manual won 20-6. I can still picture the fans running over on the field to celebrate. From that point on I was convinced there was no other team in the world I wanted to play on.

I have sat in the stands in Manual Stadium as a child,on the bench as a player, in the stands as an enthusiastic fan, and a proud parent of a Cheerleader daughter Tami 01 and her little sister Tiffani 07. My enthusiasm for football corrupted a early childhood friend Tim Roller who would have had normal childhood if not for my conning the kids in my neighborhood to play football. I drug him to Manual games as a kid. After he graduated from PRP in 84 he was curious as to why I was still supporting the big red in a time when the wins on the field where few and far in between. After the Buddy Pfaadt era ended in 1981 and the school became a Magnet school in 1984, it seemed the good days were gone forever. The 1985 season ended with an 0-10 record. It started many freshman and although they did not win a single game, they played with passion and courage.

At this time there were few fans in the stands besides parents. There were some guys I had recognized over the years who like me sat through every game home and away, rain or shine. Don Heavrin, George Secrest, Mike Jutz, John Wright, John Warren, David R.Wright. Yes there are two David Wrights. It was during this winless season that we began to congregate and talk of better days of past and the hope that one day Manual would become a powerhouse again. It was during this season that the “Old Goats were born. That bunch of freshmen in 1985 that went 0-10 finished 10-0 in the 1988 regular season thrashing an undefeated Male team 28-0 at Cardinal Stadium.They finished the season as State Runner-up 13-1. The next season Manual fell to 1-9 even losing to Atherton 19-14. Manual would not have a winning season again until 1992.

When Jerry Mayes was hired in 1995 he took over a program in that many believed could never compete with Male and St. X ever again. The Old Goats believed. He rebuilt the program the right way, bringing in a tremendous cast of assistants. I have met many of the kids in the program when my oldest daughter was a student. They are all great kids, many winning scholarships at such schools as Northwestern, Harvard, etc.

Since Dr. Keepers has taken over in 1991,we have the resurgence of the Alumni Association, The Hall of Fame and an academic reputation second to none in the State of Kentucky. Since Joe Nichols became the head coach in 2001we have seen the program continue to improve. His first team went 9-2 beating Male 20-13. What a night to remember ! Our first win against our Old Rival since 1988. How many programs out there can say they have defeated Male and Trinity and pushed St. X to the wall the last 10 years ? We now have a very talented team that entertains every week no matter who we play. The anticipation builds every week during the seasons of what good things may come. We have a tremendous academic program and all the athletic teams are very competitive, especially my beloved football team. All the alumni and friends of the school since 1892 should be very proud. Now BEAT MALE !

Whats an Old Goat?

An Old Goat is a Manual Fan that

Has seen so many games it has become a blur!

Has spent thousands in support of Manual!

You will see at the next game!

An Old Goat can remember when

Male High was the only opponent to be feared!

Male vs Manual was the biggest game in town!

St. X vs Flaget was the second biggest game in town!

The media gave all out coverage for THE GAME!

Even kids in the County knew the TRADITION!

Alumni would send their kids to Manual!

Alumni still attended games on a regular basis!

Parents came to games even after their child graduated!