Only 25 miles separate Manhattan High School from Junction City High School, yet the rivalry can be felt across the state of Kansas. Dating back to 1949, both schools represent their respective counties as the only high schools. Known by many as the game of the season for both the MHS Indians and JCHS Bluejays, fans will travel the 25 miles in either direction to pack the stands for this rivalry.
The Indians, led by coach Joe Schartz, enter the game at 5-0 while the Bluejays, led by coach Randall Zimmermann, hope to add a W to their 3-2 record. Both coaches are familiar with the passion behind this game, which can remove a home field advantage based on fan travel. Look for excited student sections and 4 quarters of non-stop grit from both sides of the field on Friday night.
Corbin is the son of Judy and Troy Sanner and is a 3-year letter winner on the Football Team. He is a 2018 Kansas Honor Scholar and academic award winner for the last 3 years. Corbin is active in JROTC and is currently the Battalion Command Sergeant Major and a member of the Drill Team. He is active in the Student 2 Student Program and is The Student Council President. His future plans are to attend college with an ROTC program, earn a degree in History, and commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army.
Hayden is the son of Kevin and Sherri Gwinner and is a 2-year letterman on the Football Team. He is a 3-year member of the Chamber Choir and has spent 2-years on the Varsity Choir. Hayden is also the treasurer for National Honor Society and is a mentor for AFS. He is undecided on his college choice at this time but plans to major in Business Finance.
HALL OF FAME
A four-year letter winner at quarterback and defensive back for Junction City, Ty played in the Junction City – Manhattan Rivalry all four years. He led the Blue Jays to a 13-0 record and the 2008 Kansas 6A State Championship scoring all three of the Blue Jays’ touchdowns in the state championship game. He was named first team All-State in 2007 and 2008, as well as an honorable mention in 2006 while also lettering two years in basketball and baseball. Ty went on to play for Kansas State University earning All-Big 12 accolades all four years, becoming the first four-time all-conference player in school history and one of just four defensive backs in Big 12 history to earn all-conference honors all four years with at least one first-team designation. Ty was a freshman All-American and earned All-American honors his junior and senior seasons. Ty currently serves as the Defensive Coordinator for the Blue Jays.
Coach Lew Lane
From 1976 to 1997, Manhattan High School Football was led by Head Coach Lew Lane. During his tenure he compiled a record of 169-50 and made perpetual playoff appearances including four State Championship games highlighted by a State Championship in 1988, the last title won by Manhattan High School. In his 22-year career, Coach Lane directed 15 league championships, and for a six-year period in the mid to ‘80’s had his team ranked in the USA Today Top 25. Far more important than all of this is the impact that he had over two decades working with young men. The values preached, promoted, and required by Coach Lane have shaped family and career lives of hundreds of men who have went on to successful careers in business, education and athletics. Accepting the award on behalf of Coach Lane are his wife, Cindy, and daughter, Kiley.
It was a defensive battle on Friday night, as the Bluejays from Junction City did just enough to hold off the Indians from Manhattan for a 9-7 victory. The Bluejays take home the Silver Trophy, taking it from Manhattan, who won last year's contest.
The Bluejay defense came into this one fired up, hoping to springboard their team to victory. Both defenses battled hard, holding each offense steady. Junction City held a 9-7 lead late into the game, but it looked as if Manhattan had a comeback planned. Driving down the field late in the 4th, Manhattan looked destined to score and take the lead, but a Bluejay interception in their own endzone crushed Indian hopes of a comeback. Junction City then went into victory formation and killed off the game.
The win moves Junction City to 4-2 on the season and knocks Manhattan back to 5-1.
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