Manchester football bronze ball
The Manchester Spartans won back the Bronze Ball from the Anderson University Ravens, and have won it nine of the last ten seasons.
Photo by MU Athletics

Manchester Spartans Football Team Wins Back Bronze Ball after Season Apart

Wyatt Gatewood

The Manchester Spartans football team won the Bronze Ball trophy back from archrivals the Anderson Ravens on Senior Day.

The Bronze Ball trophy was created in 2001, and during the past 10 years Manchester has won it 9 times out of 10. It is safe to say that Anderson is the little brother of the two.

However, last year during the spring season, the Ravens claimed the Bronze Ball. Still, the Spartans were fired up, and brought the ball back home on Nov. 13.

The Manchester Spartans secured the win with both great defensive play, and the leg of kicker Andrew Kibler. With a final score of 3-0, the game wasn’t pretty, but the Spartans prevailed.

Kibler, a senior, has been having an exceptional season. He not only has been named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference special teams player of the week twice this year but also was named to National team of the week.

And he was a big part of the Spartan win, considering how he had the only points on the scoreboard.

"Our defense really played well, and our offense did just enough for us to hold on,” Kibler said. “I am glad that I got to be a part of that win, and I am happy that we got the Bronze Ball back.”

Senior Darren Lathrop, a starting wide receiver for the Spartans, who was named as a “Player to Watch,” respects the rivalry with Anderson.

“The Bronze Ball game brings out the best of us,” he said. “It feels good to win on Senior Night.”

Michael Cross had a huge game, with two interceptions and six solo tackles. “It was my senior night, and my family was here to watch me,” he said. “I’m happy that I was the spark of life that the team needed. It was the last time I would be able to play football with my brothers, and I had a lot of fun.