Matt Manning, a senior linebacker on the Braden River High football team, had nine tackles Nov. 13 in the team's 49-9 road playoff win against South Fork High. Manning is also a key member of the Pirates' special teams unit.
When did you start playing football?
I started playing football when I was 6. I played flag football at first. A few of my friends played and I joined so I could play with them. It took a little bit of time to get good, just practicing the fundamentals.
What is the appeal to you?
I just love being on that field with my teammates, my friends. It is a great feeling. There's nothing comparable to it.
Do you play other sports?
I played baseball and soccer when I was younger, but I stopped when I got to high school so I could focus on football.
What is your best skill?
I think my best skill is my speed and quickness. I worked on getting faster during the offseason and it is paying off. I think that helped me make more plays.
What is your favorite memory?
Beating Palmetto High earlier this year was a great moment. That school is one of our rivals and to come back and beat them was a lot of fun. (Braden River trailed 20-7 before winning 34-20.)
What has been your biggest challenge?
Playing at my size has been a challenge. (Manning is 5-foot-7.) There are a lot of players who are much taller than me. Having to go against them is tough.
What is your favorite food?
I love pizza. Usually I get pepperoni. Sometimes if I'm feeling wild I'll get pineapple too.
What is your favorite show?
I like to watch "All-American" on Netflix, it's a football show.
Which superpower would you pick?
I think I would like [the power of] flying. It would make travel a lot easier.
What is the best advice you have received?
It's simple, but the best advice is to never give up. I have always believed that if you work hard, good things will come your way.
Finish this sentence: "Matt Manning is …"
… Not a quitter.