Once a King, Always a King…Welcome Back Clayton Mannering!

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“Mr. Mannering wants to be here, wants to work with young men trying to better themselves, and most importantly he wants to continue the Cass legacy he was a part of,” said Samuel Carlton, who is the assistant football coach. 

Lewis Cass is welcoming in a new addition to the football team and to the staff. Clayton Mannering, graduate from Cass in 2006, has found his way back home to the grounds of being a Lewis Cass King. 

Mr. Mannering attended Hanover College where he earned a double major for English and Spanish. While attending college, he continued to play the game he loved: football. He played as a linebacker all four years of his college career. However, this game has been an important part in his life for 12 years. He began playing in 5th grade and now is taking the next step of the game and becoming the head football coach of Lewis Cass.

Mr. Mannering is very excited to take on this new role. What made him want this position in the first place? “I’ve been an assistant coach at the college level for the last nine years and started to get the itch to run my own program a couple years ago.  Since then, I looked into a lot of open jobs around the state, always with an eye on Lewis Cass. I grew up in Walton and spent a lot of time on the sidelines watching my dad coach the Kings, so taking this job feels like a homecoming for me, especially with my mom and aunt (Mrs. Mannering and Mrs. Hanneken) working in the school.  There is also a great football tradition at Lewis Cass, and I’m excited about the opportunities to build on that in the future,” said Mr. Mannering. 

  Why did Lewis Cass choose him? What is he going to bring into Lewis Cass Football. He said, “The nice thing about coaching college football is that I have had the chance to really focus on and learn the game of football.  In my relatively young career, I have played for or coached with six hall-of-fame head coaches. I hope to be able to take those great lessons I’ve learned, and share them with a new generation of Cass football players.” 

Coach Carlton has repeatedly said he is very excited to work full time with Coach Mannering. Carlton believes, “He brings a wealth of knowledge from a slew of colleges he has worked at, most recently DePauw University where he served as their offensive line coach. Outside of football he’s bringing in his family to be a part of the Lewis Cass community.  Coach Mannering literally grew up on the sidelines, and he brings back the feeling of excitement! Whenever I talk to coach through email or text, it’s clear he’s excited to be here. He has a passion for the sport and our school!” 

As Coach Mannering and Coach Carlton work side-by-side to produce an awesome football season, they both have goals that they want to accomplish. Coach Carlton said, 

“The overall goal that coach is bringing to the players as well as the staff is to conduct ourselves with Cass Pride; and to bring back the Pride, Dedication, and Loyalty mindset. So in regards to that goal, I can only hope to be a part of modeling that for our school and athletes following Coach Mannering’s lead. With regards to the field, our goal is what it has been since I first got here – PLAY CASS FOOTBALL.  We want to maintain that brand of football that people know across the state for being fast, physical, and hard nosed. We want to continue what past players have left, and to put our current players in a position to win.” 

As for Coach Mannering’s plan, he said, “I talked to our returning players last Friday, and let them know what our goals are.  They are: 1. Reach your academic potential, 2. Represent Lewis Cass and our community in a 1st-Class Manner, and 3. Win the Hoosier Conference.  In other words, I want student-athletes who will push themselves in the classroom while being great ambassadors of our school and community in pursuit of a conference championship.  We should be able to accomplish the first two goals every year. There are other factors that go into the third goal, but I firmly believe that if we build the right culture, championships will come.”

Not only is Coach Carlton very excited to be coaching with Mr. Mannering but the athletes are in the same mindset. Tyler Johnson, going to be senior next year’s season, said, “He’s going to bring a lot of good things to this program. He’ll build us into good men with good characters, just like his father did when he was here.” Then Luke Chambers, going to be a sophomore, said, “I think he is very energetic and is going to do whatever it takes to turn us into the best men/ football team we can be.” 

We, as a Lewis Cass Community, would like to welcome Coach Mannering back to Lewis Cass grounds with opening arms.  Everyone is excited to see what this new coach will bring and waits to see the new energy brought onto the field. As the saying must go, “Once a King, always a King.”

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