LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Trinity has St. Xavier. Male has Manual. When it comes to winning state titles in the past 5 to 10 years, however, the schools' biggest rival is each other.
The Shamrocks and Bulldogs have combined to win the last five Class 6A state titles — three for Trinity and two for Male. One of the powerhouse programs will add another championship to its trophy case when the Louisville schools meet at 2 p.m. Sunday at Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky.
"Manual is historically our rival, but the game we circle is gonna be Trinity every year," Male senior quarterback Elijah Parrish said.
The Bulldogs will look to make it four victories in a row over Trinity. The Shamrocks, meanwhile, enter Sunday's championship looking for payback for a 20-17 loss to the Bulldogs in double overtime in September.
"I've been wanting to play Male since we lost to them," said Sam Lewis, a senior offensive lineman for Trinity. "Knowing that we get this last chance as a senior to go out there and play them for a state title, it's pretty awesome.
"We just knew after that game we were going to meet them for the state title," Lewis added. "We have been working to play them again since that date."
Male head coach Chris Wolfe knows Trinity has been the measuring stick in Kentucky football since he took over the Bulldogs' program 10 years ago. Since 2013, his teams have an 8-3 record against the Shamrocks.
"There's more of a need for us to just be able to execute at a high level so that's our focus, but they're two evenly-matched teams," Wolfe said.
Trinity has never gone two straights seasons without winning a state title during head coach Bob Beatty's 19 seasons at the helm. The Shamrocks also have never lost four straight games to one school during his tenure, either. Those streaks are on the line Sunday, and Beatty believes his team is up to the challenge after it has outscored opponents 395-78 in the nine games since the double-overtime loss.
"The one thing I got from that first game is that we needed to get a lot better," said Beatty, who has won 13 championships in 19 seasons. "That's what we've done. Our kids have responded well to that."
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