Former football coach Rick Booth officially unveils the memorial plaque to honor John Manning during a ceremony on Friday.

Former Live Oak baseball coach Mike Perez recounted a story about getting hit in the head with a baseball bat on campus.
His head severely injured, Perez was rushed to the hospital. All the while, he had someone tapping on his chest assuring him that he was going to be OK.
Perez said that man saved his life that day.
That was just a taste of the kind man that John Manning was and why he was immortalized by having the same training room that he helped to establish bare his name.
“That was a pretty dramatic experience, but he did that to every Acorn he touched,” Perez said. “That’s who he was.”
A ceremony at Live Oak High School Friday was supposed to coincide with homecoming, but the game was cancelled due to smoky conditions.
Still, Manning’s widow Linda was on hand with their daughters to witness the official unveiling of the room that now dons his name.
His family brushed aside tears as kind words were delivered by those who worked with and were touched by Manning in praise of the man they called Scrappy.
Work to dedicate the training room had taken several years to finally get done, but thanks to the persistence of former Athletic Director Mark Cummins—who also pitched in with a fresh can of paint for the doors and cabinets—the Morgan Hill Unified School District Board of Trustees signed off on the name dedication.
Along with a sign both above the door and inside the training room, a plaque commemorating the late Live Oak teacher and trainer was also hung.
The night featured words from those who worked with Manning as well as former players, including former NFL players Rhett Hall and Ryan Neufeld who sent in statements that were read.
“Sometimes as an athlete when we get injured, we can feel helpless and discouraged. John Manning knew when to be sympathetic and serious and with his knowledge, he’d have the right treatment and plan to get us back on the field quickly,” Neufeld said in a statement. “He’d also did it with a smile and a Rolodex of stories from his many years at Live Oak.”
Everyone who spoke recounted how Manning interjected his sense of humor at the right moments, but also knew when to be serious. And those serious times were usually when he needed to get down to work and help students.
Former football coach Glen Webb, who also worked with Manning, said if Manning were around to see the dedication, he would enjoy the people who returned but his focus would be on the athletes who came out to give their support.
“He’d be looking at you guys back there. He’d be looking at the players because that was his passion,” Webb said. “Those were the guys he would get  in there, he would help, he would steer and he would make young men out of them.”
Manning established the first Live Oak athletic training program and taught students who went on to work in the field.
“John Manning created a legacy through the countless lives he touched as a coach, as an athletic trainer and of course as a teacher,” Hall said in a statement read by Cummins. “He not only made a difference in student athletes’ lives, he literally healed dozens if not hundreds of sports related injuries.”

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