Byrd, Mannings sign to same college program

May 7—The next time Talicia Byrd and Honor Mannings are on the court may not be in a Lafayette uniform, but the stars align for them to continue their basketball journeys together.

The Fighting Irish senior duo, both St. Joseph natives, will move on to play college basketball at North Central Missouri College in Trenton. The two have played basketball together from a very young age, so it only makes sense the decision be made in lockstep.

"Me and Talicia from our freshman year, just been us playing basketball in our class," Mannings said. "So we've always been basketball besties."

Lafayette girls basketball recorded 19 wins last year with Byrd and Mannings leading the charge under returning head coach Ryan Madison. The program's best chance to win a district title in the duo's four-year careers was this past season, but fell short to a Chillicothe team that ended up going all the way to the Class 4 semifinals. Though the two were never able to capture the highly-coveted district title, they do leave the program in a better place than they found it with young, budding players ready to take the torch.

"I'd say as seniors, it means a lot just because our past three years weren't as successful as we wanted it to be, and to be able to experience the winning side of the bracket, it was really good for us," Byrd said.

As they embark on this new chapter of their lives, there's new horizons to be realized for the two. As basketball players, they'll both be coached by head coach Jenni Croy, which Byrd says they look forward to because they've never been coached by a female before. Aside from basketball, they'll have the opportunity to come across new faces outside of their hometown of St. Joe.

"I'm ready to meet new people, honestly. St. Joe, same people every day, I'm kind of ready to just experience the wide variety of everyone," Mannings said.

NCMC will serve as home to several former Lafayette athletes next season with Byrd and Mannings both headed to Trenton, but it won't be just those two as the only Fighting Irish on campus when they get there. Former boys basketball players Mikey Thomas and newly committed Pirate Camden Bennett will also be on the scene as both are part of the men's basketball program.

Jacob Meikel can be reached at

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