Come with me as I traverse the tournament trail on a musical odyssey of sorts, kind of a cross between Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" and Foreigner's "Long, Long Way From Home."
Thanks to the tournament trail, I got to see more of the state of Ohio this past week than most people see in a lifetime.
After going to Columbus last weekend for the tennis tournament, I got to go to Duncan Falls (south of Zanesville) on Tuesday for a girls soccer game and then headed to Parma Heights on Thursday for a volleyball match between Padua and Triway.
Saturday was the worst, however, following the Hiland boys soccer team to Jackson High School. I didn't know I could go any farther south in the state without getting into West Virginia or Kentucky. In fact, I was closer to either of those two states than I was to Columbus.
It's pretty amazing how far these teams have to go to play. It has something to do with the size and the number of schools in the districts, and I'm sure the OHSAA does its best to try and keep team travel to a minimum, but ...
Heck, even a trip to Chillicothe, which I've grumbled about in years past, would have been a treat compared to Jackson.
At least the facility there was nice. It was the fastest Internet service I've had at any school I've been at, and even faster than most McDonald's, which is from where I usually have to send my stories.
And the folks were friendly and helpful, so it wasn't all that bad. Just a long night in the car.
I covered pretty much the entire eastern half of the state, stretching from Cleveland to Jackson with a stop in Columbus to boot.
Good thing gas prices were down this week. I paid only $3.08 a gallon in Zanesville the other night, thanks to my three-cents per gallon discount for customer loyalty at Speedway.
The two trips to Zanesville this week (and possibly more if West Holmes girls and Hiland boys win) will seem like a walk in the park compared to Saturday's marathon trek.
Oh well, it's all part of the job. At least I get paid to go to these places, as opposed to the parents who not only have to pay to get there, but also have to pay to get in.