Gone before sunrise
The sun Is still two hours away from rising on this Halloween, but I am just minutes away from leaving the comfortable confines of room 1123 at the Overland Park Marriott and heading to Emporia for the opening of the Class 2A volleyball state tournament.
Smith Center is making its third appearance in the big dance in the last four years, and for the third time in as many trips, we’re starting at a different time.
In 2011, the 2A tournament was the only one held at Emporia, so the Kansas State High School Activities Association started the tournament at 10 a.m., early enough to make sure everyone would be done at a decent hour, but not so early that those who had a long way to travel could not make it if they left early enough Friday.
Last year, when 3A moved from Salina to Emporia due to the split in Class 4A which led to an extra tournament in that classification, the 3A event went in the morning and 2A did not start until 3:30 p.m. That was hellish, because there was no parking to be found around White Auditorium, which sits in downtown Emporia, and unlike the venues in Hays, Salina and Topeka, there is hardly any spaces if you don’t get there early enough.
This year, 2A starts at 8:30 a.m., although Smith Center doesn’t play its first match until 9:30. Everyone still has to be there early in order to introduce the teams to the crowd. I could do without it, but the KSHSAA wants it.
Time to get going. If Smith Center can survive pool play, we’ll do it tomorrow.