Asphalt aplenty

The first long business trip of 2015 finds me in Oakley, where the Plainsmen are hosting Smith Center n a basketball doubleheader this evening.

At 110 miles, Oakley is the second farthest drive for me among Mid-Continent League schools–only Norton is longer, 118 miles–but the time t takes for me to get from Russell to Oakley is shorter than that to Norton or Phillipsburg. Since Oakley is right off of I-70 at US 40, it takes 90 to 95 minutes to drive, and of course, it’s smooth sailing at 75 MPH once I get on the interstate, barring construction or bad weather.

This is the first half of my working weekend away from home. Tomorrow, I’ll be in Norton for the Jake Durham Invitational wrestling tournament. Durham coached Norton for nearly 40 years and built the Bluejays to six state championships between 1959 and 1973. Norton fell on hard times on the mat until Bill Johnson took over as coach in 1992. Johnson, an All-America wrestler at Fort Hays State University, has guided the Bluejays to seven state championships, including four in the last five seasons.

I originally planned to drive from Russell to Norton, check in at the Sleep Inn, and then make the round trip between Norton and Oakley. However, I couldn’t pull myself together in time, which meant I drove from Russell to Oakley for basketball. Now I’ll drive northeast to Norton after the games, arriving between 10:30 and 11. I don’t like to check in to a hotel that late because it inconveniences the front desk employees, but in this case, I couldn’t help it. Besides, it saves gas.

I covered Russell’s wrestling dual vs. Beloit last night at RHS. The Broncos came out ahead 45-36. Russell’s basketball teams are hosting Beloit tonight, and their wrestlers go to Ellsworth Saturday\\\\

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on January 9, 2015, in Basketball, KSHSAA, Norton HS, Smith Center HS, Sports and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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