I’ve traveled to wrestling tournaments, basketball championship games, football playoff games and countless other events in the course of working as the sports editor.
I’ve even stayed in the same hotel as teams – I’ve had to unplug the phone in order to have peace and quiet after the athletes found out my room number and kept prank calling me – but I’ve never stayed with a team until my recent foray to the Yreka basketball tournament.
The weekend was essentially a perfect storm of sports reporting: The wrestling team had a meet at Illinois Valley High School – which is on the way to Yreka – in Cave Junction on Thursday. And then both the girls and boys basketball teams played in the Yreka tournament and were guaranteed at least three games.
Thanks to Daryn and Alice Farmer opening up their timeshare property I was given the opportunity to stay with the teams in the bunkhouse of the “R” Ranch about 15 miles north of Yreka.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with regard to how I would be received by the teams and what kind of behavior to expect of them.
My previous experiences with BHHS teams on road trips led me to expect more of the typically childish teenage behavior, but I was pleasantly surprised by how adult they were.
Not only that, but the group of teenagers that makes up the varsity squads of both the girls and boys basketball teams were great fun to be with during their down time.
Legitimate conversations about pertinent topics, fun games of cards, building with blocks and just hanging out made for a very enjoyable weekend – despite the fact that I was working.
Boys coach Matt Simpson told me in an interview that this was a, “special group of boys and they are going places.”
I have to agree – and add the word girls to the line – that this years’ group of winter sports athletes, boys and girls, is talented enough to write its own ticket – in winter sports and life.
I’m glad to have spent the weekend with such a talented group of athletes, and look forward to seeing what places they will go.
(By the way boys, Pictionary is in the freezer.)