Deal: Ten wild days of sports
As a die-hard college basketball fan, I recently crossed off one of the items on my bucket list.
But cheering with the Cameron Crazies was just part of a recent road trip that included sports across all three levels.
From Nov. 9 to Nov. 18, I covered as a journalist or watched as a fan, state championships, an historic college basketball game and a Monday Night Football game.
So before we turn the page on fall sports, here's a look back at my recent sports road trip that covered two airports, three time zones and 4,042 miles (give or take).
To start, on Nov. 9, I helped cover a pair of state football championships at the DakotaDome in Vermillion. I was the main reporter for the Class 9A state championship game between Corsica-Stickney and Britton-Hecla. The Braves edged the Jaguars 44-36 in overtime in easily the best prep football game I've covered this season and maybe the best I have ever covered. Britton-Hecla overcame an early 16-0 deficit, forced overtime with a fortuitous fumble recovery touchdown and used a goal-line stand in overtime to secure the win.
After the prep thriller, I had long planned a trip to North Carolina to visit a relative and to take in the Miami Dolphins at Carolina Panthers on Monday Night Football. When I saw Duke had a home game against Utah Valley, we also had to work that into the itinerary. I am no Dukie, but love college basketball and had to experience Cameron Indoor Stadium.
And of course we had to do it right and had to cheer with the Cameron Crazies—the wild and raucous Duke student section. That also meant we had to sprint into the 9,314-seat arena to get a spot in the Cameron Crazies section.
So two days after racing against the clock to beat deadline, I was running at full speed into the historic arena to get a prime spot. One hour before tip, they opened the doors and it was a mad rush to get spots. I couldn't stop giggling as it was one of the wildest moments of my life.
And it was all worth it. We were four rows away from the court, watched future NBA players (Marvin Bagley III, Trevon Duval, Wendell Carter, Gary Trent Jr., and Grayson Allen) and we also witnessed history. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski recorded his 1,000th career coaching win at Duke with the 99-69 win over the Wolverines.
On Nov. 13, I made the two-plus hour trek to Charlotte to watch the Monday Night Football game. The only historic aspect of that game was my Dolphins continuing their second-half losing skid to end the season. Anybody know of a good quarterback?
Two days later brought me back to the Corn Palace to cover the Dakota Wesleyan University men's basketball game against Dordt College, which defeated the Tigers 73-67.
On Nov. 16, we made the long trip to Rapid City to cover the three-day state volleyball tournament. The most memorable part of the tourney was the long-awaited Warner vs. Northwestern state championship match on Nov. 18. The two volleyball rivals separated by 13 miles finally played in a state championship, thanks to the new Sweet 16 format. The match didn't disappoint, with Northwestern winning 3-1.
So, to recap, I covered a memorable prep football game, I was a Cameron Crazy, the Dolphins are bad and the Sweet 16 rocks.
Winter sports are next. Bring on the miles.