Third degree Bern
Eudora athletics and I had possibly the worst first date ever.
It wasn't something a coach or player did or said, and I suppose I wasn't to blame either. The culprit was the chilling grasp of mother nature, who saw it fit to bring what was surely minus-80 degree weather to the party.
I was covering the baseball and softball team's season opening games and thought I had worn plenty of warm clothes, but not even a North Face body suit infused with high-powered electric blankets would have done any good.
While I was busy trying to keep track of how many extremities I could no longer feel, Cara Kimberlin's team was out there looking, well, comfortable.
I glanced over to the baseball diamond I would have walked over but that would have required defrosting my joints and some of Shaun Edmondson's players were smiling. Smiling?!
That first encounter explained why I was never much of an athlete in high school. These Eudora athletes are out on the field playing and having fun, and all I want to do is go home, crawl under a blanket and beg my mom to drive five hours to make me some soup.
As the temperature rose, so did my enjoyment of Cardinal athletics. I've covered more high school games/meets than I care to count, but never as exclusively as I did for Eudora track, baseball and softball.
As the beat writer for these three squads I experienced the ups and downs of the season more closely than any team I've covered that I wasn't a part of, and enjoyed every (warm) minute.
Before covering the first track and field meet, I was told to look out for Emily Ballock because she was pretty good. I quickly learned that was as big of an understatement as saying Goliath was a slight favorite.
Chronicling Ballock's journey to a fourth state title was a joy, but the best part of track meets was the pole vault and javelin. In Iowa, my home state, both of those events are banned in high school. Here, however, they're in full swing and Eudora's Allison Hoover and Kendal Abel even qualified for state in each one.
I'd love to try each of those events, but I'm too afraid of either ending my own life (pole vault) or someone else's (javelin). Covering them up close was good enough this time around.
With baseball and softball there were no big surprises although incorporating javelin on the diamond would be a great idea just enjoyable games that were the reason I first got into journalism.
Back in my sophomore year of high school I was clued into the fact that I could make money and/or receive free food by watching sports. I really didn't believe it:until that first check came in the mail.
I don't claim to know what I'm talking about all the time in sports, but I can say that I understand high school athletics better than when I started at The Eudora News, and I'm grateful for that.
I have a few memories that I'll take with me like when a certain manager ignored his third base coaching duties to throw rocks at me and I only hope that I've served the readers and all those affiliated with the teams to the best of my ability.