This week’s 231-mile trip (one way) for Ulysses' football team to play McPherson High is simply just another day in the life of a Tiger athlete since the school is located in no-man's land.
If my math is correct (using that Independence education I received), the Tigers will travel 462 miles on Friday for a game that may last under 2 hours.
I can’t even imagine what it must be like for Ulysses' teams. My sports department brethren Jim Joyner did some exhaustive research this week and the numbers are jaw-dropping.
Ulysses has made five road trips this fall, the closest game being at Scott City, a mere 82.5 miles away.
That’s a drop in the bucket for some of its other games. It journeyed across the state to play Labette County in Altamont, which is a bit more of a hop, skip and a jump of 364 miles (728 round trip). Then in the last 2 weeks, the Tigers have made back-to-back trips to Abilene, which were 530 miles round-trip each time, or 1,060 miles total.
Going into this Friday’s game, the Tigers already have traveled 2,253 miles round-trip, which is more than 2/3 of the way across the entire country.
Conversely being old and stodgy, I complain about the Bullpups’ road trip to Winfield, which is roughly 100 miles. The other road trips were 70 miles to El Dorado, a mere 21 to Buhler and 75 to Rose Hill. MHS has traveled 532 miles, a total that will stay the same until, hopefully, MHS makes the trip to Topeka for the state championship game.
The last 4 years, the Bullpups have traveled 2,804 miles round-trip.
Staying on the numbers game, McPherson High has some more individual records that could be broken if the Bullpups take their season to the 13-game limit. Some, by the way, already have been broken during this historic season. And remember, MHS’ starters have played only a half in most of the games:
• Jace Kinnamon •
— Season Rushing TDs: Currently at 27----RECORD: 24 (Kyler Kinnamon in 2013)
— Season Rushing Yards: Currently at 1,309---RECORD: 1,662 yards (Kyler Kinnamon in 2013)
— Total Season TDs: Currently at 27---RECORD: 25 (Kyler Kinnamon in 2013)
— Career Rushing TDs: Currently at 44---RECORD: 42 (Kyler Kinnamon 2011-14) (Austin O’Bannon 2010-12)
— Career Rushing Yards: Currently at 2,848---RECORD: 3,182 (Dwayne Chandler 86-88)-Now 3rd
— Total Career TDs: Currently at 44---RECORD: 47 (Kyler Kinnamon in 2011-14)
— Single Season Scoring: Currently at 162---RECORD: 155 (Kyler Kinnamon in 2013)
— Career Scoring: Currently at 264---RECORD: 293 (Kyler Kinnamon 2011-14)
• Gabe Hoover •
— Season Receiving TDs: Currently at 16---RECORD: 14 (Jordan Hart in 2011)
— Season Receiving Yards: Currently at 1,066---RECORD: 1,481 (Jordan Hart in 2011)
— Season Receptions: Currently at 56---RECORD: 76 (Jordan Hart in 2011)
— Career Receptions: Currently at 116---RECORD: 127 (Christian Ulsaker in 2010)
— Career Receiving Yards: Currently at 1,719---RECORD: 2,072 (Christian Ulsaker 2008-10)
— Career Receiving TDs: Currently at 27---RECORD: 23 (Christian Ulsaker 2008-10)
• Kyler Hoppes •
— Season Passing TDs: Currently at 28---RECORD: 30 (Tyler Matthews in 2010)
— Passing TDs in a Game: 6 v. Indy (Tyler Matthews 5 vs. Andover in 2010)
— Career Passing TDs: Currently at 51---RECORD: 54 (Tyler Matthews in 2010-11)
• Team •
— Highest Scoring 9-Game Season in School History: 479---(PREVIOUS 440 in 2010)
— Most Points in a Season: Currently at 479---RECORD: 507 (2010 in 11 Games)
It hasn't hurt this year's team that its competition has been inferior compared to past years, but again the Bullpups are putting up these numbers with the starters playing only half the game.