Driving halfway across the country and back in a week's time allows one the opportunity to think.
That was the first 10 minutes. Sadly, I had almost 11 more hours before I got to Kansas City.
It was, and it has been, a time of change. My friend got married, there was plenty of dancing (I'm hoping any pictures of my moves to Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin'' will be burned) and then it was back east.
There's an interesting difference between life and sports. In sports, like driving down a highway, the miles are marked. Seasons start and end at generally the same time each year, then coaches and players start preparing for the next season. It's much the same way for school.
But at certain points in life, those markers don't exist anymore. It's rare that someone tells you when to get married, when to have a child, when to retire. Because of this, we are sometimes slower to recognize changes in our lives.
It hit me Friday night, when I was at the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame Banquet. Sitting on the dais were a number of men who were synonymous with their school's football program, to the point where it's difficult to imagine our autumns without them on the sideline.
There was Steve Gilbert, the longtime Columbian coach, who stepped down from the job after the 2009 season. A few seats to his left was Jim Tressel, the former Ohio State coach. It still takes some getting used to writing "former" in front of Tressel's name, but it also was weird seeing Gilbert and not running to talk to him about Columbian's chances this fall.
I didn't interview the now hall of famer Gilbert as many times as others when he was coach, but I can say I enjoyed those conversations. It was different last year going to Columbian and interviewing a different coach. Actually, it was equally strange to talk to Brian Colatruglio - who had been the Hopewell-Loudon football coach as long as I had been in Tiffin - about Columbian football.
Gordon Lightfoot was right. The circle is small.
Still, it's nice to know there are things we can depend on. There always will be high school football in September. The coaches may be different, the players may be different and (as I was reminded last week at my friend's wedding) some of the reporters covering the games will be different.
But that's more than a month away. I doubt anyone's ready to have a change in season just yet.
Zach Baker is the sports editor at the Advertiser-Tribune.
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