Whittell’s magical mystery tour
Many parents dread the thought of a long car ride with kids. Being trapped inside a cramped automobile for about six hours of “Are we there yets?” and “I have to go to the bathrooms,” is enough for anyone to go crazy.
For Whittell football coaches Larry Reilly and Mike Kiger a trip across the hot deserts to West Wendover on the Utah-Nevada border was a daunting one to say the least.
“The worst thing people can do with a long trip like is go into it with an attitude that it’s going to be the worst thing possible,” Reilly said. “What we did is try to make it as fun as possible.”
What the football program did was pile in the air conditioned bus high with sandwiches and sodas and headed out on their forced sabbatical to the far reaches of the state.
But what didn’t go according to plan, was the actual bus. It was supposed to be a charter with two TVs and a VCR, but the school was unable to attain such a rig.
Instead, the players were forced to actually talk to each other.
“We just talked to each other and slept,” senior Luke Forvilly said. “It was pretty boring.”
Even the sandwiches didn’t last as long as Reilly anticipated. All 50 of them were gone within 10 minutes of the trip.
“Everyone was fighting over them,” senior linebacker and fullback Joel Warnick said.
With about three hours left before the Warriors reached the first leg of their destination – Carlin – the coaches and players had ample time to bond and get to know each other.
“It gave a good chance to talk to people we wouldn’t otherwise do at school,” Forvilly said.
Reilly saw the trip as an opportunity to become closer to his troops. The extended trip gave the first-year head coach plenty of time to counsel some of the kids.
“I would call some of them up to the front and ask them about their behavior in school,” Reilly said. “They would go, ‘Oh, man you know about that?’ It was a great time to help them.”
The team also used the trip as extra preparation time for the battle with West Wendover. Quarterback Keith Truswell was busy scribbling down plays for the team to run.
Finally, the team pulled into Elko after six hours on the road and viewing a half of football between Battle Mountain and Carlin. Reilly took the team to fast food and sent them to bed before two more hours on the bus Saturday just to get to the game.
After playing a game in 97-degree heat, Reilly and the Warriors loaded back onto the rig and headed for home with a 24-18 win.
The team stopped at Pizza Hut and ordered nine pizzas to eat. But even that wasn’t enough to make the trek home enjoyable.
“The ride back was the worst,” Warnick said. “Everyone was sore and tired and the bus smelled because of the bathroom.”
It was 1:30 in the morning when the “Road” Warriors finally made into Zephyr Cove. Everyone was happy to be home and some weren’t looking forward to making another trip like that again.
“Only if I have to,” Forvilly said.
Guess what, Luke? There is a trip to Battle Mountain in a few weeks. This time there will be no chartered bus – just a yellow school bus for the four-hour ride.
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