A lot of kids are going to miss class Thursday.
The IHSAA has released the first-round — uh, substate — pairings. These are some of the matchups and distances, courtesy of mapquest.com:
8-Man: Ventura at Preston, 225 miles (one way)
A: Lisbon at Northwood-Kensett, 190 miles
8-Man: Harmony at Lenox, 183 miles
2A: Gilbert at Cascade, 171 miles
1A: South Winneshiek at Emmetsburg, 155 miles
3A: New Hampton at DeWitt Central, 154 miles
2A: Beckman at Roland-Story, 149 miles
1A: Pekin at Maquoketa Valley, 140 miles
8-Man: Northeast Hamilton at Central City, 124 miles (a rematch of a Week Zero game, won by Central City, 70-55)
A: BGM at New London, 106 miles.
Certainly, there’s got to be a better answer. Here’s one: Take a chapter from the Illinois athletic association. Play five straight weekends, concluding with the finals the weekend after Thanksgiving. If the weather is decent, there is nothing better than outdoor playoff football on a Saturday afternoon.
It beats getting home at 2:30 on a school night.