With the trip to McKinney, Texas for the Saturday, Dec. 15 game, the Bulldogs travelled for the third consecutive weekend in a row.
After hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA playoffs, Ferris traveled to Arkadelphia, Arkansas to face the Ouachita Baptist Tigers in the Regional Championship. The team logged around 1,720 miles ying roundtrip the weekend of Dec. 1.
With the victory over the Tigers, Ferris made it to the Final Four where they would face Minnesota State-Mankato in Mankato, Minnesota Saturday, Dec. 8. Another weekend, another night that would take the Bulldogs about 1,230 miles there and back with another win in the books.
The National Championship weekend would be the farthest trip, as the Bulldogs headed to McKinney, Texas, for the championship game against Valdosta State Univeristy (Valdosta, Georgia). The players, coaches and staff flew out of Grand Rapids on Wednesday, Dec. 12 for a trip that is over 1,000 miles each way.
All the while, Valdosta played on their home field for the last four games before the National Championship.
The Bulldogs have travelled approximately 5,151 miles in the last three rounds of the playoffs. As long as the trip is going south, though, most players are alright with the constant traveling.
“If we’re going somewhere warm, it makes it easier,” Ferris junior defensive back DeShaun Thrower said. “We loved playing down in Arkansas and going to Minnesota, it was just like how it was here kind of, the air was kind of dry but it wasn’t too bad. Going to Texas now playing in 50 degree, 60 degree weather, that makes it easier for us since we’re used to playing in 20 and 30 degree weather right now so, not too bad. And it’s fun because we get to get out of Michigan and keep traveling and enjoy different things and create different memories with our teammates and coaches.”
This week’s traveling falls on an inconvenient time for most players since it’s finals week in Big Rapids, so many had to make special arrangements to take their exams early or have it proctored in Texas.
“I mean, school comes first, always,” Ferris senior receiver Keyondre Craig said. “But some professors will work around football schedules so we’re just trying to get as much done possible and stay hungry on the football field as well, but it’s a struggle, but we do it.”