CARTER: The non-journalism side of covering on the road

Sophomore associate sports editor Zach Carter fishes in an outlet off of Grand Lake March 12 in Celina, Ohio. Andrew Berger, DN
Sophomore associate sports editor Zach Carter fishes in an outlet off of Grand Lake March 12 in Celina, Ohio. Andrew Berger, DN

I usually have two thoughts when I have a 30-minute window to fish and don’t catch anything. One of defeat, but another of gratitude since I had time to go. The ladder is how I felt Tuesday when I made some casts at Grand Lake in Selina, Ohio. 

So why was I there?

I and five other colleagues from the Ball State Daily News were on our way to Cleveland, Ohio. To some, the city might be known as the site where Lebron James brought an NBA championship title and the place where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame allows the names of different musicians to live on for eternity.

For me, it’s been the home of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) basketball tournament, and the city where I’ve had some of my best memories in the last two years. Even though the Ball State men’s basketball team – who I’ve covered the last two seasons – didn’t make the postseason, I’m still sitting in the Wyndham Hotel in ‘The Land.’ 

Since I’m not exactly covering the women’s Cardinals’ squad, I’ll be helping out with photos and taking the time to do some column writing. I haven’t been able to write a lot of columns this year, so this is perfect. 

While most of the pieces will be about the event or the MAC as a whole, this one will be a bit different. One of my favorite parts of covering on the road is the travel aspect itself, and it’s worth reminiscing on. 

Myself and my five colleagues set our sights on Ohio as we departed from Scheumann Stadium Tuesday morning. As I write this, I hopefully haven't received a parking ticket– I most likely have – or been towed. After five minutes in the car with Kyle Smedley, Elijah Poe, and Caleb Zuver, the thought entered my head; this will be an interesting four hours. 

It did not disappoint.

After stopping at Dunkin Donuts and driving for a bit, we crossed into the Buckeye state. As Smedley said last week, it was a seamless transition. The only difference might be the fewer potholes. Seriously Indiana, fix the roads, this coming from a Hoosier myself. 

This was when we stopped at the lake for some outdoor activities. Once we left and got lunch, we finished the drive and made it to Cleveland. We went out on the town and visited ‘TownHall,’ a local restaurant. Throughout dinner, we enjoyed the food and laughed. The fun continued into Wednesday, which is when the work began. 

Yet, it didn’t feel like work to me. While I was snapping photos, it hit me; Ball State has it. I’m not going to recap the entire game, but the Cardinals are impressive. They make passes, take smart shots, and give it everything they have. The effort they play with is one thing I enjoy about the women's game even more so than the men’s. Maybe that will be another column one day.

After yapping in the last 400-plus words, I’m going to sign off. But here are my final thoughts about the last two days. Traveling with a group of good people and doing something you love is awesome. The five people on this trip have made it special, and I wouldn’t trade anything for it. 

And seriously, make work trips fun. Whether you stop to fish or record quick and funny podcast segments – check out “Indiana Drive” for those – find something to enjoy. The Daily News has allowed me to cover in some great places and I am thankful for all of those opportunities. 

Contact Zach Carter with comments at or on X @ZachCarter85.


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