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Wildcat dad takes first-ever road trip to watch son play in College World Series

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 9:50 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Wildcats road to the College World Series has been a long one, but for a couple of team dads the road was quite literally long.

“I keep joking with Tom it’s like the Nationals Lampoon’s Vacation,” said Ryan Kato, dad to University of Arizona player Kobe Kato.

Kato and Tom Paugh, dad to Wildcat player Blake Paugh, road-tripped to Omaha for the series.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to do something like that,” Kato said.

Kato is from Hawaii so this was his first road trip, ever.

“Being from Hawaii you drive 15 minutes in any direction and you’re done you’ve reached the ocean,” he said.

Kato and Paugh drove over 1,300 miles in 21 hours to make it to Nebraska this past weekend.

“For me being able to go to seven states in one day was an amazing experience,” Kato said.

Ryan documented the trip in photos as they crossed state lines. The two stared in Arizona, before crossing into New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, and Iowa before reaching Nebraska.

Kato said beyond just the number of states they passed though, it was the wildlife that stole the show.

“I saw a deer, I saw an antelope, I saw a possum, we almost ran over a coyote,” Kato said. “The coyote was in the middle of the highway eating roadkill. We were coming down and I just see the whites of the coyotes eyes. We missed it by this much.”

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