This year, the Pirates' longest voyage is their season opener on Aug. 30, when they return the favor and visit Wahama (118 miles, 2:23), the defending state champion, which traveled to Fayetteville last year.
"The kids like to play a competitive schedule,'' Spangler said, "so we try to get them the best schedule we can.''
Certainly, there are inherent drawbacks to intersectional contests.
For one, long bus rides can wear out players and coaches before the game has even kicked off. It also keeps everyone out fairly late for the return trip home - unless you decide to stay overnight, then the excursion become even more expensive than just dishing out money for gas and a meal. And finally, who knows what harm comes from traversing country roads into the wee hours of the morning?
"Most single-As have to travel a good bit,'' said Buffalo coach Mike Sawyer. "Every one of our [road] games is almost two hours or more, so we've been able to take charters. I've been riding buses for 30 years to games. They don't wear me down. There's nothing you can do about it. It is what it is.
"Some people give Wahama grief about going into Ohio [to compete in the Tri-Valley Conference], but they don't have to travel very far. Their schedule is much easier, and it's a good situation for them.''
As for another sticking point, Sawyer noted that just because you've located a team your size across the state willing to play doesn't mean the game will actually materialize on the schedule.
"For single-As, especially this year, it's been hard,'' he said. "In football, you've got to make sure you can match up your dates. Maybe somebody has two open dates and you have two, but if they're not the same dates, you can't play. In basketball, you can just move the game from Tuesday to Wednesday. Not in football.''
In 2011, Buffalo logged a total of 532 miles to its five road games, with an average travel time of 2 hours, 3 minutes per game. Last season's trips included the short every-other-year visit to county rival Poca.
Some other rides the Bison endured since 2008 were to Valley Wetzel (131 miles, 2:46), Notre Dame (158 miles, 2:31), Richwood (139 miles, 2:27) and Gilbert (110 miles, 2:07).
Even with all the potential drawbacks, some teams look forward to making a long trip for a game, and even consider it a special weekend instead of a chore.
Arms, for one, said he wouldn't mind extending the contract with far-flung Pocahontas if the Warriors are up to it.
"To make a trip that size every other year,'' Arms said, "is fun for the kids. It doesn't bother us that bad. Now, to do it every season, or twice a season?
"In our situation, we've got a good boosters club who gets us a charter bus every other year, so the travel part of it doesn't bother us that much. There's kind of an excitement to it, taking our team to a different part of the state. We don't mind it that bad. But if a team has to travel like that three, four, five games, it makes it very tough.''
Man, which dropped from AAA all the way to Class A in a span of less than 10 years (1997-2004), likes to maintain its neighboring rivalries with bigger schools, which helps cut down total travel. This season, the Hillbillies play five such games - AAA Logan and four AAs.
Spangler also lauds his boosters club for allowing the Pirates to avoid exorbitant travel expenses.
"They help us financially on travel,'' he said, "and the county helps us on expenses. They allow so much of an allowance for travel through the county. That's a big help as well, so it doesn't become a burden on any of our long trips.
"Yeah, the kids get back home late, but other than that, it's not a problem.''
Some schools, especially the state's smallest football-playing ones like Hundred, Montcalm, Hannan and Van, don't mind covering long distances for games against teams more their own size.
In fact, Hannan and Hundred are meeting twice this season - Sept. 6 at Hundred and Nov. 9 in Mason - despite being separated by 156 miles and 3:15 in driving time.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.