Spring sports wait for the melt [UPDATED]Published 10:34am Friday, April 5, 2013 Updated 10:35am Friday, April 5, 2013
In the spring, many athletes are dusting off their mitts, pulling out their clubs, practicing their strides and restringing their rackets.
This season, however, coaches and athletes could trade bats in for shovels, nine-irons for salt and shots for snowblowers as the winter has dragged into the spring sports season.
The weather has forced massive rescheduling in the area and has caused a few cancellations for other events.
“Our first outdoor meet was to be on April 2, but that was cancelled and will not be made up,” Fergus Falls boys’ track coach Randy Hansen said. “Our next outdoor meet is here on April 9, as of right now, it is unlikely to happen. The field events are not open and their is no place for spectators or athletes to sit.”
Ben Jurgens, Fergus Falls boys golf coach, leaves a flexible schedule for later in the spring in order to make up meets due to weather.
“We have left a flexible May so we can hopefully get into a couple extra meets if April does not work out for us.”
This has forced coaches to come up with original and fun ideas to keep the indoor practice malaise from getting to the players.
Ashby softball coach Kandace Norby has added drills that keep the practice fun, but also works the skills of her players.
“It’s important to make practice fun while working on the basic fundamentals and also the mental and physical skills of the game,” Norby said.
Steve Bradsteen, Otter Tail Central’s baseball coach, tries to work around the weather by taking some of the practice outdoors in the parking lots and streets on warmer days.
“We have had to vary our activities to avoid complacency and boredom,” added Bradsteen.
Most coaches are optimistic that games and meets will avoid cancellation as recent warm weather has created more opportunities for athletes to get outdoors.
“Everything so far has been rescheduled into double headers or we have been fortunate to find another date,” Bradsteen said.
Whenever the snow melts and the weather cooperates, the student-athletes will be ready to hit the field, track or links after numerous practices and the itch to play outdoors.