Wet spring keeps TCU athletes indoors

It has been a frustrating spring season for the Titan athletes so far as nearly all events have been postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather. Teams have been rotating practice times in the school gyms and pool to get into shape. Above, ninth grade baseball pitchers and catchers warm up in the Montgomery Middle School gym during practice. The three pitching are (from left) Trevor Smisek, Keegan Oak and Sam Ehlers. (Lori Nickel Photo)

 

If anyone is tired of the miserable spring weather, it has to be the spring sports athletes who have been confined to practice in the schools' gyms over the past month. Instead of getting outdoors to hone their skills and compete in events, they have been stuck indoors day after day due to wet conditions from sleet, rain and snow. 

According to Tri-City United Athletic Director Greg Feddema, while many events have been rescheduled, there have been some cancelled events because of the weather. 

As it is now, all TCU softball and baseball teams have yet to start their seasons. So far each team has each had about nine games rescheduled or cancelled. Because of this, Feddema said all conference games are now doubleheaders. 

"Baseball and softball get hit the hardest because the fields are not able to dry up," Feddema commented. "Once the track is clear, it's usable."

TCU track has been able to participate in two meets so far (one indoors), but has had three meets rescheduled, including the Titan Invite Track Meet that was postponed until Saturday, April 27 at TCU. The hope is that by then the weather will shape up and the season will be underway.

The golf team has had one match rescheduled and hasn't competed yet this season.  

A recent media advisory was sent out by the Minnesota State High School League in regards to the unrelenting weather this spring. Executive Director Dave Stead told member schools that not all games had to be allowed for each sport, and to make sure school time and academics were the highest priority. 

One suggestion offered by Stead and his staff was to play all the way up to the final day of the state tournament, even if the team is eliminated from the tournament. "Don't forget this because these extra days provide a great opportunity for you to work with your younger players who will be returning next year," Stead's memo stated. 

Another suggestion was to play triangular or quadrangular contests. In golf, that could mean playing 9-hole games so everyone can compete. 

Scheduling Saturday games, playing single round conference games instead of double, and compressing the section tournament playoff format were also mentioned in his correspondence.

As for delaying the state tournaments to allow for a longer season, Stead said he didn't think this was possible.

"A number of changes would need to be addressed at subsection, section and state tournament sites, as well as family plans, summer jobs, camps and clinics, and other summer activities that would conflict. It doesn't seem as if that's an option that could be realistically considered," Stead explained. 

For now, TCU teams are sticking close to their gyms, and coaches are doing their best to keep morale high. 

"Our coaches are doing a nice job of 'mixing it up' and putting in some different things," Feddema said. "However, in saying that, after a couple of weeks inside it gets tough, to be sure." 

To see whether upcoming events are cancelled or rescheduled, visit the TCU website and click on the Activities link.