MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The spring sports season should have started already, but with the cold and now snow on the way, spring sports are once again falling behind.
“A snowstorm now is going to put our baseball and softball fields out another two weeks in what we were originally hoping,” said Patti Weldon, activities director for Robbinsdale Armstrong High School.
Last spring, Weldon had to cancel or postpone 40 athletic events. And this year, there’s already a strike against her. The snowstorm has forced her to cancel a baseball tournament scheduled for Saturday.
“It’s hard for these kids, it’s frustrating, some of these kids are one sport athletes and this is it,” said Weldon.
That includes Jake Woessner. He’s a senior captain on the Falcons baseball team. It’s his only sport. But for now, he and his teammates are forced to practice indoors.
“I feel like it’s really unproductive. We can’t see live balls. We can’t use live balls. It’s essentially footwork and fundamentals. We can’t even go to positional stuff,” Woessner said.
Armstrong has another problem. Their softball and baseball fields are built on clay. So when it rains or snows, it takes a lot longer to drain. That puts them back at least a couple weeks.
The season is a short one already, and because of state tournament dates and graduation, it can’t go into extra innings. That creates a scheduling headache for everyone.
“You have a short window that becomes even shorter when you are dealing with weather. Plus, there’s the safety element. These kids can’t see live baseballs until they go outside and the speed is much different,” Weldon said.
Armstrong may have to play some of its home games at other schools until their field dries out. They could also end up playing more double-headers, and tennis, golf, and track may have to cram their season into a few, short weeks.