Unsportsmanlike! Weather robs prep teams of half a season

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2013 - 10:51 PM

Nearly four weeks after they began practice, many high school teams have yet to take the field for a game, meet, match or round because of the miserable weather.

view larger photos

  

Coon Rapids was set to finally open its high school baseball season Thursday, with star pitcher Logan Shore taking the mound in the weather-protected Metrodome. The 11 p.m. start time owed to the stadium’s huge popularity with high school and college teams escaping what many coaches are calling the worst run of spring weather they’ve ever seen.

But the game against Prior Lake was canceled due to travel problems from Thursday’s snowstorm. Not even a roof can fend off the wintry spring of 2013.

Nearly four weeks after they began practice, many high school teams have yet to take the field for a game, meet, match or round — let alone step outside to practice. What few games have been wedged in have been played in cold, miserable conditions.

Thousands of games have been canceled statewide. Top athletes have missed chances to impress scouts and attract college attention. Seniors see their final seasons slipping away. At many schools, athletes paid hefty activity fees for what has so far been mostly gym time and now the prospect of shorter and fewer games.

As coaches and athletic directors frantically reschedule games into fewer remaining weeks, some teams have had to dig deeper to pay for expensive indoor practice facilities or have made do with such activities as golf putting in classrooms.

Tom Franta, the girls’ track and field coach at Irondale in New Brighton, said his assistant coach Bruce Moore “has been coaching or participating in track for 51 years and he said that he has never seen anything like this.”

For Kara Stuckmayer, this is supposed to be the year she gets noticed. Stuckmayer, who plays third base for Champlin Park and has loads of potential as a power hitter, has high hopes for a senior season that she believes can be a breakout year. If the Rebels ever get the chance to play, that is.

“This being my senior year, I obviously want to play hard and do great,” Stuckmayer said. “This weather has put a little stop to that.’’

St. Louis Park pitcher Ryan Froom, a South Dakota State University recruit, is worried that his final high school season is slipping away. “It’s extremely frustrating,” Froom said. “This isn’t the way you want it to end.”

St. Francis shot put and discus thrower Maggie Ewen, who will compete at Arizona State University next year, has spent much of the spring throwing into a net in the gym. “It’s not the same as outside and it’s taking a toll mentally,” she said.

Shore, one of Minnesota’s top Major League Baseball pitching prospects, said that he has had bullpen sessions with pro scouts watching him and that he is trying to stay positive. “Obviously I’m dying to get outside to playing games,” he said.

Salvaging seasons safely

Athletic directors from conferences across the Twin Cities metro area have met to devise ways to salvage the season once the weather improves. The Missota and the Classic Suburban conferences have mandated doubleheaders for softball and baseball. The Northwest Suburban wiped away half of the league season, reducing the schedule to 10 games.

Those changes might not be enough. Frozen fields still need to dry out. Spring weather, even under more normal circumstances, is unpredictabe. Some coaches worry about playing almost daily games and risking injuries from overuse, most notably to baseball pitchers. “The possibility of injuries increases with a heavier load on our pitchers,” said Brian Wright, coach at Breck in Golden Valley.

This week, the Minnesota State High School League took the unusual step of releasing recommendations for schools to mitigate the effects of the weather. They include scheduling doubleheaders in baseball and softball, shortening golf meets to nine holes and emphasizing Saturday play. The league also suggested that teams play even after they are eliminated in the playoffs and make up games through the final day of the state tournament.

Through it all, practice goes on. Gyms are full as teams vie for space. Teams have sought out domes and indoor facilities, which come with a price tag not all are happy to pay.

Tim Roche, who coaches boys lacrosse at Eastview in Apple Valley, lamented paying $1,400 for a pair of two-hour training sessions at local domes. ““It makes me sick to spend that money on field time, but we just have no choice,” Roche said.

For every top-level athlete who hopes to compete after high school, there are scores of players on junior varsity teams and below who are the biggest concern for many coaches. With varsity teams using every possible makeup day, athletic departments are worried that there will be no time for younger players.

  • related content

  • Chart: Coaches' thoughts on the spring that wasn't

    Thursday April 18, 2013

    THIS WINTRY SPRINGThe Spring of 2013 is playing out like the classic Saturday Night Live skit “The Thing That Wouldn’t...

  • The Minneapolis lacrosse team listened to coaches Wednesday as they braved a cold, rainy outdoor game.

  • Minneapolis Lacrosse’s Eden Rosenbloom slipped between Columbia Heights’ Salena Abram, left, and Mariah Hanson, on a miserable night. See more photos at startribune.com/galleries.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 4 Suspended
Kansas City 2
Baltimore - W. Chen 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Kansas City - D. Duffy 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
Seattle - J. Paxton 6:07 PM
Toronto - J. Happ
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Houston - N. Tropeano 7:05 PM
Texas - D. Holland
St. Louis - A. Wainwright 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
Arizona - J. Collmenter 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
LA Angels - C. Wilson 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
San Francisco - J. Peavy 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - D. Haren
Colorado - T. Matzek 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Chicago 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 0 2nd Prd
NY Rangers 0
Detroit 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Toronto 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Washington 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
St. Louis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Colorado
Colorado 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Los Angeles 9:00 PM
Arizona
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Vikings offense

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close