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Weather will delay many spring games

A snow drift runs along the first base side of the McHenry West Campus softball field Friday. Current weather conditions are going to push back the start of the spring season for many sports.
A snow drift runs along the first base side of the McHenry West Campus softball field Friday. Current weather conditions are going to push back the start of the spring season for many sports.
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On Monday, the weather looked a little brighter. But, like most of this winter, snow is expected again soon enough.

Although the spring sports season is scheduled to begin in six days, for most teams that doesn’t seem likely.

At this point, area athletic directors and coaches are trying to come up with creative ways to play some games.

Several softball games will be played at The Dome At the Ballpark in Rosemont. Huntley and McHenry have games scheduled there.

“It appears that the weather in the spring is getting worse each season,” Huntley softball coach Mark Petryniec said. “No games have been canceled yet. We will just take the opportunity to work on getting better until we can get outside. [We] can most likely count on playing every day in April and May.”

McHenry athletic director Barry Burmeister said it will help that McHenry’s baseball team plays at Petersen Park.

“We have lights, so we could play single games back to back like a doubleheader with different teams,” Burmeister said. “Obviously, the second game would be one of our nonconference opponents.”

It also caused some coaches, such as Hampshire baseball coach John Sarna, to think about traveling during spring break (week of March 24 this year).

“Looking back at my days at Jacobs when we traveled to Fort Myers (Fla.) and Phoenix, it was a great opportunity for us to work out in great weather and compete against quality competition,” Sarna said. “The current weather conditions will give those teams traveling this year a huge advantage.”

Jacobs athletic director Dan Vosnos said baseball coach Jamie Murray took the chance to look elsewhere for his team to begin the season.

“I take the same approach entering every spring season of wait and see,” Vosnos said. “Obviously, this winter has been one of the more challenging ones of late and, with our first contests (approaching), it does not look promising.

“Last year was a very unusual spring for most ADs and head coaches. Most were faced with unplayable playing surfaces through mid-April. That being said, on a positive note, Coach Murray sought out an opportunity to play a few baseball games down in Marion (Ill.) on a synthetic playing surface over spring break (week of March 24), which will give our student-athletes a chance to compete earlier than a lot of local high schools. ”

There are some schools that have decided to wait on making decisions about postponing or cancelling games. Johnsburg athletic director Tom Ross said he is taking an approach of waiting as long as possible to consider any moves with the Skyhawks’ games.

“We have done nothing in regards to postponing or canceling events,” Ross said. “Spring contests start March 17. We will not cancel events before March 14.”

Richmond-Burton baseball coach Mike Giese said there are no plans to look elsewhere for places to play if the season doesn’t start on time but remembers what happened just two years ago.

“You just never know,” Giese said. “Two years ago, we played 17 games in the month of March. Down south, they were getting rain and snow that year.

“The weather patterns always change, and trying to stay in front of it is just impossible. We are not in any more of a disadvantage than any other team in our area. My thoughts are that, when the weather breaks, we will be playing pretty much every day. I have tried to relay this message to our players. We will have three seasons this year: practice, games and the postseason.”

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