Switching (rusty) gears in the sports world
Published 6:55 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2015
It’s almost here — the smell of recently cut grass mixed in with freshly popped popcorn, crushed peanut shells and the occasional waft of sifted chalk. Except, rather, it isn’t.
Punxsutawney Phil apparently had different ideas, ones that have not only delayed the spring, but extended the winter sports season as well. Instead of grass, we’ve had metric tons of white cast throughout eastern North Carolina in recent days. Instead of baseball practice, we have local administrators and officials over at the NCHSAA headquarters in Raleigh doing their best to shift locations, alter times and reschedule dates for the early rounds of the state tournament. With four classifications and 64 high school teams in a bracket, you can add scheduling chaos to the weekly forecast.
Despite the lack of preparation across the board, the 2015 spring sports season kicks off next week, beginning with the Pam Pack girls’ soccer team squaring off against Northeastern on Monday at 6 p.m. The Pam Pack baseball team is slated to take on J.H. Rose in Washington the following day.
And for obvious, climactic reasons, rust will be imminent.
While sports like baseball, softball and soccer have found time to hold tryouts, Washington’s boys’ tennis team has yet to even step onto a court. And even those who have been able to tryout haven’t had any on-the-field practices.
It certainly is an interesting start to the season, but luckily for the Pam Pack, Panthers, Seahawks, Knights and Raiders, other teams across the region are in the same boat.
It’s important to remember a few things when it comes to weather’s effect on athletics. The first is patience. The safety of the athletes or the fans driving distances to watch these games should always come first. Therefore, while the vast cancellations and rescheduling can be annoying, especially around playoff time, they’re necessary to ensure the safety of all.
Secondly, administrators and NCHSAA officials do not have an easy job in determining whether or not a game should be played and then rescheduling accordingly. Try to keep the criticism to yourself and let them do their jobs because, frankly, they’re the best at it and most qualified to make these decisions.
The games will go on, eventually, and unless winter decides to creep into next week, so will spring sports.