Snow days a headache for local sports

Published 3:05 pm Friday, January 5, 2018

Football rarely has to deal with it. Soccer, tennis, baseball and softball all have their own weather-related headaches, but snow isn’t one of them.

It’s nearly impossible to navigate through the winter without the athletic seasons — namely basketball — to be impacted some way by snow and ice. It seems like the inclement weather usually waits until conference basketball tournaments roll around, making a nightmare out of the final days of the regular season.

Snow fell on Beaufort County much earlier this year. The biggest casualty was yesterday’s rivalry matchup that was supposed to see Northside travel to Southside.

Students oftentimes celebrate these snow days. Even the athletes that were supposed to be on the court surely don’t mind a day or two off of school.

“When I was at East Carolina, we had snow like this. We got four or five inches,” Northside assistant basketball coach Jared Adams remembers. “It was mostly ice. School was closed for four or five days. It was fun getting everybody together for sledding and tubing. We had a big turnout on College Hill.”

Those fond memories for teachers have been eroded by the certain headaches that are accompanied by snow days. Adams now has to worry about rescheduling that trip to play the Seahawks. He worries about missed practices. He has to shift around lesson plans for his classroom duties.

“As a teacher, instead of all fun, it hampers your schedule,” Adams said. “When you’re in school, your responsibilities are minimal. … Now I’m teaching and coaching. We’ve got to make up games. We’ve got to coach the players back up. There’s time missed in the classroom. It’s become more of a hassle and headache.”

Athletic directors across the county are counting their blessings, though. There’s a sense of relief in that there is plenty of time left in the winter for schedules to be rearranged.

“That shuts down everything and makes you have to cancel things,” Washington AD Jon Blank said. “That’s never easy to do. … I don’t feel like we’ve had too many (snowstorms) in my time as AD. I do remember about two years ago we had to scrap the conference basketball tournament. That caused the conference to lose some money. That was a big deal.”

One big game was in the path of the storm. There’s plenty of time to make it up, so students are free to enjoy the time off. Washington soccer and golf coach Jim Kozuch rarely has to deal with snow affecting his schedule. The New York native is used to a few inches of snow and has some advice to keep Beaufort County safe.

“With this amount of snow, it was a regular day. Everybody went to school,” he said. “All four years I was at SUNY Brockport, we never once had a snow day. And we were in the snow belt in upstate New York.

“I’d say be smart. Most guys down south believe that if they have a four-wheel drive truck, they’ll be fine in the snow. I don’t think they realize a two-wheel drive car is much safer. You don’t have to go rush and get bread.”

Kozuch is embracing the snow day a bit more than most teachers. He doesn’t have any games to reschedule, and it gives him more time to spend with his infant daughter.