Traverse City Record-Eagle

Prep Sports

April 11, 2013

Weather creates a challenge for local schools

TRAVERSE CITY — Punxsutawney Phil got outside once this spring already.

That’s more than the baseball and softball teams can say.

The prognosticating rodent didn’t see his shadow on Feb. 2, predicting an early spring. Epic fail.

Athletic directors all across Michigan, especially in the northern areas, are scrambling to reschedule events as winter drags on.

“The challenge now is the puzzle pieces and how you move it around,” TC Central athletic director Inglis said. “The reality is that you may have to look at a non-conference game to cancel to get this one in.”

Thus far, schools have lost almost all of three weeks of games. TC Central has played only one spring varsity game — Saturday’s girls soccer contest against the Traverse City Liberty at the Coast Guard fields. And that game was played on the B field in a mixture of rain, sleet and hail.

“You either embrace it, or it’ll drive you crazy,” Inglis said. “That’s the attitude I think you have to have.”

Mancelona’s baseball field was covered in snow even before the most recent dump of white stuff Tuesday night. Onekama called off Friday’s big — and perhaps aptly named — Frostbite Invitational. Petoskey moved its Big North Conference soccer opener against Ogemaw Heights to May 17. Johannesburg-Lewiston has already started postponing games next week. Glen Lake canceled track, softball, baseball and soccer games this week — and some will not be rescheduled.

TC West is scheduled to host Division 3 and 4 baseball and softball quarterfinals on June 11. Perhaps by then, the Titans field will be dry.

“As a joke, when (MHSAA assistant director) Mark Uyl contacted me and said, ‘Would you do it?’ — that was in February — I responded to him and I said, ‘Well, if the snow is ever off the ground, we’d be happy to host it,’” West athletic director Patti Tibaldi said. “Now I’m wondering if the fields will be (ready) by then.”

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