TRAVERSE CITY — Nasty winter weather is starting to cause problems for area high school athletic directors.
Frigid temperatures and icy roads forced schools to cancel games scheduled for Monday night and again for tonight.
Those cancellations, combined with some prior to Christmas, are creating a backlog of contests that need to be re-scheduled.
The hardest hit? Traverse City West girls basketball. The Titans have already had three games wiped out by Mother Nature, Monday’s encounter with Petoskey the latest. That game was re-scheduled for tonight, but West athletic director Patti Tibaldi “suspects” it will be canceled as well.
Earlier, the Titans had games with Alpena and Rockford postponed. The Rockford game was re-scheduled for Feb. 8.
“But that’s an ACT date, so I don’t know,” Tibaldi said.
Central’s basketball games with Ogemaw Heights for tonight were called off early Monday. Those games will be played Wednesday at Central. The girls varsity game will start at 6, the boys at 7:30. Originally, the girls were scheduled to play at Ogemaw Heights, but it was moved to Central because the Falcons are hosting a Big North wrestling triangular Wednesday.
Central still has boys and girls basketball games with Gaylord to re-schedule, as well as a hockey date with Alpena.
The Bay Reps hockey team will play a make-up game at Alpena on Wednesday. That was originally scheduled for Dec. 11.
The St. Francis-East Jordan basketball games slated for tonight were moved to Wednesday. The boys are on the road, the girls are at home.
“It puts the girls in a jam because they’ll now play Wednesday, Friday and Saturday,” Tom Hardy, the school’s athletic director, said.
Tibaldi said finding dates to re-schedule games is complicated by the fact that there’s a shortage of officials.
“I got an email that said if we have any cancellations try to schedule make-ups on days other than Tuesday and Friday,” she said. “They (officials) are already booked. It’s going to be an adventure.”
Hardy still has a make-up game in girls basketball with Harbor Springs to get in.
And this could be just the start. There’s still several weeks of winter ahead.
“The basketball season (for boys and girls) was already shortened a week,” Hardy said. “You add in the cancellations (and make-ups) and you’re forcing kids to play three games a week. That’s tough.
“The saving grace for us is that next week we only have one game because it’s exam week. That’s a week that we try to protect for our kids to make sure they have the opportunity to study without problems. But if we get canceled Wednesday I’m in real trouble. We’re going to have to look at those kind of options.”
Monday’s first downhill ski meet of the season — the Marquette Invitational - was also a casualty of the weather. Marquette officials made the call to cancel that on Saturday, Cody Inglis, Central athletic director, said.
“They said it was going to be way too cold,” Inglis said. “They made the right call.”
Central and West were expected to compete there.
“Marquette hosts the regional and I know Jerry (coach Jerry Stanek) really wants to get up there to ski Marquette Mountain (before the regional),” Inglis said. “If they come back with another date we might take them up on it.”
Wednesday’s ski meet at Boyne Highlands is still on.
“We’re hopeful that it (weather) might break and we’ll get that in,” Inglis said.