April snow disrupts spring sports

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Katie Sisk

The BSM track team has been forced to practice inside for the past few weeks because of the snowy conditions and cold weather outside.

With the late snowfall and constant cold temperatures, Benilde-St. Margarets’ spring sports teams have had difficulty adjusting to the weather and finding time to practice outdoors.

Once the snow melts, teams will be forced to play out their seasons in shortened time which will reduce practices and increase the volume of games. “The snow has mainly affected track, baseball, softball, and golf with practices, but we aren’t too far behind in games yet,” BSM Athletic Director Mr. Jerry Pettinger said.

Schools all around the state, not just Benilde-St. Margaret’s, have been scrambling to find open gym or activity center space for practice times with the unavailability of outdoor facilities. The Haben Center has been used daily by softball and baseball teams, allowing for the practice of fielding and pitching while batting practice takes place in the cages in the wrestling room. “Everyone just wants to get out on the field. We’re getting pretty tired having to take ground balls off of the wood floor,” junior baseball captain Keaton Studsrud said.

While teams have been forced to move practices into the Haben Center, very few athletic events have taken place amongst Red Knight athletic teams. The baseball team has played only one game this season, which was played indoors at the Metrodome; however, certain teams like boys’ and girls’ golf have had no events due to cancellations. The more competitions and events that are cancelled, the less time teams will have to fit in the required number of games which will reduce the amount of practice time available and force teams to make adjustments throughout the season to prevent players from wearing down due to fatigue.

Between six spring sports, there have been a total of eight games postponed and three athletic competitions cancelled. “It’s really hard to not get times early in the season for our big meets later in the season because we have nothing to base our times on as the season goes on,” senior track and field captain Anne Arnason said.

Some teams have decided to brave the elements and have had their tryouts and practices outside. The turf field has been cleared out by snowblowers immediately after snowfalls to give teams a chance of using it for practice, but the poor weather still affects practice conditions. “During practices on the turf it gets really difficult to focus with the cold weather and because of all the layers we wear it’s difficult to run,” senior girls’ lacrosse captain Bailey Forcier said.

Once the fields and other athletic facilities are available, teams will have a shortened amount of time to fit in their regular season. Once games begin, teams will focus more on games and have less time for practices, so making use of the time they have now is important in developing each player’s skills. “The lack of reps will be an issue for a lot of the guys,” Studsrud said.

For teams like boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, who have benefitted from the turf field being cleared, they are still at a disadvantage to schools like Eden Prairie and Minnetonka, who have domes, which prevents the weather from affecting their practice time, but teams are still working to be prepared for when their season begins. “It’s just been kind of an annoyance with the weather and snow, but we’re still getting practice in and will be ready for the regular season,” said junior boys’ lacrosse player Gibson Reine.

“May is big competition month, and we use April to practice for the bigger meets later in the season, but we don’t really have an April season,” Arnason said.