Weather Makes for Slow Start to Spring Sports

Max Horsford, Staff Writer

Schools all across the area have been having the same problem this spring sports season – poor weather. Cold and wet conditions kept track athletes, golfers, baseball players and softball players alike waiting to start the action. Overall, there have been about 25 games and meets that were canceled, including 3 that could not be rescheduled at all due to issues with having time to make up the games. Also since the games were not league games, they were not required to be made up anyway. As a result of all of the failures to reschedule games across section III, softball and baseball will have open sectionals for the second year in a row. What this means is, no team has to qualify for sectionals, every team has the option to participate if they choose to do so.

Weedsport Athletic Director Mr. Mahar has been hard at work behind the scenes rescheduling all of the games that had been canceled. Many steps are involved in actually rescheduling the game, “First what you have to do is make sure the cancellation takes place, you have to notify the transportation director, the umpires, come to an agreement and an understanding with the other school, notify the coaches and on certain events we have game personnel, chaperones and people driving the golf carts. All of those folks need to be notified as well… There are a lot of different levels to it.” All of this seems to be a lot of work, but to Mr. Mahar, it’s just what spring brings. “Unfortunately since we do it so frequently in the spring you get used to it… This [season] seems to be pretty exceptional,” says Mr. Mahar. “Last year… we may not have had as poor of a start but as we got to the end there was some poor weather in mid-May, and that’s what prompted the opportunity for open sectionals, which is, in fact, what we have this year for baseball and softball.” During a normal season, in order to qualify for sectionals, a team must win 40% of their league games or 40% of their games overall. However, since many schools had trouble rescheduling games, many won’t play their full schedules, so, just like last season, there are no requirements to make sectionals for the softball and baseball teams.

The weather this spring has done a lot of harm to the baseball, softball, and golf teams. But the team most affected was the baseball team, more specifically the pitching staff. “With the pitch count rules in place, it made handling the pitching rotation very delicate, but looking back we are very pleased to have had the success we had given the bad weather and very few healthy pitchers”, says Varsity Baseball Coach, Rob Matson. The pitch count rules that he references put limitations on the number of pitches a player can pitch in a specific game, they also impact the length of rest that is required for the player to have. That was coupled with the injury to starting pitchers Owen Mabbett whose broken leg put him out for most of the season and Braeden Curry who battled arm tightness for a chunk of the season. That on top of eight rainouts making the schedule very tight, forcing the team to play several games in a week on more than one occasion wearing the already thin pitching staff down even farther. When asked how the weather affected the rest of the team, Coach Matson says it was tough to build momentum but they played well in the face of adversity, “the cancellations made building any momentum difficult this season. We were able to go on a three-game winning streak while the weather cooperated for a week or two. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate for the playoffs, and next season as well, so the team can focus more on playing a balanced schedule rather than fitting in a lot of games towards the end of the season.”