By Rob LaPlante
Crow River News Sports
The Minnesota State High School League officially turned the calendar for its spring activities to start April 1. Nearly three full weeks into the month, teams across the state of Minnesota are still waiting to play their first scheduled matchups.
With unseasonably cold temperatures and snow packed playing fields, the Knights have had to cancel all but one scheduled outdoor event this spring season.
Only an outdoor tennis match played April 8 at a cold and breezy Middle School West tennis courts has kept the season from cancelling all its scheduled outdoor events. The Knights went on this day to defeat St. Cloud Apollo 7-0. They later were forced to cancel four straight matchups slated for the same week thanks to heavy snow that fell most of the week.
Tennis matches with Buffalo, Cambridge-Isanti and twice with Andover and Big Lake were all postponed. STMA rescheduled hosting Buffalo on April 19 and Big Lake on May 10.
The baseball team has lost five games so far due to weather issues. With the season scheduled to start April 2 vs. Sartell, the Knights had to move the game to April 22. Other dates that changed were at St. Cloud Tech from April 9 to April 29; at Rogers from April 11 to May 6 and Sauk Rapids-Rice from April 4 to May 23. Tuesday’s Cambridge-Isanti was postponed with a makeup date yet to be announced.
Like the baseball team, the softball team has also yet to take the field. So far three games have been rescheduled. Their season opener on April 11 at Rogers was rescheduled for May 6. Games scheduled April 12 at Delano and April 16 at Cambridge-Isanti, were postponed with no makeup date scheduled.
STMA Activities Director Brian Benson has the task of handling all the cancellations and postponements and Benson said he’s been extra busy this spring season.
“I postpone and reschedule games daily,” Benson said. “It’s a challenge managing all the changes. I’m disappointed for all the student athletes and respect the positive attitudes demonstrated after five weeks of indoor practice.”
Track and field was fortunate enough to be one of the sports to compete competitively at the STMA Activity Center indoor facility. Two meets were held with both the boys and girls teams coming on top in both meets. Outdoor meets April 9 at Cambridge-Isanti and April 16 at Rogers were both postponed.
Likewise, the boys’ and girls’ golf teams have yet to see anything but indoor practice swings. The boys’ team lost invites April 10 at Monticello and April 8th and 16th at Becker’s Pebble Creek Golf Course.
The girls’ squad had two invites wiped away at Pebble Creek, as well as an April 15 matchup vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
Finally, the MSHSL debut of the girls’ lacrosse team is still on hold as its scheduled opener April 11 against St. Cloud Tech was changed to April 26 and Tuesday’s showdown with Mound Westonka was moved to April 29.
Unless snow starts to melt and temperatures start to rise, more cancellations are likely to come. The result will likely be busier weekly schedules when weather finally permits. If cancellations continue deeper into the next week, there is possibility the section playoffs and state tournaments could be pushed past the academic school year.
“I have not been a part of something like this before,” Benson said. “This is a very unique spring. I consult with other activity directors and coaches before making final decisions due to weather conditions.”