by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
The winter that won’t end has left athletes and coaches at Osseo and Maple Grove high schools frustrated. Most of them have not been able to play any games, and if not for the Maple Grove Dome, many will not be able to practice.
“This spring or lack of spring we are having has definitely been a challenge,” Osseo girls’ lacrosse coach Alison Jennings said. “We have not had a chance to play a game yet and have had to practice in gyms for about half of the practices so far, which has been tough for overall field work. But we are trying to make the most of it with the circumstances that are present.”
Maple Grove girls’ lacrosse coach Morgan Kingstedt and her players used to complain how hot it was in the Dome. Not this year.
“This year it is great,” Kingstedt said. “We hosted a scrimmage with Osseo/PC, which was helpful not only for coaching, but for bringing them in from out of the cold. Most days we split the dome with another program at our school or in the district, so we just need to be creative with using the space we have.”
The Maple Grove track and field teams practice at the school.
“We practice on the first floor hallways at the high school,” coach Mike Herdan said. “It’s quite the sight with 280 athletes.”
The biggest problem Osseo girls’ coach Bill Quan faces is he can’t conduct any tryouts with the cold weather.
“We fund-raised a little bit so we could afford a few days in the Brooklyn Park Golf Dome,” Quan said. “Also, we have been on the range for one day up at Sundance. The biggest thing is that we have not been able to get any holes in so we have not been able to have official tryouts.”
Crimson softball coach Jim Koltes said his team has developed a severe case of cabin fever.
“It has been tough because the kids want to play,” Koltes said. “We have limited gym space for all five levels of play and we are one of the lucky ones because we have the dome use after school. Even if it is for an hour and 15 minutes we can still get fielding skills done and than hit in the cages either in the dome or the school. Our lower levels have really suffered because we usually have the dome starting at 2:15 until 3:30 so they are only getting gym time. Everybody wants to just get outside. Everybody has cabin fever. I also feel bad for the seniors who have waited a few years to be varsity starters and their season gets cut shorter and shorter.”
Crimson baseball coach Darby Carlson is concerned about games piling up in limited dates because of all the cancellations.
“For example, we have a stretch in early May where we’ll play six games in six days,” Carlson said. “It’s tough on players to be practicing an outdoor game in an indoor gymnasium. When they hit the ball they’d like to see it travel farther than a 100 feet. We have had an opportunity to take advantage of the dome on a limited basis and it has been beneficial to be able to set up a regulation infield and cover situations.”
Carlson and his team at least managed to open the season last week at the Metrodome downtown. For the other teams, it’s wait and see this week as warm weather is supposed to arrive.
Contact Bob San at [email protected]