By Matthew Davis
Memories of a frigid spring with a hectic May rush to get contests in has crept back for athletic directors, coaches, athletes and athletic supporters around the state.
Last year, most schools had to squeeze their seasons into late April and May because of the slow spring thaw. Many contests and some practices ended up becoming postponed or cancelled. Champlin Park athletic director Matt Mattson and fellow Northwest Suburban Conference ADs have been preparing.
At Champlin Park, teams can move to different sites locally for the various Rebels spring teams, including the school’s field houre. Fortunately for Rebels athletics, there are many venues to choose from such as the National Sports Center, Osseo Golf Dome and Maple Grove Sports Dome.
“We have taken the time to schedule some extra indoor sessions for each sport, whether it is in our field house or offsite at several locations,” Mattson said.
Late March has provided little opportunity to get athletic fields ready for spring with temperatures in the 40s for a time before dipping into the teens on March 20-23. According to Weather.com, early April will bring mid 40s and lows 50 with a chance of precipitation.
“We will make some decisions at the AD level in April if we need to move conference events or games to the back half of the season or go to double headers,” Mattson said.
Rebels baseball had two double headers in 2013, but they also play a game every day from May 6-16. Softball likewise crammed in games during May with three double headers, and they played three games on a Saturday once.
Rebels boys lacrosse had the earliest regular season contest with an April 24 game. They had several weeks of playing three games in a week, but never more. The Rebels went 15-3 and took third at state in 2013.
“We learned our learned our lesson last season after cancelling three scrimmages and rescheduling two games,” Rebels boys lacrosse coach Eric Borer said. “We do not play our first game until April 23rd. Some teams have four-five games on the schedule before then, so it should be an interesting spring once again.”
Condensing schedules offered challenges for student-athletes and coaches alike. But, it has offered some advantages too.
“I know it puts some extra weight on students and families when it comes time for school studies and testing,” Mattson said. “So many times, our athletes are doing well academically, and these condensed seasons also allow them to focus on their studies. Coaches have been great and have continued to work with students to make sure academics are the number one priority.”
Contact Matthew Davis at [email protected]