Weather wreaking havoc on high school sports
Mother Nature must really be ticked off at something or someone.
How else can the lousy weather we’ve been experiencing be explained?
Numerous Superiorland high school spring sporting events have already been postponed – or canceled – due to deep snow still on the ground.
It has been suggested by more than one person in the area the prep spring sports schedule be scrapped entirely until May 1. Even that starting date may be optimistic.
“This is unusual with all the snow,” Ishpeming High School athletic director Terry Roberts said. “But we’re all in the same boat.”
Roberts has already canceled all his school’s scheduled sporting events this week due to winter weather conditions and unplayable fields, courts and tracks.
Weather forecasts call for rain and-or snow showers this week, with temperatures in the low to mid-40s.
“Our softball field still has snow on it, and even if it didn’t, it would still have to dry out (to use),” Roberts said.
Westwood High School AD Jon Beckman said Thursday the school’s track had two feet of snow on the ground and its tennis courts a similar snow cover.
“My main concern is having our track ready for the regionals May 16,” he said. “It’s a helpless feeling and definitely a weird spring.”
Marquette Senior High School athletic director Jamie Tuma said it has been “a challenge” already to make up postponed events.
“It’s looking like non-conference events are not going to be held,” she said. “We’re trying to play it by ear and just crossing our fingers that we’ll be able to get outside (soon).
“But just getting rid of the snow is one problem. Getting the moisture out (of a field) is another.”
Tuma has moved Tuesday’s scheduled home softball doubleheader from Marquette to Gladstone and secured the Superior Dome in Marquette for an MSHS-Kingsford girls soccer match just to get the two events held.
Carl Bammert, Northern Michigan University’s associate director of facilities, has been both a popular and unpopular man the last couple of weeks.
There were two track meets held in the dome last week. He also fielded calls from area high school ADs looking to secure the facility the next couple of weeks in order to hold sporting events normally staged outside this time of year.
Finlandia University also wanted to use the dome to play Lake Superior State in softball.
Bammert had to turn them all down, however.
The artificial turf is in place for NMU intramurals and the Superiorland Soccer Tournament, for U11-12 boys and U11-14 girls, set for next weekend starting on Friday.
On May 4, NMU’s commencement ceremony will be held, meaning the dome will have to be prepared for that event.
“Nothing will be available (at the dome) the whole week,” Bammert said. “Everyone is looking for (sporting event) space, but it’s difficult to get them in here.
“It would be nice to get some more track meets in the dome, but I just can’t.”
There’s always hope the weather pattern will change for the better so the Upper Peninsula’s already brief prep sports schedule can see some events held instead of mostly seeing postponements and cancellations.
But with snow still flying and rain forecast, don’t hold your breath.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org