Weather freezes out spring sports

Competitions, practices impacted by unusual conditions

Freshman+Eva+Taybior+lines+up+to+swing+April+20.+Softball+has+been+unable+to+practice+outside+due+to+poor+weather.

Ari Lissauer

Freshman Eva Taybior lines up to swing April 20. Softball has been unable to practice outside due to poor weather.

Tobias Khabie

While Minnesota weather normally forces spring sports to delay its seasons or move indoors, athletic director Andy Ewald said this year’s conditions have had an unprecedented impact on the season.

“In the past, we might have had the first week or so (delayed) for a couple of days, but (as of 4/19) we haven’t played a softball game, we’ve played one baseball game, we haven’t played a lacrosse game,” Ewald said.

Besides synchronized swimming, which is an indoor sport, every team has felt the impact of the adverse and unexpected weather conditions. According to senior Carlitos Anguita-Smith, the track team had to move indoors to practice, making runners practice in a smaller area.

“It’s very difficult to get outside when it’s really cold and track is much better outside because doing it in inside spaces is difficult,” Anguita-Smith said. “You have to change direction a lot, which really hurts your shins, and it’s a lot harder to get in better workouts.”

For many teams, moving indoors is the only option, which Ewald says can be very difficult to work out logistically as teams have to make sacrifices.

“We sit down and schedule practices and try to make it as equitable as possible. We’re realizing what teams are bigger, what teams are smaller, what teams might have more middle school kids on it,” Ewald said. “Everybody’s pretty understanding. Everybody is tired of being inside and wanting to get outside.”

Baseball head coach Brian Kelly said he’s tried to keep spirits up due to indoor practices, as well as ensuring the team can work out as much as possible.

“It’s tough, we do a lot of indoor stuff and just grind, using the gym and everything like that. We just stay mentally ready and balanced and have fun,” Kelly said.

Practice is valuable, you practice for a reason. This forces our coaches and our kids and our programs to be resilient”

— Andy Ewald

While many teams are forced to stay indoors, senior and girls lacrosse captain Ryan Rasmussen said the team has practiced outdoors and made adjustments due to the weather.

“It’s been really cold and when it’s been really windy out, it’s hard to have control of what you’re doing and where the ball is going,” Rasmussen said. “We’ve had to shorten our practices by 30 minutes almost every other day just so we can stay warm.”

As for competitions, Ewald said teams will likely have to make up postponed games by using practice days for competition. 

“It’s going to cram everything basically into the month of May,” Ewald said. “We’re going to have four to five weeks where it’s going to be match or game, match or game, and we’re not going to get a ton of practice.”

Rasmussen said in order for teams to be able to compete in such a condensed manner, players have to take advantage of any practice they have, no matter the conditions.

“We have to work as hard as we can during practice, and get as much done as possible and just push,” Rasmussen said.

Despite the negative implications the weather has brought, Ewald said there is a silver lining in the teams being able to adjust to the adverse conditions.

“Practice is valuable, you practice for a reason. This forces our coaches and our kids and our programs to be resilient,” Ewald said. “But anytime you have a chance to grow as a person and to be resilient, it’s a good thing for everything in your life.”