Weather frustrates start of spring sports at Polytech

WOODSIDE — Spring sports are beginning their training, but has the recent snow and cold draft made that nearly impossible?

From track and field to lacrosse, many sports got their start of the official spring season on a rainy March 1. Unfortunately, the weather is not matching the spring sports season that has arrived.

“There’s a number of challenges, one obviously is finding a location,” said Czar Bloom, Polytech’s track and field coach. “With the type of week we’ve had this past week, weather has definitely played a role to where we can practice.”

Polytech senior Grace Stang passes the ball to junior Madison Knight during an indoor lacrosse practice. Photo by Maureen Iplenski/Special to the Delaware State News

Many practices are not only limited to the indoors, but is still restricted even then due to Polytech’s current construction for the refurbished cafeteria.
Regular season games and meets begin Wednesday for Delaware schools, the first date allowed under the state’s three weeks from the start of spring practices rule.

“We’ve had to do a lot of our practices inside and we have limited space because of the construction,” said Polytech senior Jamie Ryan who participates on the track and field team. “So we’ve had to cut a lot of our practices short because we have limited space inside and have to share the space with other sports.”

Distance runner Jacob Stafford runs along the cross-country trail at Polytech High School. Special to the Delaware State News/Maureen Iplenski

The challenges of each of these sports having to work around the dreadful weather include limited space for after school practices, a decline in practice opportunities available, disappointed potential team members, and more.
”Warm weather is more encouraging and positive, and spirits high you know. Right now you gotta motivate people through preseason, so they’re out of shape,” said Bloom. “Then you have to convince them to come out in some 30-degree weather. If we’re indoors, we’re all just trying to find a spot and right now we’re all, all our sports teams are sharing one gym and a few little cubby holes here and there.
“So it makes it really difficult, but everyone’s in the position I guess, so we’ll survive, we’ll get through it. It makes us tougher.”

Due to the current circumstances, first games and meets have had to be postponed.

Also schedules have been pushed later into the season, meaning potential difficulties with the incoming summer heat as the season comes to an end.

”We were originally scheduled March 22nd, unfortunately that meet has been postponed to a little bit later date,” said Mr. Bloom.

The track team opens its season Friday at the A.I. du Pont Relays.

The late winter causing all of this chaos included the snow-ice mixture covering the majority of the northeastern region of the United States, including Delaware.

Teams made adjustments to adapt to the situation by coordinating with other spring sports teams and finding creative ways to prepare for the season from inside.

”We’ve kind of just taken advantage of the fact that we are inside to kind of slow down and focus more on drills and technique work rather than rushing into full on practice,” said Ryan. “But it is a little bit frustrating sometimes when you can only do technique stuff and drills.”

For some spring sports teams, the difficulty of working around the weather is encouragement to work harder and more so as a team. Therefore they are attempting to use the weather to their advantage.

“Sometimes practices get to be a little bit monotonous doing the same things so your next challenge is ‘how to be creative,’” said Polytech baseball coach George Eilers. “Put the kids in a competitive environment so that they enjoy coming to an inside practice because baseball is an outdoor sport so it’s somewhat frustrating for the kids to always have to be inside when they wanna get outside and play the game the way it was intended to play.”

Torie Seagraves is a senior broadcast media student at Polytech High School.

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