The high school spring sports season is scheduled to start Saturday — for some.
It appears that track and field meets will be a go, but scheduled baseball and softball games might get postponed due to poor field conditions.
Two Saturday track and field meets — the Michael Beaven Invitational at Archbishop Hoban and the Brunswick Elite Meet — have fields that include several area schools and figure to be competitive.
Baseball, softball, lacrosse and boys tennis teams might have a more difficult time playing with snow and rain causing wet fields. Persistent cold temperatures through the winter and early spring have not helped, and have kept teams inside.
“We have not had practices outside yet,” Ellet softball coach Chuck Shuman said. “We haven’t even played catch outside. We actually practice in the gym after the boys.”
Ellet’s softball team is set to open Monday at Reservoir Park against East and Tuesday at FirstEnergy Field against North.
Ellet baseball coach John Sarver is also not sure if scheduled games against Firestone on Monday and Tuesday will take place. Firestone is set to host Monday, Ellet on Tuesday.
“We have had the same situation as everyone else,” Sarver said. “The toughest thing is we have had a couple of days where it would dry out and then we would get snow and the cold temperatures again.”
The frigid conditions are not welcome, and when the fields do start to thaw out, the remaining moisture on the field in the grass and dirt causes the surfaces to be unsafe.
Teams have become accustomed to practicing regularly in their gyms. Sarver said his pitchers and hitters get their work in, just like what other schools are doing.
“This has been a tough winter and everybody has gotten off to a little bit later start,” North Canton Hoover softball coach Jerry Goodpasture said. “It is what it is, though, and everybody has to deal with it.”
“We haven’t been outside yet. We hit every day off tees and have live pitching. We have had one indoor scrimmage [against Mentor and Brecksville] up at Kent State using their fieldhouse, about a week and a half ago.”
The track and field meet at Hoban is in its third year, and is set to include 15 girls teams and 14 boys teams. Area schools scheduled to participate are Hoban, Buchtel, Firestone, East, Ellet, Garfield, Kenmore, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Kent Roosevelt, Lake Center Christian and Our Lady of the Elms.
Field events start at 9 a.m. with running preliminaries at 11 a.m. and running finals set to begin at noon at Dowed Field.
The Brunswick meet will feature eight girls teams and seven boys team, including Medina, Brunswick, Buckeye and Strongsville. Field events will start at 10 a.m. and running events will begin at 12:15 p.m.
Firestone baseball coach Aaron DeBord is appreciative to Hudson coach Buddy Dice for allowing the Falcons to get in some practice with the Explorers.
“We got outside once,” DeBord said. “We actually got lucky and scrimmaged Hudson on their turf on the football field. We got in a full nine-inning baseball game. It was a little windy and cold, but it was great to get outside. We had the bases at regulation, a temporary mound and a backstop and the lines were shortened to about 250 feet.”
Nordonia baseball coach Drew Hoisington said he uses “the 35 degree weather line” as a determining factor on whether to practice inside or outside.
“We have been on our turf on the football field six or seven times, but not on our baseball field,” Hoisington said. “We have scrimmaged ourselves and also GlenOak.”
Nordonia is scheduled to open at Twinsburg on Monday, host Copley on Tuesday and play at Copley on Wednesday.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.