The temperatures may have gone up but snow from recent storms still covers the ground.
While the roads have been cleared, the playing fields and courts have not been, causing high school spring sports teams to move practices indoors.
“We’re a week and a half in right now and nothing but snow on the ground,” said Smith-Cotton girls soccer coach Shawn Cairer. “They’ve been very patient with the facilities we’ve had to work with.”
Cairer’s team found a practice facility in the junior high gym.
“Being cooped up in the gym, it’s obviously hard to get what we need done,” said Lady Tigers forward Jack Greer. “We haven’t really had a chance to spread it out and work on positions and we can’t get many shots because we don’t have a goal. It’s taken a toll on the goalies.”
Even as the snow melts, the tennis courts are soaked, so the Smith-Cotton tennis team set up shop on a volleyball practice court in the high school gym, hitting balls over an indoor net.
“The surface is not like a tennis court but we still get to work on our form, which is essential,” said junior Logan Fluty.
Practicing indoors has allowed the team to work on other things.
“We’re probably in the best condition we’ve been in since I’ve been here,” said senior Noah Shepard. “We usually just run the whole practice and do some light tennis drills.”
The weather has meant that coach Heather Clancy has not been able to see her team play challenge matches against each other and hasn’t been able to determine her lineup.
“I hope at least Tuesday we can get out and we can challenge each other and I can get an idea of who’s going to be where,” she said.
The Smith-Cotton baseball team is more used to being indoors.
“We’re pretty fortunate because we have indoor hitting facilities,” said coach Jeff Mays. “We’re hitting every day and our pitchers are throwing three days a week. I can get about all I need to get done inside; it’s just not as much field work.”
Mays said there have been years when the team has taken the field for its first game without being outside.
Other Smith-Cotton spring sports teams would rather get some practice time outdoors before the season begins.
“I wish the snow would go away,” Greer said.