Mother Nature dominating athletics this spring

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DENVER - Mother Nature is raining havoc on Colorado high school athletics this season.

After an early winter that brought little moisture the past two months have been cold, soggy and at times piled high with snow. Soccer fields, lacrosse fields and baseball fields, as well as tennis courts, and track and field, have had no tracks and no fields to practice on, yet alone play on, as teams should be in the middle of league play.

Instead, storm after storm has been pounding Colorado since the start of the spring sports season and Colorado high school athletes have been the victims of Mother Nature’s rainy games.

“It’s been horrible,” Arvada West athletic director Steve Anderson said. “It is the worst season we have had in 13 years. We haven’t been able to really get the season going.

Yet again, after rain and snow on Monday teams are forced to scramble this week to reschedule games/matches/and meets that were already rescheduled due to previous weather.

“It has been tough not only for the schedule and for the coaches to try and get all of these games in, but for the athletes as well,” Golden athletic director David Zukin said. “They haven’t had a chance to really get into the swing of things this spring and instead have been indoors itching to get out and perform.”

Monday’s small but still soggy snow brought Denver’s snow total to nearly 17 inches, over eight inches more than normal.

It is turning into one of the snowiest Aprils in recent history and although that maybe great for the state which needed the moisture, it has been a nightmare for high school sports.

“We have been forced to do a lot of conditioning and things to stay in shape, which is really all you can do indoors. But there are not a lot of tennis type activities you can go in a gym,” Golden tennis coach Brad Nash said.

The Colorado High School Activities Association has estimated well over 1,000 cancellations and postponements and assistant commissioner Bert Borgmann called this season the worst in 25 years.

Presenting another problem is the rescheduling of umpires, officials and referees. In addition, schools have to find a way to reschedule around tests, prom, upcoming graduation, as well as other obstacles.

The real victims are many of the junior varsity teams who have a tougher time finding ways to reschedule games. Many of those JV games will not end up getting played.

“One thing I keep saying is the weather has been the same for all of the teams and all of the schools so it kind of equals the playing field,” Pomona Track and Field coach Jeff Donnel said. “If the playing field ever dries enough for us to play on.”

Still, several athletic directors around Jeffco said that all of the cancelled and postpones league games will get played, even if it means playing double headers and on back-to-back-to-back days.

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