Snowy startThe official start of spring was Sunday, Mar. 20, but after 11 inches of snow dropped on Jamestown this week, it seems the April flowers will be a little late this year.
The official start of spring was Sunday, Mar. 20, but after 11 inches of snow dropped on Jamestown this week, it seems the April flowers will be a little late this year.
The most recent snowfall has not only put a delay on Jamestown’s plant life but it has also been a setback to the spring sports season.
The Jamestown College softball team became the first team to feel the affects of the storm when the Jimmies’ doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday, Mar. 22 against the University of Mary was postponed.
“It might be another two weeks before we’re playing outdoors,” said Jamestown College softball coach Kevin Gall. “It’s hard to see the positives in that.”
The Jimmies, who haven’t played since Mar. 11, won’t have to worry about the weather this weekend when they compete in the Husky Dome Invitational in St. Cloud. The two-day tournament will be played in the comfortable confines of the Husky Stadium Dome located on the campus of St. Cloud State University, but a dome isn’t always available, especially in Dakota Athletic Conference play.
“We don’t necessarily like to be inside this time of year,” said Gall, who is in his 11th season as the Jimmie softball coach. “We’re fortunate enough to be able to play some indoor games this weekend, which will be good for our girls to get out and play again, but we would rather be playing outside.”
Jamestown College (6-10) is scheduled to host its first home game on April 2, but the latest snowfall has put a damper on the Jimmies being able to play at McElroy Park.
“The only thing we can do is blow the snow off the field and hope it dries in time,” Gall said. “But we can’t get out there because of the weight of the equipment. We could try to get 15 or 20 snow blowers and do it, but that would be tough.”
The Jimmie baseball team lost its weekend slate of games because of the wintery weather conditions, but Jamestown College will likely lose its first scheduled home game — Tuesday, Mar. 29 against Concordia — as well.
“I’d be lying if I say you ever get used to situations like this,” said Jimmie baseball coach Tom Hager. “You have certain expectations about winter in North Dakota, but when it gets this late it’s certainly frustrating and disruptive to your season.
“But at the same time there’s nothing we can do about the weather. We have to be flexible and creative with how we practice and how we stay sharp in preparing for when we do get on the field. Really, that’s all we can do.”
The Jimmies (8-4-1) are also scheduled to host a pair of doubleheaders on April 2 and April 3, but unless Mother Nature surprises the area with some warm weather over the next week, those games are in jeopardy of being rescheduled, too.
The Jamestown High School baseball team has yet to begin the season, but the Blue Jays have been cooped up indoors since beginning practice on Mar. 21.
The affects haven’t been too bad in the early stages of the Blue Jays’ practice sessions, but if Jamestown is forced to continue its practice sessions indoors, it could be a tough transition when the season begins.
“In baseball there’s so much repetition that is necessary to get your fundamental skills developed, so we can accomplish a lot of things indoors,” said JHS baseball coach Cory Anderson. “But after a couple of weeks inside, you’re going to be itching a little bit to get outside. It’s a little bit of a progressive thing for us, because normally we can find a parking lot a couple weeks into practice where we can get out and the outfielders can take some fly balls.”
The Blue Jays are scheduled to open the season April 1 as hosts to Bismarck St. Mary’s but there is a strong likeliness the season won’t get going until later in the month.
“You have to keep that as your target, but these kids have played a couple of years of high school baseball already so they know these first couple of weeks are iffy at best,” said Anderson. “I’m not sure if Jack Brown has ever had a game played on it before April.”
Every West Region doubleheader this season will have one conference game and one non-conference game, so if a doubleheader is washed away because of snow or rain, the next time the two teams meet both games will go as conference games.
“In our situation, we’ve got a couple of opportunities built in to get both (West Region) games done,” Anderson said. “The athletic directors did a nice job of getting that set up.”
It’s not just the diamond dwellers that could be hurt by the late-March snowfall. Both Jamestown College and JHS track and field, soccer and golf teams, and the JHS girls’ tennis team are all scheduled to begin in April.
“It’s the hand that you’re dealt. ... There’s not much we can do about it,” said Anderson. “We stress to control the controllable, but this isn’t one we can control.”
Sun sports writer David Griswold can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org