Here we are heading into the month of May and, at least where prep sports in Colorado are concerned, it sure doesn’t feel like spring has sprung.
Games have been cancelled, postponed, rescheduled and rescheduled again. Now baseball teams, and most other field sports teams, across the state are looking at a final stretch in which they will try to complete as many games as possible. For some, that means they will be playing nearly every day.
“It’s been a little bit of a struggle,” Legacy baseball coach Ty Giordano said. “Seems like games are in bunches. You have to play four games in four days, and then you’re off for a week and a half then you have to play four games in four days. You’re back and forth. Now with the weather coming this weekend it looks like it’s going to be the same thing.”
Even with the season backed up as it is, rain, sleet and snow cancelled dozens of St. Vrain Valley School District and Boulder Valley School District games scheduled this week. But for Giordano, whose team is 11-2 and ranked eighth in Class 5A by the CHSAANow.com poll, his focus remains on winning the Lightning’s final four games. Those four games are scheduled for an eight-day span, and that’s not factoring in the potential for more cancellations.
“Perhaps Tuesday we’ll be in trouble because we’re supposed to have rain through Monday, so now we’re looking at playing four games again next week,” Giordano said. “But you know what? The bottom line is you just have to play the game every day you come out you’ve gotta pitch, you’ve gotta throw, you’ve gotta be able to field the baseball, you’ve gotta be able to play defense, you’ve gotta be able to hit, you’ve gotta run bases correctly.
“You have to do all of those things. If you do that, if you’re good in all three phases of the game, you have a chance of winning. If you’re not good in all three phases of the game, you’re probably going to lose.”
The Erie Tigers are another example of how the weather has created problems for prep baseball teams, especially with the new pitch count limitations that were put in place for this season. After playing seven games in seven days, the Tigers had to pitch a junior varsity player in the second game of a doubleheader on Thursday.
“Unfortunately, we’re in a position where our pitching is just backed up,” Tigers head coach Harold Simmons said.
While baseball teams have struggled to complete their schedules, other sports like track and field and golf have struggled more. Even schools like Silver Creek, which has had better luck than some in terms of baseball and soccer, have seen their other sports schedules decimated.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate in terms of our sports,” Silver Creek athletic director Martin Tonjes said. “In terms of soccer, we went early and often with our nonleague games and that freed up the last couple weeks for our league schedule. With baseball, we have been able to get a lot of our varsity games in at the next playable date but the weather has really affected the lower levels. Golf, track and tennis have been really affected because the storms have been on or near weekends and that’s made it hard for our kids to compete and qualify.”