Why are spring sports already here?

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Nate Waggenspack

This column typically is reserved for something positive about sports, but this week I have to use the space to do a little complaining.

On Feb. 23, Colorado High School Activities Association Assistant Commis­sioner Bert Borg­mann sent an e-mail titled “CHSAA Begins 93rd Year of Spring Sports.” Spring sports aren’t the problem. I love track and baseball and getting back outside. It’s the timing I take issue with, because February doesn’t qualify as the spring.

I’ve got no problem with Bert specifically, but come on. Despite the 40-degree temperatures we’ve been experiencing in Craig the past three weeks, it’s not springtime.

By and large, spring sports (such as track, baseball and soccer) are played outdoors, and in spite of the sun’s best melting efforts there’s still some snow on the ground in Craig.

Last year was my first spring sports season in Colorado, and I couldn’t believe it began so soon. Coming off a more severe winter, the idea of playing baseball in the first week of March was so inane it was funny. I watched the girls golf team practicing indoors with foam balls.

How in the world are you supposed to get better at golf inside an elementary school gym?

Part of this is a regional disadvantage Craig always will have to deal with. But last year, the soccer and baseball teams had postponed games at home and on the road. They barely played in the first couple weeks of the season because the field conditions weren’t good (if you could even see the field) anywhere.

Oh, right. I haven’t mentioned the craziest part. The winter sports season isn’t even close to being over yet! Yes, swimming, wrestling and hockey athletes are done and can move on to their spring sports of choice. But basketball is a much higher participation sport across the state and has both boys and girls teams competing in the winter season.

The 4A and 5A schools have reached their tournament time, and a majority of schools in those classifications have seen their seasons end.

But in 1A, 2A and 3A? The classes where there’s going to be more spillover between sports? Most everybody still is playing as of this weekend.

Both of Moffat County’s basketball teams, which are filled with girls soccer, baseball and track and field athletes still are playing. They’re also both guaranteed to be playing next weekend, when all three of those spring sports teams have their first game of the season scheduled.

What’s the rush all about? Half these early season games will need to be moved anyway.

It’s time for CHSAA to recognize the universal concept of spring beginning in mid-March and start treating its sports that way.

Nate Waggenspack will step off his soapbox now. Contact him at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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