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Area high school sports teams struggling to get events completed

Apr. 12—Spring weather is often a challenge for area athletic directors and coaches.

Rain, wind and cold temperatures make sports contests a challenge to complete.

It's still early in the month of April, but area athletic directors are feeling the pinch and hoping for warm dry weather ... very soon.

"If you have been doing this for awhile, you know this [losing games] is going to happen, but this lines up as one of the worst years [so far]," Conneaut Athletic Director Joel Taylor said.

Taylor said he coached baseball in the past there were years when the weather cleared and competitions came quickly and without much rest.

"I can remember when we played every day of the week," he said.

It can be a real problem for baseball coaches that have to adjust pitching staffs on a day to day basis.

Fortunately, Taylor feels there is still time to get a lot of events in, but it will be challenging.

"I think you have to resign yourself to the fact you may not get your full season in," he said.

While baseball and softball games are often a challenge to complete in early spring, track has even become an issue this year.

Taylor said a Thursday track meet was cancelled because of the possibility of lightning and it would also reduce the quality of the competition.

He said the rains came and pole vault could not have been competed, and several other field events were likely in danger as well.

Saint John Athletic Director Nick Iarocci said teams got excited with 65 degrees for a scrimmage in 65 degree weather in early March.

But then the rain and cold returned with a vengeance.

Iarocci said the Heralds' baseball and softball teams have only two contests that need rescheduled, but could lose another two in the next several days.

The Northeastern Athletic Conference has teams facing each other twice during the season, however, only the first game counts towards the league standings so make ups aren't as essential.

"They [area coaches and athletic directors] said I would be baptized in the spring," Jefferson Area High School Athletic Director Greg Juhola said. "They were right. I've had to cancel two junior high track meets because of lightning."

The work load changes from winter to spring as athletic directors spend long nights at area gymnasiums.

But the spring becomes one long set of telephone calls and texts.

"I keep a charger on me at all times," Juhola said.

He said the Falcons' baseball and softball teams have lost about five games each, and boys tennis has only played three times.

Pymatuning Valley High School Athletic Director Mel Nowakowski said the year is not too far out of the regular experience.

"It's normal," she said. "People will say this is the worse year ever, but they are all bad."

Nowakowski said she did think this may be the worst year for track with several meets getting cancelled due to weather. She said the Lakeview Relays scheduled for last Friday was cancelled because of wind chill concerns.