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Dampened Spirits: wet weather not doing any favors for prep sports
by Dan Eckles
Mar 23, 2011 | 920 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mother Nature continues to wreak havoc on northern Nevada's high school athletic schedules. One of the wettest Marches the Truckee Meadows has seen in recent memory does not look like it is drying out any time soon.

Wednesday morning's snow and rain showers forced the cancellation of a handful of sporting events for athletic teams at the three Sparks-area high schools. The biggest Wednesday event to fall victim to the wet weather was the Rail City Track & Field Championships presented by Scheels and the Sparks Tribune.

The inaugural meet was going to be held at Sparks High School and pit the top track and field athletes from Sparks, Reed and Spanish Springs against each other.

"We got the bad weather this morning and we weren't sure what it would do. We didn't want to get to a point where we couldn't do it," said Sparks track coach Adam Barrett, alluding to a scenario that saw the meet begin but then be called off midway through because of late afternoon or evening showers. "We figured if we held it, we'd have a small crowd and that was a factor also. By moving it, hopefully, we'll get a better turnout and more people supporting the athletes."

Barrett, along with his coaching counterparts at Reed and Spanish Springs have found an open date on April 19 on which to re-schedule the meet.

"It had been built up so that was kind of disappointing to have to reschedule," Barrett said. "On the positive side, we get a few more weeks to train and the kids from all three schools should be a little faster."

Officials at the Sparks Tribune and Scheels were frustrated with the weather woes as well. Both companies have been working to coordinate the event for the past two months.

"It is certainly frustrating. The weather has rained on our parade a bit," Sparks Tribune publisher Ed McCaffrey said. "We were looking forward to putting on a nice event, a unique event, for the local high school athletes. When you see everyone work so hard to make something come to fruition, and then circumstances beyond your control call it off, that's tough to take. But we'll do our best host a positive, fun event next month. Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate."

Sparks High Athletic Director Rob Kittrell was among those disappointed in the forced stoppage of Wednesday's events.

"We don't get many chances to compete against Reed and Spanish Springs anymore," Kittrell said. "We were all looking forward to doing so and hosting them at what we feel is our nice facility. Hopefully, on April 19 we'll have 70 degree weather and no wind.

"The weather this spring has been one of the worst that I can remember for this time of year. It's been relentless every day with snow and rain. the fields are so saturated."

In addition the to the track meet, Sparks High athletic officials were forced to call off a non-league softball game the local school was supposed to host against Portola, Calif. Kittrell pointed out this with his school not being a Northern 4A member, almost all of its opponents come from outside of Sparks-Reno. With out-of-town travel involved that can force schools to call off events earlier than needed.

"Part of the deal is being a smaller school, we play a lot of out-of-town teams," he said Wednesday afternoon. "Then you have to make decision a little earlier because you don't want a team to travel, get here, then maybe play an inning or two and turn around to go back if it rains again, especially in these times where we're really trying to save money. As I sit here now, the sun is starting to come out. It's a typical northern Nevada spring day."

Inclement weather last weekend forced schools to postpone Saturday's baseball and softball games. Some of those games were made up Monday and or Tuesday, but others were not. Reed baseball was set to make up its missed Saturday road game against Douglas on Wednesday. That did not happen.

There does not seem to be much light at the end of the tunnel. Weather.com showed rain and snow showers in the forecast into the weekend, with little relief until Sunday.

Spanish Springs got its varsity baseball and softball contests from last weekend made up earlier this week, but had to call off a JV baseball make-up game on Wednesday. SSHS Athletic Director Art Anderson said even if today does not bring precipitation, scheduled events are still in limbo because of saturated fields.

"As it stands right now, we won't play," Anderson said, stressing his school's fields are too wet to utilize regardless of whether it rains more today.

Spanish Springs baseball is supposed to host North Valleys in a single game today at 3:45 p.m. while its softball squad is set to play at Carson.

"If we don't get a break in the weather, I don't know what we'll do," Anderson said. "I'm going on my fifth year as AD and I don't remember it ever being this bad in the spring. I don't remember canceling a single game last year."
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