Wintry weather wreaks havoc with spring sports

Matt DeYoung • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:22 PM

A year ago, the summer-like spring weather made things easy for area prep spring sports teams.

That’s certainly not the case this year.

With winter weather advisories remaining in effect and temperatures not expected to budge out of the 30s for another several days, spring sports teams are getting the cold shoulder from Mother Nature.

The first casualties are beginning to role in.

Spring Lake’s varsity soccer team was supposed to host Coopersville on Wednesday, but that contest was postponed and may eventually be cancelled. That same holds true for Friday’s scheduled contest against West Ottawa.

The problems, according to Lakers’ coach Jeremy Thelen, are numerous.

“There’s snow on the field. We can’t even see the lines,” Thelen said. “It was clear last week, but the last two days have put snow back on the field.

“Earlier in the week, we talked about playing at Coopersville on their turf field, but we can’t even do that in the snow.”

Thelen said that even practicing on his home field is out of the question until things warm up.

“It’s asking for long-term damage to our field,” he said.

To top it all off, the Lakers are just getting to know one another. Their opening day of tryouts was pushed back a day in order to allow students to attend the Lakers’ varsity boys basketball regional contest in Whitehall. That pushed cuts back a day, and the final varsity roster wasn’t decided until Friday.

“It would have been difficult to play (on Wednesday) regardless, but you deal with it,” Thelen said. “It’s a situation we knew was coming.”

Fruitport’s varsity girls soccer team has also postponed its opening game. The Trojans were supposed to play Caledonia on Friday. That game has been pushed back to May 22.

In Grand Haven, varsity golf coach Randy White has been trying to get his kids ready to hit the course without being able to get outside and play.

Instead, White has nets put up that his players can hit into, so at least they’re getting work on their swings.

Haven softball coach J.R. Senra has also had his team working out inside.

 “It’s an inconvenience for our team because obviously you can do a whole lot more outside,” Serna said. “We thought we could get outside a couple weeks ago when the fields were looking good, but then Mother Nature decides to bring us more snow.

“We’ve actually brought our batting cages inside, but we’re not using the actual hard softballs. A benefit to staying inside is being able to talk over different scenarios and let the girls visualize the different plays on the field.”

Spring Lake softball coach Bill Core said sharing gym time with all the different teams has been a challenge.

“It’s been awkward inside, with lots of people using gym space,” Core said. “Everybody is a little off their normal routine.”


Tonight’s varsity girls soccer game between Grand Haven and Western Michigan Christian has been canceled.

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