Shane Dunaway: Rainy weather biggest nuisance for spring sports

Published 8:00 am Saturday, April 9, 2022

Spring may be the worst time of year for high school coaches, their players and the reporters who would love to cover a live game.

If only the weather would cooperate.

It seems like we can’t go a week without a severe batch of storms dropping an excessive amount of rain and forcing the postponement of some of our baseball and softball games, soccer and tennis matches, and other springtime sporting events.

I’m sure it likely gets on the nerves of our area coaches. I imagine it must be difficult trying to build and maintain momentum when the fields are too drenched for practice. Or even worse, having to figure out where to plug in those all-important area games that must be played before the regular season ends if a make-up date is required.

At my previous stop in this business, I remember an evening where I called Winterboro head baseball coach Alex Johnson for an interview. He told me he’d have to call me back because he was using a Shop-Vac to vacuum the water off the tarps covering the baseball field.

I had never realized just how much work went into keeping some of these high school fields ready for play, especially at schools in lower classifications where the money may not be in the budget for a field that drains well.

For me, the rain is the bane of my existence – a pain that hinders my flow from a logistics and planning point of view. It ruins what should have been a great day for some sports.

If I make plans to cover a game, and the rain keeps that particular game from being played, it brings about feelings of frustration because I’ve been robbed of an opportunity to highlight our area teams.

It’s even worse when it comes to regional tournaments. It’s not a fun time being hunkered down in a press box at Munny Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa in 2019 watching the rain come down so hard, it washed away the baselines and batter’s box, but I was fortunate to see some great softball, once the rain left, as Pell City qualified for the state tournament in that season.

We’re getting closer to the end of our respective spring sports seasons. I would hope that means we’re near the end of all this nasty weather, but looking at the forecast for next week, it doesn’t leave me with much optimism.

Blame it on the rain.