Martinez: Prep spring sports endure through a waterlogged March

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant sports editor

Published:

 

High school coaches didn’t need a front-page story to tell them this has been one of the rainiest Marches on record in Clark County.

They’ve been fighting the deluge all season.

The wet weather has not just affected high school baseball, softball and tennis events.

Hockinson was supposed to host a boys soccer match against Washougal last week. But the Hawks’ field was so waterlogged that the match was moved to Washougal’s more weather-friendly turf field.

We’ve even seen girls golf matches get scrubbed as many area courses are under water in spots. It’s not good for anyone, the golfers or the course, to play a round of golf in conditions like that.

It’s been so bad I spoke to one retiree who had volunteered to be the scorekeeper for his granddaughter’s softball team. That is, until the weather became so wet, windy and cold that he decided to retire from being the scorekeeper — at least until the sun comes out again.

Who could blame him?

But even as wet as it’s been around here, many of the league schedules are really not in that bad of shape.

The Class 4A Greater St. Helens League baseball teams opened league play on March 20. The schedule called for most teams to head into spring break with four or five league games under their belt.

But even despite nearly constant showers, most 4A GSHL teams are only one game behind schedule as they enter spring break.

That’s because teams have taken advantage of any window in the weather that they’ve encountered.

When the sun popped out on Saturday, March 24 — a off day for most teams — the Heritage baseball team got caught up by playing a doubleheader against two different teams, a game against Evergreen and a game against Skyview.

In other cases, teams are deciding to forge ahead with scheduled games, even if it does rain.

On Friday, Fort Vancouver baseball coach Bryce McGrew put up a tweet on Twitter around 3 p.m. that the Trappers’ game with Mountain View was going ahead as scheduled at 4 p.m.

When I looked out the window around 4:15 p.m., it was pouring in downtown Vancouver.

Yet, the Trappers and Thunder got their game in. It was the only local baseball game reported on an otherwise damp Friday.

Normally, the trend during particularly wet springs is that during spring break — when there are hardly any prep events scheduled — that’s the week when the sun decides to show up, only to disappear once school resumes.

But this spring break, the wet weather isn’t going anywhere with the forecast calling for the chance of showers all week long.

I think the National Weather Service isn’t even trying any more. They just say “chance of showers” and go home. It’s kind of like playing roulette and just betting on black.

The odds are about the same.

Luckily, there are only five events on the prep schedule this spring break.

But here’s to hoping things start to dry out soon. On April 10, the Tuesday after spring break, there are 48 high school sporting events on the schedule, and that includes eight baseball and softball doubleheaders.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep editor for The Columbian. He can be reached by phone at (360) 735-4538 or tim.martinez@columbian.com