Paul Valencia: After break, it’s time to work

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter

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It’s Spring Break and I’m not really here.

Hope you aren’t here, either.

Here is wherever you’d normally be if it were not Spring Break. So again, I hope you are there or there or even over there, but not here.

Still, when we all return from all points of the compass, we all will have a lot of work.

The coaches will try to find a way to get their athletes back in the proper mindset. Vacation’s over, you know.

The athletes will try to listen to their coaches, not their hearts, still stuck in Southern California or some other sunny destination some of them might have ventured to during the break.

And we at The Columbian will sprint to catch up, too.

One of the things I am most proud of working here is our commitment to writing at least one feature every season from every sport sanctioned by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. Of course, football and basketball will always get plenty of coverage. But we also make sure all the so-called little sports get at least one day when the focus is on them.

This can make for a hectic pace in the spring.

Soon after Clark County’s remarkable basketball season -- two girls state championship teams, a boys team that finished third -- we completed our winter sports All-Region teams. Then we decided to write features on the traditional team sports of spring: baseball, softball and soccer.

Now, everyone’s on break. But when we return, look for stories in the coming weeks on girls track and field, boys track and field, girls golf, and girls tennis.

There is no set schedule, but all sports will be highlighted at least once. There is no set timetable, but we better not slack off in our efforts. Before we know it, April will be over, and the postseason will begin in May.

Spring sports provide few breaks, unless the weather forces one. A little secret among those of us on the sports staff is none of us really, really mind a day or two of torrential rain. It gives us a breather from time to time.

However, none of us care for what we have endured through the first few weeks of this sports season. The high school schedule is a joke. We just have to be ready to have more events called in than what we expected on any dry day because of make-up games.

(By the way, I figure my boss isn’t here, either. So don’t tell him I’m going to run away next Tuesday. You know, when there are 48 events scheduled. ... Just kidding. I think.)

Actually, we can deal with it. Plus, we have motivation. We know you are reading. The Internet tells us so. So it must be true.

While spring sports are not as “popular” as fall and winter sports, the numbers from 360preps.com tell us that there are still plenty of readers for the high school scoreboard in the spring. How did Battle Ground baseball do yesterday? What about Camas softball? Did that dude from Heritage set the state record?

Through the years, I’ve told athletic directors and coaches that I would prefer that spring sports wait until after spring break to begin, anyway. This year, Mother Nature tried to tell them, too.

It’s not going to happen.

Yet for many of us journalists, and a lot of fans, too, next week is the unofficial start of spring sports and the push for the postseason.

The Columbian will be here, fresh off a break.

Paul Valencia covers high school sports for The Columbian. He can be reached at 360-735-4557 (but he won’t answer this week) or e-mail at paul.valencia@columbian.com.