Tim Martinez: Sun goes away just in time for spring sports openers

Commentary: Tim Martinez

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor



It’s the first full week of the spring sports season, so that’s means I’m going to discuss — what else — the weather.

Actually, I’m going to try to make a point of writing about the spring weather this season, because the discussion if futile. When it comes to spring weather in the Northwest, it’s always the same and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.

It was just odd that after the lovely, spring-like weather at the end of last week — when few teams could take advantage of it to play regular-season games — you just knew the weather was going to turn just in time for the bulk of the spring season to begin this week.

The WIAA requires that athletes complete 10 full days of practices before being eligible to compete in regular-season events.

With the first day of spring practice falling on Feb. 25, if a team practices six days the first week (Feb. 25-March 2) and four days the next (March 4-7), the earliest possible competition day would have fallen last Friday.

That’s the model the Union boys soccer team followed when the Titans opened their season with a 1-1 tie against Eastlake of Sammamish.

It’s a tricky thing to do — play games so early. If a key player or two misses a practice, teams can find themselves short-handed. This is especially true for soccer because many players have weekend club commitments.

That was a factor in Camas’ boys soccer opener. The Papermakers took on perennial power Skyline on Saturday with only one eligible substitute. Camas jumped out to a 2-0 lead. But penalties led to free kicks and a penalty kick for Skyline and the Spartans went home with a 3-2 win.

That game was one of six events played Saturday involving local teams. And all six were reported to us. Way to go, coaches!

That’s the hardest part about reporting on spring sports. If a result doesn’t get reported, it’s hard to tell if the coach just forgot to report it to us or if the event was postponed.

The forecast every day through Wednesday is the same in Clark County — highs near 60 with a 60 percent chance of showers. I believe that’s just the standard forecast for any day here in March or April.

By Thursday, things look brighter in the forecast. But by Thursday, everything could change.

All-Region vote

Thanks to everyone who participated in our first Columbian All-Region boys and girls basketball fan vote.

We had nearly 1,200 votes cast in our girls basketball ballot, and nearly 700 in our boys basketball ballot.

Not sure how to explain the discrepancy in numbers, other than girls basketball fans do a better job of getting the vote out.

And we also had a majority of our area coaches participate in their own balloting.

Now, we did get some fans expressing their concern that we are turning our annual All-Region honor into a popularity contest.

But it should be pointed out that there were some checks and balances in place to prevent that from happening.

In order to make the final All-Region team — the boys team is published in Monday’s edition of The Columbian and the girls will be published Tuesday — a player must have been selected by at least two of the three selecting bodies — The Columbian staff, the coaches and the fans.

In other words, if fans wanted to stuff the ballot box in favor of a player, that player’s selection must have been confirmed by either the coaches or The Columbian staff to make the final team.

On both the boys and girls teams, 11 of the 12 players The Columbian selected for All-Region honors made the final All-Region team. So we feel good about the process.

And after these vote turnouts — to go along with the 1,500 votes cast in the fall for our football team — we’ll look to continue the process in the spring with teams like baseball, softball and soccer.

Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, tim.martinez@columbian.com or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.