The final basketball games have been played. The winter high school sports season has come to a close.
Now it’s time to head outdoors.
I know the second week of March isn’t always friendly to heading outside to play, or watch, sporting events. But it could be worse.
Remember last year when spring sports athletes opened practices dodging snow flurries and sleet? I remember going to a girls golf jamboree where the ponds around the course still had a layer of ice on them.
I also remember going to the first baseball game of the season – the opening night at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex – and it was 36 degrees. Also, the enclosed press box wasn’t ready to host anyone yet. I very much remember that.
The forecast this week is much friendlier. Days this week look to be mostly dry with highs in the mid 50s.
Not exactly beach weather, but not 36 degrees either.
The first prep event of the spring in Southwest Washington was scheduled for Monday, as Heritage, Fort Vancouver and Washougal play a girls golf match at Orchard Hills Country Club in Washougal.
The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association does not require golfers to have the 10-practice minimum before their first match, so golfer get an early tee time in the spring prep season.
Thursday is the first day with multiple golf matches on the schedule.
There are also several preseason jamborees this week for baseball, softball and boys soccer. Saturday is the first day with a hefty amount of baseball, softball and soccer matches on the schedule.
So get outdoors. Just remember to bring a jacket.
All-Region vote opens
While waiting for the spring season to get going, you could spend some time casting a vote for the All-Region girls basketball team.
Online voting started Sunday night and will continue through Thursday, when voting for the boys basketball All-Region team will begin.
We’ve been doing these votes for a while, but I still feel the need to explain some things about them.
So keep in mind that …
We are not turning the selection of the All-Region team into a popularity contest. The selections made by fans will be combined with picks made by area coaches and The Columbian staff to create the final team.
So if fans from a certain school flood the ballot with votes for a player who does not garner many votes from coaches or us, then that player won’t make the final team.
In fact, flooding the ballot with votes from players from one particular school actually diminishes the impact of the fan vote.
Be discerning when making selections and try to vote for the most deserving players, regardless of where your personal allegiances reside. In past votes, the fans have done a pretty good job of this.
Coaches, you should have received an email invitation to cast your votes. If you have not, contact me and I will make sure you do.
Don’t email me saying you want to vote for just one player. If you can email, you can go online and vote. Also, we require you vote for at least six players, not just your daughter or grandson or next-door neighbor.
Remember, this All-Region team will be truly All-Region, with players from Kelso, Mark Morris, R.A. Long, Castle Rock and Columbia-White Salmon on the vote, along with schools on our previous ballots.
The All-Region basketball teams will be unveiled next week. This week, we unveiled outstanding athletes in the other winter sports.
Tim Martinez is the assistant sports editor/prep coordinator for The Columbian. He can be reached at (360) 735-4538, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow his Twitter handle @360TMart.