Ed Puskas: Mother Nature isn’t cooperating


If the Mahoning Valley’s high school spring sports teams are going to have much of a season, they’re apparently going to have to pry it out of Mother Nature’s cold, dead fingers.

The weather has all of us feeling a little cold on the outside and dead inside these days.

Even track meets — such as Saturday’s Lew Speece Invitational at Western Reserve High School — are being called off because of bad weather.

And this isn’t even the worst spring we’ve had. I once drove back from a Cleveland Indians home opener in a blizzard and counted 25-30 cars either in the median or off the right side of the highway.

It’s spring in Ohio. Wait five minutes and the weather will change. Instead of 32 and flurries, we’ll have 72 and thunderstorms. And then five minutes after that, the snow shovels will be out again.

There are two jobs you don’t want to have in the spring — high school athletic director and sports editor. Both do their best to schedule and reschedule around northeastern Ohio’s ever-changing daily conditions with varying degrees of success.

I can only speak for sports editors, but I doubt most ADs would disagree: When it comes to high school sports, it’s always easier to deal with fall and winter sports than to try to keep up with spring sports and the weather.

Unless there is lightning, delays or postponements are rare in the fall. Winter sports are a little more dicey, given the possibility of snow days.

But the volume of events and scheduling issues are seriously multiplied in the spring, when baseball and softball teams play almost daily.

When those games are wiped out en masse, coaches or ADs must scramble to reschedule them.

That means that the daily high school schedule is in a constant state of flux. Ideally, our lingering winter will eventually give way to at least a couple of weeks of dry, warmer conditions.

But there is always the possibility — this is Ohio remember — that the cold and snow simply will be replaced by monsoon season.

It has happened. A few years ago, I remember some Mahoning Valley baseball and softball teams — especially those whose fields didn’t drain well — getting in barely a dozen games before tournaments began.

Already these first two-plus weeks of the spring, we’ve attempted to send reporters and photographers to multiple events only to be denied by Mother Nature.

And of course, there also is the personal tragedy of sports editors’ springs and summers being delayed.

A quick look at today’s forecast — 38 degrees, tops — ensured I wasn’t going to Progressive Field for the series finale between the Indians and Kansas City Royals.

If it’s 38 in Youngstown, it’s going to feel like 28 in Cleveland.

Fishing and golf are also out in these conditions.

But eventually, Mother Nature will relent. She has to, because I need an extended thaw in order to install the new mailbox I ordered on Amazon.

(Don’t tell President Trump about that.)

In a somewhat related note, thanks to Mr. Plow for shearing off and all but destroying the mailbox that served us so well for almost 20 years. Only a bungee cord, our Vindicator paper box and the weather are keeping her alive.

Write Vindicator Sports Editor Ed Puskas at epuskas@vindy.com and follow him on Twitter, @EdPuskas_Vindy.

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