Breaking news read here first at the Tribune Chronicle: Spring in Ohio really just means more winter (no matter what the groundhog says), and spring sports did not get underway on March 31 like the Ohio High School Athletic Association intended.
I know, it's shocking. I'm sorry if you spit out your morning cup of coffee. But it is true. Spring sports are upon us, but unfortunately, Mother Nature never got the memo.
According to the high school powers that be in Columbus, baseball, softball, track and field and tennis were all supposed to get underway Saturday. The only events that were reported with a final score were a softball game between Struthers and Crestview and a track meet pinning Boardman against Youngstown Christian. I hope you all have warmed up. While not all teams had games on the slate for March 31, every school did next week.
Here's another piece of breaking news: Those probably won't get played, either.
Saturday night, freezing rain and a little bit of snow graced Trumbull County, and today's forecast calls for more cold temperatures and a little more snow.
Though Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all seem to be nice, spring days (50 and 60 degrees with no rain), once a bit of warmth and and sun hit those fields, it is going to create a mud pit at every high school field in the area. Track athletes will probably be able to get their meets in on Tuesday, but baseball and softball might be waiting a little bit longer to take the field.
This winter has been one of the worst in many years, but in no way shape or form is it going on any longer than some winter's past. I remember one year, I believe it was 2007, when games (by some miracle) began at the beginning of the season. It was early April, and I was covering Maplewood-Mathews game in a short-sleeved shirt and shorts.
The next day I woke up to 6 inches of snow and the next two weeks of the season being cancelled. I remember that some teams went into the tournament draw in May with less than 10 games under their belts.
Let's hope that this year is not going to be like that because frankly, there are too many good teams in the area this spring for winter to mess with the season.
On the baseball diamond, Ursuline and Springfield - two teams that advanced to the state tournament last year - could very well make runs at Columbus again. And when it comes to a tight race that will take all season to decide, look no further than the All-American Conference, Blue Division, with LaBrae, Newton Falls and Girard duking it out for a league title.
For the girls, Mathews and LaBrae are back again ready to make deep playoff runs in Divisions IV and III, respectively. Austintown Fitch, which won a district championship last season, has all the tools to make another run this year and is the favorite to win the All-American Conference, Red Tier. And don't forget about Ursuline, because the Fighting Irish will be contenders all year long.
Every year in track, the area is well represented at Jesse Owens Stadium - and this year will be no different. Look for the familiar names like Zallow and Rice as well as some new ones to be on the podium in June.
As for tennis, the names Aaron Paczak of Lakeview and Garrett Gardner of Poland will be making headlines this year.
It's a jam packed spring sports season and it's time to get it started.
Well, that is, after the snow melts.