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Winter’s return plays havoc with schedules

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Events postponed or canceled because of snow

By Michael Hicks

The grass is green, flowers are blooming, and the birds are chirping. Those are typically the signs of spring. But not here. Not this year.
Old Man Winter’s unwelcome return in recent weeks has played havoc with the high school athletic sports schedule. Events have either been outright canceled or postponed multiple times. It’s causing a logistical nightmare for athletic directors to reschedule events for later in the season.
“It’s been crazy. You kind of feel bad for the kids. Baseball hasn’t played in two weeks. Now they play six games in six days next week,” Chatfield Senior athletic director Chad Broer said. “That’s the big thing for the kids who’ve been practicing for so long, and they’re not able to get a game in.”
But, as Broer said, the entire state is in the same boat.
And it’s not just the varsity teams; the JV and Level III squads have been affected, too. Schools are trying to get all the games in even if that means moving to a different site because a field is ready. But doing that also has a ripple effect, Broer said, where you have to deal with transportation issues, officials and coverage plans for the schools involved.
It’s quite different from a year ago, Broer said, when he didn’t have to reschedule one single event.
Roughly eight inches of snow fell in the area on April 15. More snow fell two days later to push the weekly total close to 20 inches in some portions of the state.
In Broer’s six years as AD at Chatfield, he’s never seen anything like this.
“Nothing at all,” he said. “Track has practiced outside only five times since late February, and we’re two months into it.”
Golf tournaments have particularly been subjected to the snowy forecast. The 5A Jeffco League tournament scheduled for Broken Tee Golf Course in Englewood has been rescheduled twice in recent weeks due to inclement weather. Originally scheduled for April 11 and then pushed back until April 18, it was later scheduled for April 23, but even that date was threatened by more wet weather.
“We’ve lost a lot of time on the golf course. You can hit into nets as much as you want, but it doesn’t give you that feel like when you’re on the practice range and on the golf course,” Columbine girls golf coach Tim Capra said. “When it’s nice, we’re going out and playing.”
Columbine scheduled practices for all three days this past weekend, including Sunday, though Capra, due to CHSAA rules, wasn’t allowed to be at that one. The practices were almost because of necessity since the players have lost so much time on the course this season.
“It’s been a nightmare. I can’t remember it being this bad in the last 12 years,” Capra said. “We’ve played three, and we should’ve been on our fifth.”

Contact Michael Hicks at sports@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 15.