Thursday, August 21, 2014
   
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Frustrating! One word describes spring sports

Gothenburg High School athletic director Seth Ryker is probably getting tired of looking at weather forecasts.

Ongoing wintry weather this spring has caused Ryker—and most other A.D.’s in the state—to become adept at on-the-fly schedule changes. Much work on those schedules completed long before the start of the 2012-13 school year has been turned topsy turvy.

“I can’t ever remember weather impacting schedules to this extent, particularly in the spring,” Ryker said. “It kind of feels like we’re nearing the end of the track season, but from a weather standpoint we’re just getting started.”

Gothenburg’s track teams will compete Saturday in the Southwest Conference meet at Broken Bow. The SWC meet is typically thought of as a late-season meet.

“We’re 2 1/2 weeks away from districts,” Swede track coach Steve Reeves said.

Gothenburg’s girls track team missed the Sidney Invitational early in the season because of the weather and the boys and girls stayed last week when the Lexington Invitational was cancelled.

Still, the biggest casualty may be outdoor practices.

“We are very fortunate to have indoor facilities that we can utilize whether it be the gym (or elsewhere),” Reeves said.

For years, athletes vaulted inside early in the season while waiting for warmer weather to arrive. This year, the pits have been outside for a few weeks limiting practice time to good-weather days.

Main Street gets busy at the school after classes end for the day. That’s the name for the lobby area between the performing arts center and the high school/superintendent offices.

“We can get some interval type training,” the coach said. “We’ve got a hall that’s probably about 80 meters long. We can do ups-and-backs or shuttle relays. And we utilize the wrestling room.”

Cold conditions have been equally trying for the Swede golfers.

Cold and wet weather, sometimes with snow on the ground, has made courses unplayable for meets and practices. Several meets have been cancelled and others moved to new dates.

“It would definitely make a difference if we could actually get out and practice and hit balls,” coach Don Graham said, “and hopefully we could make some progress. It has just been a struggle to do any of that.”

Ryker points out that it is particularly frustrating for the athletes.

“That’s the group I feel sorry for this spring,” he said. “Our kids are working just as hard as in any other spring. Their daily practice routine does not change a great deal. They just lose the opportunity to compete. They are working just as hard.”

Once a cool, wet weather system goes through the area by mid-week, warmer temperatures and mostly sunny skies are forecast for the next week.

For Gothenburg coaches and athletes, it can’t come too soon.