Archive for Wednesday, April 25, 2007

When it rains, it pours

Wacky Kansas weather has taken its toll on BLHS spring sports programs

April 25, 2007

An uncommonly cold and drizzly spring in Kansas has proved to be cruel to Basehor-Linwood sports.

Games have been canceled and rescheduled, practices have been moved indoors and coaches have searched for ways to ready their teams for battle without adequate preparation.

"It has been terrible," track coach Steve Hopkins said. "When it is wet, and you have to run inside, all of the field events suffer. You can't throw discus, you can't throw javelin, and you can't long jump. We can run, sprint and lift weights. But anything with technique it really hurts.

"We are probably two or three weeks behind because of this. Finally, on Thursday, we had some people jumping as far as I would have expected."

The weather really hit home for the BLHS track team. The squad's only home meet of the year was canceled and rescheduled twice, finally taking place last week.

"We will have, for the first time this Friday, a week of practice and then a meet since before spring break," Hopkins said. "Even if it rains a little bit at practice, we will have the right space between meets. Normally we have a five day week of preparation."

The team had another meet, the Baldwin Invitational, stretched over two days after rain cut the event short as well. Hopkins said several athletes couldn't attend the second day because of scheduling conflicts.

The BLHS baseball team has had five games rescheduled.

A single game against Bishop Ward originally set for March 28 will now take place on May 1.

Two doubleheaders have also been moved: the team will play Piper on April 27 to make up for the April 12 cancellation, and Tonganoxie on May 7 to make up for the April 5 cancellation.

"With a team that is short on varsity experience, being outside and getting scrimmage reps is huge," coach Dave Svoboda said. "Those reps have not been easy to get this spring. We can practice indoors in both of our gyms, but we're sharing those gyms with softball, girls soccer and track. Our coaches all get along great, but it's tough to keep that many kids active in a positive way in a confined space. We can hit and throw, but space is a killer."

Svoboda said it has been difficult to get into a rhythm with the choppy schedule.

"Most definitely," Svoboda said. "It was 12 days from our first game to our second and third. Then, we had seven more before our fourth and fifth. Just playing five games in 21 days was very tough. When you're working on building a team, repetitions are important. And we lost a ton of quality reps outside with all of the rain."

Golf is the only Basehor-Linwood High School spring sport that has not had an event canceled because of the weather. Bobcats coach Chad Harvey said this is because golf courses are nearly impossible to re-book for future dates.

"Unless it is lightning, we will probably play," Harvey said.

The team cannot practice their swings indoors. Thus days when they are forced back into the school have been spent in the weight room getting stronger and improving flexibility.

"We've tried to pretty much stay outside," Harvey said.

The softball team has had a pair of doubleheaders moved. The make-up contest against Santa Fe Trail, which was originally slated for April 10, is Monday, April 30. The make-up game against Blue Valley Northwest, originally scheduled as the opener on March 30, is Thursday, May 10. "It comes along with the sport," coach Susan Mayberry said. "Anytime you are playing outdoors, weather can be a factor. Obviously, rainouts are disappointing to the players and coaches.e learn that we don't have control over the weather , but certainly the way we respond to adversity. We have the attitude that we'll play anytime, anywhere, anyone.e just want to play.ainouts are just a part of it.

"However, we hope to have that part over with and get the rest of our games played as scheduled.The challenging part can be finding another date with the team you are playing and communicating with parents and fans as to make-up dates."

The girls soccer team only has one make-up game. The Piper game that was canceled earlier this season has been moved to Friday, April 27.

"(We) have decided not to let the weather alter our practice plans much," BLHS coach Kevin Vincent said.There have been several days where we have been the only team outside, but we feel it is important to build not only team skills, but

mental toughness as well.e may have to play in the rain and cold, so we need to prepare in it. think this gives us a mental edge over the teams we play that practice inside.he weather does affect our preparation to a degree, even when we practice outside.e still aren't able to accomplish everything we set out to."

Vincent admits that even he can't completely prepare for all the scenarios his team will see.

"As hard as you try, the weather always impacts a game," Vincent said.Weather in soccer is the great equalizer.e played Immaculata in the pouring rain and I think on a clear day we would have beaten them by more than the 4-0 we did.gainst Piper, we played in a cold, 25 mile-per-hour wind, and it changed the dynamics of the game. Coaches have to change their game plan to account for the wind. Goalkeepers have more difficulty judging incoming shots and players change the way they hit the ball.hen you are cold and wet, it is hard to focus on your skill and playing the game you are capable of."

The addition of the rescheduled Piper game sets up a daunting week for Lady Bobcats soccer: the varsity will play four games this week, and the junior varsity will play five.

"This really takes a toll on these young athlete's bodies," Vincent said.

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