Gilroy Spring Not Spring Sport Friendly

I have lived all 17 years of my life in the Garlic Capital of
the World. This fact entitles me to do something that native
Californians do best – complain about lousy weather.
I have lived all 17 years of my life in the Garlic Capital of the World. This fact entitles me to do something that native Californians do best – complain about lousy weather. The minute the sun doesn’t shine or the weather becomes the least bit inconvenient, we start to moan and groan about how it is wreaking havoc on our lives. Such is the current situation with Gilroy High spring athletics.

Boys’ golf and tennis, baseball, softball and track have all lost valuable practice time and have had competitions postponed due to the recent inclement weather. Last week, the girls’ softball team had three games canceled in a row and the boys’ baseball team had to push back their season home opener a week.

As a member of the GHS baseball team, I can say it is hard to maintain consistency and intensity when practices are limited and games keep getting rescheduled for some future date. These rain delays have led me to ponder whether or not specific high school sports have been assigned to their seasons properly.

By my calculations, six out of nine fall sports can be played in the rain. Fall is a season when it rarely, if ever, rains. I have no recollection of ever attending a GHS football game in the rain. If fact, Gilroy’s fall months offer some of the best weather of the year. On most days it’s like summer, without the morning fog and the extreme afternoon heat.

Of the winter sports, only two of the five are played outdoors. So most of those sports are not affected by the weather at all. I guess that’s the point. After all, they are winter sports. But the reality is that our “winter,” the rainy season, usually doesn’t get going much until the tail end of the high school winter sports season. Has anyone else noticed that over the past few years the weather seems to be nicer in December and January than in February and March? And the two winter sports that do play outdoors, girls’ and boys’ soccer, still can play unless the rain is torrential. In addition, with the recent instillation of artificial turf, the soccer teams don’t have to wait for the field to dry out before resuming play.

Now let’s take at look at our spring sports. Five out of the nine spring sports (baseball, softball, track and boys’ tennis and golf) cannot compete at all in the rain. Baseball and softball are negatively affected most by the rain because of the damage water does to the fields. Even when the rain stops, if the weather stays cold and dreary like it has in recent weeks, play is postponed further. This loss of player momentum definitely takes a toll on a team.

Based strictly on the factor of weather, one could make a solid argument for switching some of these sport seasons around. But realistically, I don’t see that happening. Football in the spring? Too weird. Some traditions are best left alone.

So, what is a spring athlete to do? As author Mark Twain once said, “Climate is what we expect, weather is what we get.” All we can do is be patient (a virtue any baseball player must learn anyway) and pray for the sun to return as soon as Mother Nature will allow.

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