By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Snowbound: Spring sports training challenges

Or, training for spring sports on fields buried in 18 inches of snow


Last updated 3/14/2019 at 11:27pm

Training for spring sports normally has its challenges, but when winter decides to show up several weeks late, then hang on indefinitely, it can make for some adaptations by coaches and their teams.

Such was the case in Medical Lake last Friday.

Head coach Austin Sharp and assistant coach Fred Wagner, along with a select crew of volunteers from the Cardinal baseball team, took to the infield in an effort to, if not create some space to practice, at least hasten the eventual snow melt and recovery of the turf that was covered with roughly 18 inches of snow.

They made a heroic effort using two slowblowers and snow shovels.

But after a few hours of work it was clear it would take more resources to get the job done, and the cut for practice.

They aren’t alone. The entire NEA League is snowbound, some worse than others, according to Sharp, who was considering looking south for a clear field to practice on.

“We’ll get good at the small stuff this year.”

Baseball head coach Austin Sharp

While track and field remains on schedule — for now — other sports haven’t faired so well.

Four of the baseball team’s first three games scheduled for this week were cancelled, while the following four games are — for now — rescheduled. Others remain in limbo.

The first two games for softball and tennis have also been canceled.

For now, most spring sports, particularly those that require a field to play, are practicing indoors. Both the baseball and Medical Lake softball teams are doing indoor drills and using indoor batting cages to work out the kinks.

“We’ll get good at the small stuff this year,” Sharp said of the indoor training that was focusing things like base running and bunting.

Softball head coach Tim Blakely felt that working inside was effective in preparing his players for the season.

And the baseball infield? Sharp, Wagner and 24 members of the baseball team hit the diamond on Saturday with more resources: shovels and 15 wheelbarrows that made an estimated 700 trips, all supplemented by four snowblowers, 12 pizzas and three cases of water.

“Those are the stats from Saturday,” Sharp said.

Lee Hughes can be reached at


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