The start of Daylight Saving Time came and went. The calendar was flipped to March 20, then March 21. Nothing. Apparently Spring is still in hibernation.
Winter snow and its chilly temperatures reamained, so, for now, the spring sports season has been put on hold.
A year ago in mid-March, Wisconsin experienced unusual summer-like weather that produced a string of 14 straight days where the temperature topped 60 degrees, including five record-setting days in the high 70s between March 12–18.
This year Mother Nature is being much more stubborn. Poor field conditions and constant temperatures in the 30s have forced the cancellation or postponement of a number of baseball and softball games, as well as track meets. Early practices for these sports have been held almost exclusively inside.
The Hillsboro softball and track teams began practice on Mar. 11. A week later the Tigers’ baseball team began fielding grounders on the gym floor and hitting off tees.
Despite over four weeks of practice now, the softball and track teams are still waiting to compete in their season openers.
The baseball team finally opened the season with a 7–5 win at Royall on Monday, but its first four games were postponed.
Hillsboro’s track meet at Necedah on Tuesday, Apr. 2 was cancelled.
The Tigers were set to open their season at Necedah Tuesday at North Crawford.
Hillsboro hopes to travel to Royall this Thursday.
“The weather has been a big problem early on,” said Hillsboro head track coach Chris Schmidt. “We haven’t been able to get outside much to work on our field events. It’s been frustrating. We even started a week later than we were originally scheduled. Our first meet got cancelled so that would have been five weeks of practice without a meet. Indoor practice without a meet gets old pretty fast. We are looking forward to meets starting.”
The Hillsboro softball team was scheduled to open its season Mar. 28 at home against Necedah. That game will now be made up as part of a doubleheader at Necedah on Apr. 22.
A home game against Brookwood set for Apr. 1 will be made up as a doubleheader at Ontario on Apr. 25.
The Apr. 2 game at Ithaca has been cancelled, while the Apr. 4 contest at Cashton will also be made up as part of a home doubleheader on Apr. 29.
Monday’s home game against Royall was moved to May 2, another doubleheader at Elroy.
Thursday’s game at Bangor had to be rescheduled due to a conflict and will now be played May 14.
The Hillsboro team is set to finally open the season Monday at Wonewoc–Center.
“I don’t know who at the WIAA thought it was a good idea to start the season a week earlier this year,” said Hillsboro head softball coach Jamie Schmitz. “You can’t base a season on last year’s weather. My girls, as well as I, are frustrated with practicing in the gym for so long. It’s been a struggle to keep the interest and to keep improving on our basic skills in the gym for five straight weeks. We still can’t step on our field because it is so sloppy.”
The baseball team has had four postponements already this season and will make them all up as part of doubleheaders later in the year. The April 2 game at Ithaca has been cancelled.
The Mar. 28 season opener against Necedah will be played at Necedah on Apr. 22.
The Apr. 1 game against Brookwood will be made up on Apr. 25 at Ontario.
The Apr. 4 game at Cashton will be played Apr. 29 at home, and the Apr. 11 game at Bangor will be played May 6.
“I’m not going to say the weather is a blessing in disguise, but the extra practice time with the freshmen has probably been beneficial for us this season,” said Hillsboro baseball coach Bob Bothe. “Obviously we would have liked to gotten outside earlier, but the we are taking advantage of our extra time in the gym and the cage.”