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The Gazette KCRG
Posted May 2, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: Weather puts damper on spring sports

Tennis players Claire Pettinger, Kate Lynott, Riley Clark and Erin Belding snuggle in blankets and sweatshirts to combat the cold weather in the 40s for their meet against Western Dubuque on April 15. (Grayson Snyder photo/Mount Vernon sophomore)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Taylor Hauser, Mount Vernon senior

MOUNT VERNON – This spring has not proven to be very friendly to student-athletes across Iowa.

Track meets, tennis meets, golf meets and soccer games have been cancelled and postponed statewide due to weather.

Rain, cold, and even snow have kept athletes from practicing and competing at Mount Vernon High School this March,  April and into May. Twenty-three events have been cancelled or postponed this spring between track, tennis, golf and soccer.

“It makes it difficult because we try our best to have a good schedule going into the season that doesn’t have a whole lot of wiggle room anyway,” Mount Vernon activities director Joe Wallace said. “Once you start having postponements you really get into running out of opportunities to play these games.”

“I just hate not being able to play my sport,” said senior tennis player Rachel Reimann.

Five tennis meets have been cancelled due to weather, and countless practices have been cancelled.

“In the first place we don’t get as much one-on-one time with the coach because there are so many of us, but the bad weather has not helped at all,” Reimann said. “It really stinks when the end of your senior year is rained on.”

Golf is another sport that suffers greatly when it is raining.

“Because of the bad conditions at the beginning of the year we did not practice outside for a good two weeks,” said senior Luke Hansen. “It affected us as a team in the first couple meets, but as we started to play more and more meets we began to shoot lower and lower. So the more practice has led to better scores as a team and individually.”

The boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have spent several practices in the gym.

“You’re limited on your space inside,” senior Bridget Martin said.  ”In indoor, the ball is a lot faster so it helps with foot control and being a better player with your first touch and passes.

“With soccer we still feel that we can get every game in.”

This means the teams might have a few weeks with three or four games, but no games have been cancelled yet.

“If we have any more postponements we might have to start canceling games,” Wallace said.

One sport that has suffered several cancellations and lost many chances to compete is track. The teams in combination have missed nine meets, most of which they will not make up. The Wamac Conference meet scheduled for tonight is the latest casualty and will be run Monday at Marion and West Delaware.

“It’s really hard to get all those same schools back to the same meet, because everybody’s schedules are so different,” Wallace saod about not being able to make up track meets.

Missing meets and having bad weather for practices definitely has affected the team. Ashly Pena, a senior shot putter, said “Everything has to be done inside. It’s harder for runners to work on handoffs and the halls are too small for us to throw. Sometimes we have to do practices on the weekend.”

This weekend’s weather puts other events in jeopardy.

“The most important thing is the safety and well-being of our athletes,” Wallace said. “We don’t want to put anybody in harm’s way.”


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