York-Adams athletic directors left scrambling after spring snowstorm wipes out events

Steve Heiser
York Dispatch
  • A spring snowstorm blanketed York County under about a foot of snow.
  • The storm wiped out the entire local outdoor sports slate set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Most, if not all, outdoor events on Friday and Saturday will not be played, either.

Friday was supposed to be the first truly busy day of the spring high school sports season.

Mother Nature, however, had other ideas, blanketing the region under about a foot of snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Samantha and Kevin Eck playfully battle through a snowball fight as snow falls on Wednesday in Springettsbury Township. Throwing snowballs was one of the few athletic endeavors that could be held this week, when York County was blanketed by about a foot of snow. The storm wiped all York-Adams League outdoor sporting events set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as well as most, if not all, outdoor events set for Friday and Saturday.  Dawn J. Sagert photo

The storm wiped out every outdoor event set for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, as well as most, if not all, outdoor events scheduled for Friday and Saturday

Now, the York-Adams League athletic directors are left scrambling to try to reschedule several days' worth of events without really knowing when their outdoor facilities will be usable again.

Most of the ADs contacted on Thursday agreed that baseball and softball would be the sports most impacted by the storm.

"I don't see us playing baseball or softball next week either," Central York AD Marty Trimmer said.

Even after the snow melts, the baseball and softball fields will likely be muddy messes for several days — and that's assuming there's no more precipitation.

The outlooks for boys' tennis, track and field and lacrosse are not as dire. Tennis courts, tracks and artificial turf lacrosse fields typically see faster snow melts, and mud is not an issue. The field facilities in track and field and grass lacrosse fields, however, may not rebound as quickly, again because of the mud.

As of Thursday, some ADs were holding out hope that a few outdoor events will go off as scheduled this weekend, but that is still very much up in the air.

The ADs also said it's highly unlikely that plows will be used to clear courts, tracks or fields for fear of damaging the playing surfaces, although there may be some shoveling.

One sport, however, will likely not be impacted at all by the storm — boys' volleyball, which has the luxury of being played indoors.

Of course, spring postponements are nothing new for area ADs. It's something they deal with every year. A foot of snow on the first day of spring, however, it something very unusual.

"(We) are at the mercy of Mother Nature," said Red Lion AD Arnie Fritzius, who said it's nearly impossible to predict when things will return to normal.

"...These are matters we expect, but can't control," Fritzius said. "Our staff, students and community understand the impact of this weather and are patient with the return to regular activities."

Most the ADs contacted took the news in stride as simply part of their jobs.

"It's most frustrating and challenging for the coaches and student-athletes," Dallastown AD Tory Harvey said. "This past Monday, teams were scrimmaging and ready for the season. Contests will get backed up, which isn't in the best interests of our student-athletes. However, all schools in our immediate area are in the same situation."

Harvey emphasized, however, that everyone at Dallastown is trying to make the best of some unfortunate circumstances.

"Coaches are planning creative indoor workouts to keep their players mentally and physically prepared," he said. "They are working well with each other to share limited indoor space.

"Student-athletes know they can't control Mother Nature, so they continue to persevere and have positive attitudes. Parents are flexible to the ever-changing schedules.

"Our buildings and grounds department is outstanding. The staff continually goes above and beyond to assist with preparing and maintaining safe and well-maintained facilities."

There is some good news for the ADs. For the next week, there no more than a 20 percent chance of precipitation on any day, and the high for each of those days is 40 or above.

"We need Mother Nature's assistance with bright, sunny days," Harvey said.

It sounds like he may get it.

Reach Steve Heiser is sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.