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Looking for a break from spring

Forget about spring break. Area spring sports teams are just looking for a break from spring.

The calendar has turned over to spring, but that has signaled no relief for the area spring activities.

There were 113 sporting contests scheduled in Bureau County through Tuesday at the varsity and F/S levels, including baseball, softball, tennis and soccer. There have been 111 canceled. That’s a total of two contests played, a soccer game each for Princeton and Hall. That’s a batting average of .018 if you’re keeping score at home.

“It’s the worst spring ever,” PC athletic director Dave Garcia, who has had seven ballgames canceled through Monday. The Panthers sneaked in a doubleheader Saturday just before another dusting of snow hit Sunday evening.

“It’s frustrating because we haven’t been outside, haven’t opened the dirt on the diamonds, and I don’t know when the weather will break to allow us to do any of that,” St. Bede AD Tom McGunnigal said. “I do know softball will play later this week as they take their annual trip to Tennessee, but for games around here … I have no idea.”

Hall softball coach Pete Kasperski, who anticipated getting in their first game Wednesday, joked, “We’re undefeated in the batting cage.”

Two area ADs, Bureau Valley’s Jeff Ohlson and Princeton’s Jesse Brandt, are experiencing the spring shuffle for the first time. This has kind of been Mother Nature’s way of welcoming them to the club, though Ohlson said it’s “just part of the job.”

The St. Bede softball team has found one way to beat Mother Nature — head south for spring. The Lady Bruins will be making their annual trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn. to play in the Lady Warrior Southern Classic beginning Thursday.

“I was spoiled my first year. The reality of spring sports has hit me,” said second-year Lady Bruins coach Bill Prokup, who broke in during last year’s unseasonably warm spring season. “We’re lucky to be going.”

The Lady Bruins will face Central Mountain, Penn and host Smyrna, Tenn. on Thursday and come back Saturday to face Hendersonville, Tenn. and host LaVergne, Tenn. on Saturday.

When the weather finally breaks, the next step is try to see how many games can be rescheduled in the remaining open dates. The conference games take priority and the nonconference contests, Ohlson said, are a “wait and see.”

Bryant said Hall will definitely get conference games in, “but, hopefully, we will not need to move much around just fill in some gaps.”

Princeton is a tough situation, Brandt said, being in a conference (the NCIC) of just three schools and playing nearly all of its games against nonconference foes. Brandt has been able to reschedule some games, but could lose them down the road when their opponents are in need of make-up dates for their conference games.

“Most schools need to make up conference games and that leaves us out,” Brandt said.

The favorable forecast for temperatures climbing into the 50s over the weekend is a sight for sore eyes as schools head into spring break. They just wished it didn’t take long for spring to finally break.

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