, Newburyport, MA


March 19, 2013

The start of spring before the storm

Sports season begins with threat of snow

The start of the spring sports season in New England often brings with it plenty of opportunities for field maintenance. Many teams took the field with rakes and shovels yesterday, and the work is expected to continue throughout the week.

The Newburyport baseball team had its annual preseason field maintenance on Saturday, and a collection of coaches, players and parents raked 30 bags of leaves before rolling and dragging the field.

“We have some snow in right field, but it’s probably the best shape the field has been in for quite a few years,” Newburyport coach Steve Malenfant said. “We took out all sorts of leaves. There is nothing we didn’t get done.”

That proved to be helpful yesterday when all sports teams opened spring practices, although the Newburyport baseball might be one of many sports teams getting back to work on field maintenance later this week with a possible snow storm and/or rain in the forecast.

Amesbury tennis coach Brett Manoloff said his plans for early-season conditioning may include snow-shoveling later this week.

“If we don’t have school (today), we’ll be back practicing (tomorrow),” Manoloff said. “That will primarily consist of shoveling our courts.”

Pentucket tennis coach Christian Langlois planned ahead, scheduling all of his team’s opening-week practices at indoor courts throughout the region. His team practiced at Newburyport Racquet Club yesterday, getting a leg up on the tennis teams that could only work on conditioning in the cold weather.

“It will definitely help a lot,” Langlois said of the indoor practices. “If you look at other sports, they’re not on their normal fields or courts this week. They’re stuck in gyms doing whatever they can. I’m glad we can do it. All of our parents have been nice about chipping in a little bit each day so we can use the racquet clubs.”

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