NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

April 9, 2014

Muddy fields creating a nightmare for spring sports

Considering how brutal this winter has been, it seems appropriate that the season would offer a parting shot as the bitter cold finally begins to give way to the crisp warmth of spring.

All the snow that has piled up across the area had to melt eventually, and now that the temperature has crept up above freezing, the melt has saturated nearly every baseball and lacrosse field in the Greater Newburyport area, making it nearly impossible for any of the local spring sports teams to get out and play.

With such poor field conditions spread across the entire North Shore, most teams have been forced to practice inside for the first few weeks of the season, and figuring out when and where to play the games has proven to be a nightmare for the coaches, athletic directors and league organizers who are trying to manage all of the schedule changes.

“I’ve never seen a wetter spring in the 16 years I’ve worked here. We’ve never had this kind of start where everything is moving,” said Karen Atherton, the athletics secretary for Triton Regional High School. “It’s not just one sport, it’s everything, all of the sports. Sometimes you can squeeze in a game here or a game there, but it’s happening with all sports at all the schools.”

This past Saturday, the Pentucket varsity baseball team was scheduled to open its season at home against Saugus, but after both schools’ fields were deemed unfit to play on, the game wound up being moved all the way to Malden Catholic High School. Newburyport, Amesbury and Triton had home games of their own that day too, but all of those wound up being postponed outright and will be made up later in the year.

Then with yesterday’s inclement weather, three more baseball games were rained out, along with the Pentucket boys lacrosse team’s game at Hamilton-Wenham and two other local girls lacrosse games at Newburyport and Pentucket.

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