Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 7, 2013

THE SKINNY: Spring sports finally sprung

By DAVID VANTRESS
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — I think it’s safe for spring sports to come out and play now.

An especially long upper Midwest winter has finally given up its hold on Michiana — and not a moment too soon, in this humble sportswriter’s opinion.

Golf courses are finally opening; ball diamonds are abuzz with the crack of the bat and the unmistakable pop of baseballs and softballs hitting gloves; track and field teams are finally getting to show their stuff; court is finally in session for girls tennis teams.

For us here at the Goshen News, the spring sports season is one of the most hectic.

Coaches are fond of saying of any season, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Well, spring sports is a sprint: Eight to 10 weeks of wall-to-wall action all week long, culminating in early-ti-mid June.

From there, it’s a brief break until late July, when the cycle starts anew with the opening of fall sports.

But before that happens, there will be time to enjoy the plethora of exciting spring sports offered in our area: Baseball, softball, boys and girls track and field, boys golf and girls tennis take the stage for their time to shine.

It’s been a sporadic first few weeks, as Mother Nature and that aforementioned long winter have caused moret han a few cancellations.

There may  be a few more to come in the upcoming week, as there is rain in the forecast pretty much every day.

Yes, being a sportswriter in the upper Midwest means keeping a close eye on weather forecasts. It comes with the job.

And another part of the job is taking these weather delays in stride — bracing for extra-busy days when those postponed events get rescheduled.

But at the end of the days, there are few better jobs than this one: Getting paid to watch sports.

Add to that the benefit of getting to watch young people grow up right before your eyes and become part of the world.

It just doesn’t get much better than that.

In some cases, I’ll be right there comiserating with the athletes.

When a batter offers at a pitch way out of the strike zone, I’ll nod, smile and say, “Been there, done that.”

When a golfer rolls his eyes skyward after a shanked tee shot, a blown approach or a missed putt, I’ll nod, smile, and say, “Been there, done that.”

And when they get the game-winning hit after fighting off an 0-2 count, or achieve the pick-up-your-tee-and-start-walking tee shot, or make a 25-foot putt, I’ll be able to relate to those moments, too.

Through it all, there will be wins and losses; the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

And when all is said and done, there will be life lessons that will endure long after the uniforms are removed, the bats and gloves shelved, and the cleats put away for the last time.

Good luck to all of our area athletes as they chase their dreams in the arena.

Contact sports editor David Vantress at 533-2151, ext. 325 or by email at david.vantress@goshennews.com.