Goshen News, Goshen, IN

April 20, 2014

THE SKINNY: Spring's arrival welcomed gratefuly

By DAVID VANTRESS david.vantress@goshennews.com
Goshen News

---- — GOSHEN

Well, hello there, Indiana spring! Better late than never, I suppose.

After probably the most brutal winter I have endured since first moving to the Midwest in 1998, spring has finally sprung across the area.

Over the course of many years as a sportswriter in the Upper Midwest, I’ve come to appreciate the seasons — something you don’t really get growing up in San Diego.

Fall is probably my favorite season, followed closely by spring. Winter and summer battle to stay out of the cellar, but at the end of the day, winter is always going to lose that contest.

Over the past few weeks, it’s been nice to get out into the improving weather. This week started off on an iffy foot with chilly temperatures and snow flurries on Monday, and then cold temperatures led to everything on a full spring sports schedule being postponed on Tuesday.

Things improved slightly on Wednesday as I ventured down to Shanklin Park to watch Goshen and Elkhart Central tangle in softball, but it was still darned chilly out there.

Thursday and Friday were more springlike, and on Saturday, a chilly start gave way to a pleasant spring afternoon as I got out to Maplecrest Country Club to cover the Goshen Invitational.

I am one of those people who always keeps the golf clubs in the car. In a warmer climate, I could attribute that to always wanting to be ready to squeeze in a round. But we can’t exactly say that here, can we?

So instead, I’ll have to go with “Because I’m too lazy to lug my clubs upstairs to put them into storage for the winter.”

I’ll be hauling the clubs out of the car at some point very soon to see how much of my already marginal game I lost this winter.

Spring sports is always one of my favorite seasons. But it’s also one of the busiest, and that is going to be even more so the case this year, with the long winter making for a later start than usual.

On an average Tuesday or Thursday — typically the two busiest nights of the week — there can be as many as 27 distinct events on the schedule.

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

This spring, we are going to have to take that old saw and turn it on its head a bit.

Spring sports in Michiana is going to be a sprint, not a marathon. As we approach the end of April, there are about five weeks until the season starts to wind down already with conference and sectional track meets. Sectional softball is at the end of May, with baseball around the same time.

Depending on how far our teams go in the postseason, spring sports in our area will finish sometime in the first or second week of June.

And then, there’s about five weeks before fall sports kicks off with girls golf.

But before that happens, let’s get out there and enjoy the springtime efforts of our young athletes as they put it all on the line and learn things that will endure long after the cheering stops.

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