Monday was supposed to see the grand opening of the local high school spring sports season. But Mother Nature obviously had other plans.
Just chalk it up as another challenge for the players and coaches who toil in prep sports’ toughest season.
No season deals with more distractions than the spring.
Rainouts, long delays and postponements are common. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg.
Spring coaches also must deal with the distractions of spring break, prom and graduation on a yearly basis. And that’s before we even mention the condensed schedule.
Baseball, softball and track — which were supposed to begin in earnest Monday and now might start later this week (crossing fingers) — will all be in sectional play by the end of May. That leaves about two months total to get a team on the same page, fine-tune the inevitable early hiccups and get ready to chase a championship.
True, fall sports like football and volleyball face a similarly condensed timeframe. But they often don’t have the same weather factors — although, don’t try to sell the gridiron coaches on that after this past lightning-infused season — and they definitely don’t have the same end-of-the-year big off-field events.
What does it all mean? Just that players this time of year need a special brand of dedication to excel in their chosen sport, and they deserve our admiration for it.
They don’t work harder than their counterparts in the fall and winter, but as illustrated above they deal with a different level of chaos.
Hats off to the boys and girls of spring.
And here’s hoping you get a chance to hit the field of play soon.
While we’re handing out kudos, congratulations to a pair of recent Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame inductees.
Frankton’s Bob Heady and Anderson’s Bob Rousey were members of the Hall’s latest class inducted during a ceremony in Indianapolis last week.
Rousey — a North Central Conference champion and the league’s leading scorer as a senior in 1949 — is the seventh AHS grad to be inducted in the New Castle-based Hall. He was the captain of the 1949 Indiana All-Stars and a member of Kansas State’s 1951 NCAA runner-up team before being drafted by the NBA’s Milwaukee Hawks.
Rousey joins Anderson grads Maurice “Guy” Robinson (inducted in 1965), Orrville Hooker (1967), Everett Case (1968), Robert Kessler (1968), Johnny Wilson (1976) and Dick Baker (1994) in the Hall of Fame.
Heady is the second Frankton grad to gain induction, joining Roger Dickinson (2007).
He scored 1,107 points for the Eagles during his career that ended in 1960 then went on to win 379 games as a coach at Griffith, Wawasee, Shenandoah and Carmel.
Heady led Shenandoah (1981) and Carmel (1993) to the single-class state finals and coached the 1985 Indiana All-Stars.
It was a big week for the Heady family. Bob’s son, Scott, won his second consecutive Class 4A state title at Carmel on Saturday.