The winter weather has extended into the spring season, leaving fields covered in snow, which has impacted varsity sports around the state.
The season officially begins April 8. but some teams have needed to move back season openers due to the inclement weather.
In past season, the CIAC has allowed games to be rescheduled to Sunday if need be.
Golf courses have been impacted as much as anything. The snow has prevented most, if not all, from opening as of yet. And since teams began practicing last week, most teams have spent its time on driving ranges.
Xavier uses Portland Golf Club for its home matches but according to Xavier coach Mike Kohs, that course is not expected to open until after Easter Sunday, April 5.
“I don’t remember ever being in this position before not being able to play the first two weeks. It’s crazy,” Kohs said.
Xavier is on school vacation and a number of players are going to Florida to play. So that, coupled with the weather impact, has led Xavier to reschedule its matches for next week. The Falcons now open the season on April 13.
Kohs said final cuts won’t be made until the team can get on the course.
Notre Dame-West Haven, an SCC rival of Xavier, has used both the Fore Seasons Indoor Golf in Bethany and the Sports Center of Connecticut in Shelton, to conduct practice the first week. On Tuesday, the Green Knights were at its third range at race Brook Country Club in Orange – to shovel.
Yes, the players themselves brought shovels to the range and some were provided by Race Brook CC. Head coach Steve Kirck told the team after school on Monday that Race Brook offered the range in exchange for shoveling the mat area and collecting all the balls that were on the range because the ground is still too saturated to get any machinery out there to pick up the balls in mass.
“I was expecting a little resistance, but they all agreed it was a great thing to do, so we went on Tuesday to do it,” Kirck said. “We got there around3 and were done with everything about 4:30. … I am grateful that Race Brook offered us the opportunity to barter some shoveling and range cleanup to use their range moving forward. The biggest issue with indoor tryout/practice sessions or having to use a place like (Shelton) is the cost. My AD Tom Marcucci is great in terms of letting me use those facilities but with no start date in sight to play at Race Brook, those costs were going to keep increasing.”
Kirck said this will be the longest preseason before getting on an actual golf course in his nine years at Notre Dame. The Green Knights’ home opener is scheduled for April 9.
“Now is typically the time when the course opens for us so now we will start to fall behind in terms of picking my actual team and real season preparation. But, every other team is in the same situation,” Kirck said.
Many lacrosse teams have the advantage of turf. And those teams also play in the worst of weather during the season. But some have been impacted to start:
“Mercy high school still does not have use of their fields yet this season because of snow. We anticipated being at least another week before we can get on the fields. We’re even splitting gym time between lacrosse and softball but it’s very difficult because of the number of kids in a small space. We canceled our first home scrimmage and do not anticipate being able to practice or play any home games for two weeks.”
–Mercy coach John Benchimol
“My players and I shoveled the field three times to help get ready for the first day of practice.”
–Branford boys coach Jim May
“As one of the only remaining schools in the SCC without artificial turf, the North Haven boys lacrosse program has been using the high school gym from 7-9 p.m. weekly. Lacrosse as a whole being a tight-knit community and selfless, several SCC coaches have offered their turf to allow us to scrimmage and/or practice together to let the boys run. We appreciated that gesture.”
–North Haven boys coach Eric Bailey
“We have been very lucky. We played our Playday in the snow on Saturday, but other than that our turf fields have been open. We had to adjust our practice schedule just for two days to accommodate teams who’s practice fields are not ready yet, but we’ve been getting practices in with the whole program as normal.”
–Hand girls coach Kevin Siedlecki
Bunnell defeated Amity in a scrimmage Tuesday at the Old Tavern Road complex in Orange. There was a steady downpour and low temperatures throughout. Bunnell coach Scott Szturma said this was only the second time his team had been able to get outside and it was the Bulldogs first scrimmage. The only other time the Bulldogs ventured outside of a gym was this past weekend when the coach said they got some work in on the school’s football field.
Meanwhile two-time Class LL defending champ Amity took to the great outdoors for the third time this season. The Spartans have not been able to hold consistent practices outside and coach Sal Coppola said his team is a little rusty in the field due in part to not seeing enough live action early.
At Shelton, baseball coach Scott Gura posted on Facebook his Gaels were finally able to practice outside for the first time Wednesday after eight indoor practices in the gym.
Torrington conducted part of its practice Tuesday in the snow that has yet to melt from its home field. But at least the Red Raiders were outdoors.
“It’s been very difficult because our schedules have been changing on a daily basis. I think every team’s in the same boat where they’re kind of bouncing around, and there’s not enough gyms for every sport during the spring season. We’re kind of getting pushed around left and right, but you just have to roll with the punches and deal with it.”
“Everything is still on schedule. We haven’t heard of anybody talking about that (postponing regular season games). We’re under such a time constraint.”
–Amity coach Loren Vorrase-Purcell
“Yes, we’re a little more fortunate than other teams in that we have a turf field. We’ve been outside since last Friday. Wesleyan used our field over the weekend and helped us clear the field. That’s the unique thing with a turf field. Our field is totally ready to go.”
–Hand coach Mike Niekrash