Mother Nature disrupting area's sports teams

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By Andrew Harner

After rain and cold temperatures canceled 33 of the first 40 games for area teams, the snow storm that blasted the area is going to postpone games for at least the next several days.

Nearly a foot of snow blanketed Fayette County on Sunday, leaving area baseball, softball and track teams again practicing in unnatural surroundings.

Many games were played last Friday and Saturday before the storm, but through last Thursday, just seven games had been played, including none for South Central, Patoka or Brownstown.

In total, the St. Elmo baseball team has seen the most cancellations, with eight through Wednesday, and the South Central softball team has had each of its first seven games called off.

Eagles baseball coach Ryan Beccue said the weather has made it impossible for his team to improve past a certain point.

"We haven't had a single practice on a baseball field," he said. "Not having games is one thing, but not being able to have as quality of practices as you would like is very frustrating."

Temperatures are forecast in the 50s for the rest of the week, but with melting snow will come poor field conditions at most of the area’s schools.

It’s possible that most teams will not play again until next week, and once games are able to be played again, players will be more than ready.

“You can’t worry about the weather, but it’s gotten to the point where you just want to play in it,” Ramsey baseball coach Tony Kreke said on Friday after playing Vandalia in temperatures that dipped into the 30s.

Added Vandals coach Luke Hohlt, “It’s been cold. This has not been baseball weather.”

Vandalia has been lucky, losing only two games so far, with the next scheduled game at home on Friday.

At the area's smaller schools, it hasn't been as easy, with each team having had to cancel at least four games this spring.

And with plenty of seniors being in their final season as a high school athlete, each passing cancellation may rob them of another chance to play, because it's unlikely that every canceled game can be rescheduled.

"You feel for the senior guys, especially as this is their last days as high school athletes," Beccue said. "Every game that gets canceled is one less time they have the chance to compete with their teammates and for their school."