While the weather seems to be warming quickly, the extended onslaught of winter weather in Wisconsin has caused a slew of problems for spring sports at the University of Wisconsin–Stout.
Virtually all of the spring sports teams have had to make changes to their schedule and even cancel some games and/or tournaments.
UW–Stout softball has had to cancel seven of their games already this season. The baseball team currently has five games postponed, with the matchup against the University of St. Thomas currently having no make-up date. UW–Stout track and field had to cancel three meets so far.
The men’s golf team had to cancel both the Loras College Spring Invitational and the St. Mary’s University Invitational. The women’s golf team canceled their only home tournament.
“Unfortunately it was our home tournament, which allows us to play our whole roster,” said women’s golf head coach Howie Samb, “We only get to play at home once each year, so that was definitely a bad deal.”
Both Samb and head softball coach Rebecca Iaccino said that their teams have been taking measures to stay sharp while they wait for the weather to improve. Samb said that the golfers haven’t been able to get outside for a practice yet this season, but they have been using the indoor facilities at Stout to work on the fundamentals. He did state that these practices are not ideal.
“The indoor practices aren’t very beneficial,” he said, “It is also extremely hard to keep the team focused when you have to practice inside for a prolonged time.”
Senior golfer Dylan Kline (Rogers, Mn) echoed this sentiment for the men’s team. He said that they have been using the inside facilities to practice, as well as lifting and doing yoga to stay in shape.
Coach Iaccino said that the softball coaching staff has been preaching “control what you can control” to their players. She said they have been doing their best to stay clear and focused but light and relaxed at the same time.
Both Iaccino and Samb said that the extended winter weather was going to have a lasting effect on their season. Samb said his team had a legitimate chance at a large bid in the NCAA tournament at the start of the season, but he now thinks the weather is going to put them behind their southern competitors, who’ve been able to compete out on the green much more often.
Iaccino said that her main concern is for the seniors who’ve had their last season hindered so greatly by Mother Nature.
“The thing that saddens me the most is that my seniors haven’t been able to truly enjoy the moments of their senior year,” she said. “The lasting memories that come from it have been robbed from them.”