No matter the classification or the sport being played, the spring sports teams across Oregon are brought together by a single common thread: the (often rainy) weather.
“You’re watching weather reports constantly,” said Cottage Grove boys golf coach Kent Russo.
“I probably check the weather 10 times a day at a minimum. You get to know where it’s coming from, what it looks like, how long you have,” said Cottage Grove baseball coach Dan Geiszler.
Living in an environment where the weather can flip from 71 and sunny to 48 and rainy in a day (see: earlier this week), coaches who are dependent on dry conditions have become amateur meteorologists as they find out when they can practice. Last season’s constant rain still looms in the coach’s minds as they prepare for the upcoming season.
“It was a huge issue; it was the big issue. It was by far the worst spring that I’ve been a part of; it was awful. It really has changed how I am going to go about things practice-wise because we were on the field five times through April,” said Geiszler. “That’s two months we were on the field five times. That’s not including games.”
Geiszler was not the only one who remembers the rain that came in last season.
“Last year may be the worst weather we’ve had in a baseball season in my time. In 30 years or something. We were swamped all year. We ended up games backed up,” said Elkton baseball coach Bill Shaw.
“But if you’re going to play baseball in Oregon, you’re going to have to get used to getting wet. That’s just how it goes.”
For the baseball teams, not getting field time paired with the new OSAA implementation of strict pitch counts and concurrent rest days put greater pressure on pitchers with less experience.
“Generally, we come in the spring and we say all of you are pitchers. You know, because it’s likely if the weather, like last year we had to play five games in three days,” said North Douglas baseball coach Jeff Davis. “You’re going to have to run somebody out there, particularly with the pitch count rule.”
Having never experienced an Oregon spring, first-year Cottage Grove golf coach Jennifer Husk is coming in with a sunny attitude.
“The rain takes awhile to get used to I think, but it’s just rain,” she said.
“Definitely need some waterproof shoes.”