By Mara Thompson
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
The record-breaking warm weather this March has made a positive impact for practice and the start of the spring sports seasons for Grand Ledge High School.
According to the online almanac, the average temperature for March 2011 was 32 degrees. This year, it rose to an average of 50 degrees with multiple days with highs of 70’s and 80’s.
Harry Kruger, varsity softball coach for Grand Ledge High School said the weather has helped the beginning of their season.
“With the great weather we have had, more of the schools have been able to practice outside and accomplish a lot of instruction that normally would not be done until after spring break,” Kruger said. “Schools that do not have the facilities for indoor practice would have limited time for practice, but going outside they could increase their practice time.”
Kruger said his team is excited to get outside so early and see the sun because weather is a big factor in being able to play softball.
“As far as outside practice and scrimmages go; rain, snow, and cold weather hinder anything being done outside for softball,” Kruger said. “You can only do so much inside, and everything outside.”
Varsity boy’s golf coach, Bob Stuewe, said the weather makes it fairer to the players in the beginning of the season.
“It has made tryouts more enjoyable and perhaps more fair to the players to show what they can do over an extended period,” Stuewe said. “When the weather is poor it gives the players less time to show their skills. This weather should make our team better.”
Stuewe said they haven’t had any issues this spring for being able to practice, but last year was the worst year he had ever seen.
“The JV team had five matches cancelled out of six,” Stuewe said. “The varsity played on courses that were water logged and freezing. Hopefully we will never have another spring like 2011.”
He said at this point he thinks his players can adapt to all weather conditions.
“If the course is playable we will practice and or play,” said Stuewe. “The public may decide to wait for a better day but we soldier on.”
Varsity girl’s soccer coach, Scott Dane, said the weather has helped the team tremendously because they haven’t needed to find a gym to play indoors.
Most seasons we have to wait to go outdoors,” Dane said. “Even if it is warmer, the field needs to time to dry up after winter snow or spring rain. We have always used indoor facilities for at least the first week of the season.”
Dane said even the recent decrease in temperature this week hasn’t affected how the team has been performing.
“We’re just grateful to be outdoors,” Dane said. “The girls are prepared to be indoors for the start of the season so it was a great luxury being outdoors this year.”