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Press Photo by Dustin Monke Astoria Field and Southside Ballpark is blanketed with snow on Tuesday. A snowstorm dropped a record-setting 16 inches on Sunday.

Snowstorm round 2: After a record-setting 16 inches of snow on Sunday, area athletics are being put on hold

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Midgets Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

If frustration hasn't set in already, it will come sooner rather than later.

Dickinson experienced its first snowstorm of April last Monday, but the area was in store for much more.

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After a snowstorm on Sunday that dropped a record-setting 16 inches, area athletics took a long-term backseat to Mother Nature.

"It's frustrating for athletes and for our students, because that's why we schedule these events so then they can compete and enjoy the spring activities," Dickinson High athletic director Guy Fridley said. "Unfortunately right now, we aren't getting that ability to enjoy them. Hopefully, the weather breaks soon."

As of Monday, Dickinson State softball has canceled all of its games from Monday to Thursday. Bowman County canceled its track and field meet on Tuesday and Dickinson High's baseball games in Jamestown and Mandan, for Friday and Saturday, respectively, have been cancelled. The Midgets boys golf team's invitational -- that had already been rescheduled from last week to Tuesday -- has been cancelled.

"It really puts a lot of pressure to do well when the season starts, because you are going to play a lot of games back-to-back," DHS baseball senior James Kary said. "I think we might be better off than most teams, but I feel we have a pretty deep pitching staff."

The Midgets and Trinity boys golf teams have barely practiced let alone played in an invitational this season. The DHS baseball team has a goose egg in the number of games played. Trinity's boys and girls track and field teams have yet to compete in a meet.

"The ability to stay focused in practice and keep that mental edge is falling apart a little bit," Dickinson baseball coach Pete Dobitz said. "You can only be inside for so long."

This spring is a far cry from last spring in southwestern North Dakota. A year ago, there was minimal snow and temperatures in the 40s to 50s most of the season.

"It was a full 360 from last year in terms of the great weather we were really fortunate to have last year," Fridley said. "We're now dealing with the foot and a half of snow."

However, at the beginning of the spring, it appeared southwest North Dakota was going to be safe from the impact of snowy, cold conditions. The DSU baseball team played 14 home games at Astoria Field and Southside Ballpark, the DSU and DHS softball teams each played four home games at Gress Complex.

Jump forward two weeks and two snowstorms later and the area joined the rest of the North Dakota waiting game. With the shorten season, the DHS baseball's doubleheaders will both be conference games.

"My sophomore year we started off kind of late, but my freshman year we started really late," Kary said. "It was about the same as this year."

DSU's track and field teams have had two outdoor meets, but the Blue Hawk Games scheduled for Friday is being moved to Miles City, Mont., on Saturday. In the team's previous two meets, DSU had favorable conditions.

"I know our team was really looking forward to the outdoor season once it started getting really nice outside," DSU sophomore Stormie Sickler said. "Now that we are probably set back another week, it puts a damper on all of our moods.

"Growing up here, you know that if you are in a spring sport, you have to advantage of every beautiful day. With the weather, how it is now. I'm glad that we got one really good meet in so far."

Sickler, a DHS graduate, said the team has the opportunities to continue getting workouts in for later on in the season. She knows the weather can easily damper the team's spirits, but she said everyone just has to stay positive.

"With a bad snowstorm, there's usually a good month after that," Sickler said. "We're all just keeping our fingers crossed and we have a really meet coming up."

The Midgets track and field teams have competed in one outdoor meet in Spearfish, S.D., on April 5 while the boys and girls have each been to at least one indoor meet.

On Tuesday, the DHS and DSU baseball teams were at Astoria Field and Southside Ballpark removing snow from the outfield in hopes of playing sooner rather than later.

"We are going to get the field cleaned up for next weekend for the Mayville Tournament and possibly Wednesday for a Jamestown game next week," DSU head coach Jason Watson said. "That's the part of playing in the North is going that extra mile. It's not very fun at least, but if you want to play at home you are going to do what you can to get the field ready."

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