Snow forces teams back inside
The thundering sound in the halls of Dickinson Trinity High School means spring is here -- just not the way everyone had hoped. When 18 inches of snow wreaked havoc on Dickinson and the surrounding areas earlier this week, it also forced coaches ...
The thundering sound in the halls of Dickinson Trinity High School means spring is here -- just not the way everyone had hoped.
When 18 inches of snow wreaked havoc on Dickinson and the surrounding areas earlier this week, it also forced coaches and activities directors to find alternative means of practicing for spring sports.
With Whitney Stadium already under construction, Dickinson's track and field teams had worked out means of practicing. But most of those plans involved training outdoors.
At Trinity, the track and field team practices by jogging and sprinting down long stretches of hallway, as well as the school's auditorium and the Knights of Columbus Activities Center gymnasium.
While Titans track and field coach Craig Kovash said the scenario is less than ideal, the team is dealing with the change, even though they were running outdoors at this time last week.
"We'd rather be outside, but you know what, it's not bad," Kovash said.
At Dickinson State, it's back to the winter practice schedule for the track and field, baseball and softball teams, who all share Wienbergen Gymnasium.
"We're just staying indoors and going similar to our indoor routine right now," DSU track and field coach Pete Stanton said. "The softball team, the baseball team and the track team are all competing for the same spot of ground in Wienbergen Hall."
Christa Hofland said practicing indoors is a bit of a drag for Blue Hawk throwers. The All-American senior has been practicing by throwing the discus into a net -- commonly used as a batting cage by the baseball and softball teams -- and working on only footwork in the hammer throw.
"It's such a different feeling when you can go full speed, get your timing down and get your release down," Hofland said. "With discuss, throwing into the nets, you can't really see your release.
"It's been pretty hard for us. We might have to go into a meet without actually practicing with a hammer."
Dickinson High activities director Calvin Dean said the school's baseball, softball and track and field teams are taking turns practicing in three different time slots. While one team practices before school, another goes immediately after school gets out and the last team holds practice around 6 p.m.
"They're all taking one of those time slots and making the best out of the gymnasium space we have available at the high school," Dean said.
Meanwhile, Southside Municipal Ballpark and Gress Complex, the fields for Dickinson's baseball and softball teams, respectively, are both buried beneath blankets of snow.
Dean added the Midget baseball and softball teams will also be holding indoor practices at Heart River Elementary when scheduling allows.
As for rescheduling games? Dean said it's as unpredictable as the weather.
"At this point, we're not rescheduling anything until the weather straightens out and we find out where we're at," Dean said. "It's going to be a situation where we're going to lose some things, no doubt about it."
DSU moved its home opening doubleheaders against Mayville State in both softball and baseball to Glendive, Mont. The games are scheduled for today and Saturday.
Earlier in the week, Dickinson High called off baseball and softball openers that were scheduled for today and Saturday.
The Blue Hawks track and field team won't be competing anytime soon either. Stanton said a meet scheduled for Saturday in Rapid City, S.D., has been postponed indefinitely due to the blizzard that the Black Hills prior to reaching southwest North Dakota.
The coach said that he doesn't know for sure when DSU will participate in its first outdoor meet of the season, but added that rescheduling meets isn't at the forefront of his mind.
"We know its tough, but we know it could be tougher too," Stanton said. "You could be dealing with natural disasters and losing your homes like in the eastern part of the state, or in our area.
"... We can't be too worried about missing a track meet when people are trying to save their homes."