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Spring sports must weather the storms

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Springtime in the Rockies usually means unpredictable weather and rescheduled games, matches and meets for high school teams.

And rescheduling postponed events isn’t as easy as it might seem.

“It’s a pain,” Douglas County High School Athletic Director Jeff Gardella said about the rescheduling process.

Agreeing on makeup dates, obtaining umpires and officials, securing venues and working around other school functions are just a few of the details that have to be ironed out by coaches and athletic directors in finding makeup dates.

The latest delay caused by a spring snowstorm was April 10 and 11, which brought back memories for many people about other bad weather situations during the spring.

Most games around the area were postponed on April 10.

Boys swimming, an indoor sport, is the only one that doesn’t have to be concerned about having meets postponed by weather.

Baseball is one of the spring sports that faces complications in the event of bad weather.

“You get into league (play) like everybody is right now and you don’t want to play back-to-back days because it is messing with your pitching in baseball,” Gardella said.

With the shortage of officials in sports like baseball, lacrosse and soccer, that often eliminates possible makeup dates because no officials or umpires are available.

And for lacrosse and soccer games, with several schools using districtwide stadiums, games often have to be scheduled around other games. Often, lower-level games have to be canceled rather than postponed.

Seven Douglas County School District soccer and lacrosse games were postponed on April 11 because the district doesn’t like to plow or brush snow off the artificial turf of its stadiums to avoid ripping seams and having to later redistribute rubber pellets back onto the field.

“The turf companies tell us that plowing is not good for the turf,” Douglas County School District Athletic Director Derek Chaney said. “There is really a lot that goes into spring sports in Colorado and rescheduling can be a hassle.”

Jefferson County, with three of its four venues having grass, was able to remove snow and didn’t have to postpone more games on April 11.

History maker

Westminster’s Jennifer Kupcho, the two-time 4A state champion from Jefferson Academy, the defending NCAA champion from Wake Forest and the top-ranked amateur golfer in the world, made history on April 6.

Kupcho was the first winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur with a come-from-behind, final-round 67 when she went 5-under-par for the final six holes.

She had rounds of 68, 71 and 67 for a 206 total and a four-stroke victory in the tournament, which was the first time women have competed at Augusta, the site of the famed Masters.

Women were not admitted to the Augusta National Golf Club until 2012 when two women were admitted with full privileges.

Jim Benton is a sports writer for Colorado Community Media. He has been covering sports in the Denver area since 1968. He can be reached at jbenton@coloradocommunitymedia.com or at 303-566-4083.

Jim Benton

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