Rain Plagues Cleveland Heights Sports Calendar
Tigers coping as best they can under wet conditions
Rain rain go away, come again another day. For Cleveland Heights sports teams this spring season, it has been pouring most days, turning this simple nursery rhyme into a mournful blues tune.
This week’s weather had potential, especially after a sunny Saturday that featured no cancellations of any sort. Spirits were high with five-day forecasts predicting a little sun and promises of competition.
But Monday and Tuesday came and so did the rain, dampening the mood and knocking out much of the high school sports calendar, kicking off another period of waiting and watching. Most of the Cleveland Heights coaches said this is the worst spring they’ve seen for sports.
“It’s a shame that the weather’s been like this, but we’re making the best of it. We’re trying to keep our eyes on the prize and keep pushing along,” Heights boys’ lacrosse coach Curt Kassigkeit said.
Bad weather on game dates aren’t the only way games can be postponed or canceled.
Steady rain can ruin playing fields for days as a downpour on a Tuesday or Wednesday can knock out a game on Saturday. The baseball team experienced this two weeks ago, losing the chance to play a doubleheader at Beachwood on a bright Saturday afternoon because the field was drenched earlier in the week and wasn’t ready in time.
“I’m just praying we can get these games in,” Tigers baseball coach Mike Dillon said. “There’s no consistency. We played Bedford Thursday night, but we hadn’t played since the previous Thursday. So at this time of the year, to go seven days without a game is really tough. And we looked like we hadn’t played.”
Practice can also become a casualty, which means the quality of play can slip even when teams get on a field and perform.
Heading into this week’s action, the boys’ tennis team has experienced six rainouts, but second-year Heights tennis coach John Laskarides said they’ve only missed one Lake Erie League game.
“It has really affected us in continuity and practice as a team. And I’ve been texting kids, giving them weather updates. And the kids have been really good about adjusting their lives around tennis,” Laskarides said.
While spring sports like track and field, softball, baseball and tennis have taken hits to their schedule, lacrosse hasn’t had nearly as many issues. Only the occasional early-season snow or thunder and lightning get in the way.
“Lacrosse is a sport that’s used to playing in inclement weather,” Heights girls’ lacrosse coach Terry Saylor said. “Ultimately, we find a way to get the games in. The concern is more with the potential damage to the fields than our ability to play the actual game in those kinds of conditions.”
Despite all the disruptions, Heights track and field coach Nick Continenza believes it has built another level of character in his team. Early in the season, snow knocked out a couple of meets, but his team has found a way to compete and deal with the madness.
“There were a couple meets we went to when it was pouring rain, and other kids are packing it up and we gutted it out. Our kids are tough kids,” Continenza said. “To their credit, they didn’t provide more than you would expect in complaining. We made it happen. If the rest of the year it ends up raining, we’re going to be fine.”