Rainy spring knocks out Bull Run tournament

By Tommy Keeler Jr.

The spring weather has been like a roller coaster ride at King’s Dominion, with plenty of ups and downs, twists and turns. The latest batch of rain this week delivered a knockout punch to the Bull Run District Tournament.

Bull Run District athletic directors had an emergency meeting on Thursday morning and decided to cancel the Bull Run District Tournaments in all sports this season.

The Bull Run District tournament was scheduled to begin on May 19.

“Over the next two weeks some teams were looking at having to play eight or nine baseball and softball games. Some teams still had six or seven soccer matches,” Central athletic director Kenny Rinker said. “We voted to do away with the district tournaments and move some of the games into that week, the week of the 19th.”

Rinker said all district games now have to be played by May 22, unless the two teams both agree to play at a later date. Conference tournaments are scheduled to begin on Memorial Day, May 26.

Rinker said there were two big factors in canceling the district tournaments. One factor is the new pitching rules, which limit how many innings a pitcher can pitch in a week.

The other factor is seeding for conference tournaments. How teams finish in the district has an impact on seeding in some of the conferences, which makes it important to finish the regular season.

Rinker said the last time he could remember a spring being this bad was in the early 1990s, when he was the softball coach at Central.

“It’s been a while,” Rinker said. “It’s been a crazy spring. And really when you think about it, it was a crazy winter. But we have to do what’s in the best interest for everybody in the district.

“I will say that all the AD’s that I work with in the district and in the conference are a great group of people to work with. The focus is about putting the kids first and what’s best for them.”

Sherando girls soccer coach Rob Kilmer said he can’t remember a spring season like this in his 20 years of coaching at the school.

The only thing consistent about this spring has been the inconsistency of practices and games.

Snow and cold weather delayed the start of the season, and since then rainy weather has made things even more difficult. Many practices have been held indoors throughout the season.

Kilmer said his players have tried to make the best of things.

“I think they’ve handled it well, but they are frustrated,” Kilmer said.

Kilmer said they’ve tried to do different things in practice when they’ve been stuck in the gym, playing different games, trying to keep things fun.

The Warriors have had several games scheduled and found out that the game wouldn’t happen that afternoon. The Warriors were on a bus to Briar Woods earlier this season, and were told to turn around, after they were on their way there.

“I think the hardest part has been game day,” Kilmer said. “They get fired up for the game and get excited, and then the game gets pulled out from under us.”

Warren County coach Mike Carpenter said the weather has been tough on the players, but he said he tries to keep things fun in practice.

Warren County’s girls soccer team will have seven games over the course of the next two weeks. Carpenter said he doesn’t expect the backlog of games to bother the players too much.

“They play the sport to play the game,” Carpenter said. “Games are fun, and you have to try to keep it fun. They’re really looking forward to the games.”

Skyline athletic director Bill Cupp said that they should be able to get all their games in as long as we don’t have more bad weather like this week.

Skyline wasn’t able to get any softball games in this week, and only one baseball, boys soccer and girls soccer game was played.

“If we get another week like this one, then we’re going to have to cancel games,” Cupp said. “We would have nowhere for them to go.”

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or tkeeler@nvdaily.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd