Snowstorm leaves status of high school sports in doubt for rest of the week

Snow covers the field at First Bank Park in Strasburg on Wednesday afternoon. Rich Cooley/Daily

Bitter cold and wind forced local high school athletic directors to shuffle their spring sporting events last week. More wintry weather is playing havoc with the high school sports schedule this week.

The area’s first significant snowfall of the year forced the postponements of local games on Tuesday and Wednesday, and events scheduled for the rest of the week could soon feel the impact.

“Everybody had told me when I began, spring’s the hardest one just because of everything – the cold, the rain and then with this snow now,” said Stonewall Jackson first-year athletic director Mike Lenox, who is on the administrative end of things after serving as the school’s varsity baseball coach for six seasons. “I’ve been coaching for so long; this has probably been one of the hardest (spring seasons) so far, I think, just with the cold and then weather now. It’s been really tough.”

In anticipation of Wednesday’s snowstorm, Stonewall Jackson and Central announced on Tuesday the postponements of today’s scheduled baseball and softball games between the two schools (those games will be made up on April 30). Strasburg also moved its baseball and softball games against Page County from Thursday to April 18. As of press time on Wednesday, those were the only official postponements announced by area schools, although the status of games scheduled for the rest of the week is very much in doubt.

While Lenox said the door is open for Stonewall to play its full slate of games against Robert E. Lee on Friday as scheduled, he added that a plan is already in place to reschedule those contests.

Sherando activities coordinator Jason Barbe said Wednesday he’s “not very hopeful” that the Warriors will play any sports the rest of the week – including Saturday’s full slate with Millbrook – and Skyline AD Bill Cupp was equally doubtful about his school’s games against Strasburg on Friday.

Cupp said the infields on Skyline’s softball field and at Bing Crosby Stadium – the locations for Friday’s varsity softball and baseball games – were covered with a tarp on Monday night to prepare for the snowstorm.

“That gives us somewhat of a fighting chance,” he said, “but unless it gets really warm (Thursday) and everything melts, and then it’s gotta dry. I’m not overly optimistic.”

Cupp said he and Strasburg AD Matt Hiserman have already had discussions about make-up dates for Friday’s contests, and he added that Skyline could use some of them during next week’s spring break to make up games lost due to poor weather to avoid a backlog of games later in the season.

Hiserman said Strasburg’s baseball and softball teams will play three games per week through April, and Lenox said three-game weeks will be the norm for Stonewall moving forward, as well.

Barbe said Sherando – which battles poorly draining athletic fields each spring – was enjoying one of its better spring seasons with dry weather before this week’s snowstorm.

“Obviously today is gonna be a little bit of a setback for us,” Barbe said on Wednesday, “and what goes with that when you live on a swamp is we’ll probably be three to five days behind everybody else in drying out. But we got a week’s worth of games in, we’ve practiced outside more times than ever. I mean, I’m disappointed, but I’m not crushed by this.

“If we lose all next week too because things don’t dry out quick enough and we’re sitting two weeks behind, then that will be a little bit of an issue for us,” Barbe added, echoing a similar statement made by Lenox.

The six public high schools in The Northern Virginia Daily’s coverage area were still scheduled to play a total of nine varsity and junior varsity games on Thursday and 36 on Friday, and no official announcements had been made regarding the status of those contests as of press time on Wednesday.

Friday’s slate of games includes 10 for Warren County against James Wood and the eight Skyline-Strasburg matchups.