Spring Sports Getting a Tough Start - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Spring Sports Getting a Tough Start

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While it might not seem like it, with low temps still hitting below freezing, Spring sports are starting up on both sides of the river. 

With that, comes baseball and softball season in Illinois. 

But many coaches are worried games simply can't be played here. 

The problem?

Frost beneath the fields from a bitter Winter.

Remember those days of -40 wind chills? They are still making their presence felt.

Frost depths beneath many diamonds around the area are still several feet thick.

So, when the ground starts to melt, the surfaces are becoming sloppy messes, making for an easy way to roll or break an ankle, and impossible to play sports.

Every step leaves a footprint on the soft dirt of Holmgren Field, home of the Moline Maroons baseball team.

A poor field leading to empty dugouts, and stressful days ahead. 

"I'll be honest with ya, this might be the worst start in my 14 years as Athletic Director," says Moline AD Todd Rosenthal. " We've never had a cold start like this."

For the next few months, Rosenthal's days are going to be filled with canceled games, rescheduling, and long nights.

"It becomes crunch time," he explains. "You try to reschedule all these, and you got workers and you got busses, you've got umpires you are trying to deal with. And then everybody is trying to scramble later this month and into May."

Baseball and softball games could officially start in Illinois on Monday, leaving about 2 months for teams to fit their 35 game schedule in. 

But with fields still with feet of frost underneath, Rosenthal isn't sure a full season will be possible.

"I'm sure we won't get that number just because we are going to be getting games in and canceling games and having get conference games in, that cause other cancellations... Just pushing and shoving."

The major problems for fields comes from constantly changing temps. 

Just because the weather gets up into the 50's for a few days, doesn't automatically mean teams can start playing on their fields. 

All of the frost continues to make fields wet from the ground up, especially when night temps still fall below the freezing mark.


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