Winter’s Icy Grip Loosens on Prep Sports Teams
Several local high school teams played their season openers Friday. At least a couple more will get their seasons underway Saturday. Outdoor baseball and softball should start soon. However, many teams have had events and games canceled that won't be made up.
Owatonna boys' golf opened their season Friday against Mankato East at a course in Ames, IA. The Cougars won the dual 380-358. Medford won a pair of softball games at the Austin dome Friday night, beating NRHEG 8-7 and Blooming Prairie 2-1. The Tigers are 3-0 with each victory by one run. NRHEG dropped a 4-1 decision to WEM, who also topped Blooming Prairie 7-1 Friday. It was the season opener for NRHEG and BP, who had games at the dome postponed last weekend due to dangerous travel conditions.
Huskies' lacrosse will open their season with a girls-boys doubleheader at Rochester Mayo Saturday and their turf field. The girls' varsity plays at 4PM with the boys at 7:30PM. The boys game was supposed to be in Owatonna, but the field at OHS is not ready. Huskies' coach Scott Seykora points out it is the third home game lost already, which is especially tough for the seniors. The Huskies' season and home opener against Farmington April 14 is rescheduled for Monday, April 23 at Farmington where they have artificial turf. He's not sure about a reschedule date for Friday's game with Big Nine Conference co-champ Northfield.
While snow should off the baseball and softball diamonds soon, fields still need to dry out before practices and games can be held on them. Owatonna baseball coach Tate Cummins expressed concern about whether Dartt's Park would be ready for Tuesday's doubleheader against Mankato East. If Owatonna opens their season Thursday, April 26 at Rochester Mayo that would match the start date of 2013. Thursday's twinbill at Mayo Field will be a KRFO AM 1390 broadcast.
OHS softball coach Brian Pilcher doubts that Morehouse Park will be ready for a Thursday home opener against Rochester Mayo. Owatonna is scheduled to open their season Tuesday, April 24 at Mankato East with a 4PM doubleheader. If those games happen, you can hear them on Kat Kountry 105FM and on the Kat Kountry app.
Cummins and Pilcher believe their teams will still play full spring schedules. That's not the case for smaller school baseball and softball teams, who have had games canceled that won't get made up or replaced. In the Gopher Conference and the Hiawatha Valley League, teams will play a single round for the conference standings. Some doubleheaders will include a seven-inning and five-inning game.
Triton baseball will spend the spring as road warriors. Coach Mike Ellingson says some sod work was done at the their field and they might only play one game on it this season. At New Richland, their field is slow to dry out according to coach Drew Paukert. Their first home game doesn't happen until May 1. The first base dugout at Jeff and Carol Reese Field got blown over by the blizzard last weekend and probably won't be replaced until the summer.
Listen for the latest high school sports news each Saturday morning on the KRFO coaches show at 9AM on AM 1390, krforadio.com or with the KRFO app.