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Weather now not nice, but normal in Oregon

It always seems to get worked out by the end of the season
by: Self-portrait Sports Editor John Brewington

Looking outside my office window this blustery Monday morning I saw a 30-foot-long fir branch come crashing down right where our landlord normally keeps his debris pile for such purposes.

Springtime in Oregon it is. It seems a bit like 'Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day,' but with a little rain thrown in.

I'd just gotten off the phone with St. Helens Golf Coach Dave Lawrence and learned that 'yes' they would be playing the opening Northwest Oregon Conference golf match at Wildwood in a couple of hours.

'Really,' I wondered.

Then it occurred to me, it's just a normal wet spring where the coaches do what they can to get in games, meets or matches. Before the weather abates, usually in April, all of the local ball fields will be tinged red by Turface, the most commonly used drying agent. Track meets will be held and when kids aren't running with water dripping off their noses, they'll be huddled under stadium roofs or erect canopies for warmth. Tennis matches will be cancelled or often played on freshly-squeeged courts, and mud-spattered rain gear will be the fashion-du-jour at many a golf match.

Hey it's Northwest Oregon and we should be pretty used to it by now. This happens most springs, with dry weather being a notable exception.

Hope springs eternal for ball coaches. Last week, most of the fields were playable. The Scappoose girls' softball field drains well, and coach Dean Smith had it looking season-ready last week. Once the current wet spell is over, the field can probably be made playable again with a few hours more work. The Scappoose boys' baseball team was practicing on the jayvee field and the current wet storm will set back getting the varsity field ready anytime really soon. Coach Robert Medley will be out there trying, though.

In St. Helens, both the baseball and softball teams had their fields nearly ready to go on Friday after rolling them Thursday afternoon. New St. Helens baseball coach Randy Voght even held a Lemon-Black scrimmage on Friday. This week will be a bit of a setback for both those fields.

Track manages to run in almost any condition. St. Helens is slated to participate in the Polar Bear Invitational at Westview on Wednesday, while Scappoose will host the Anderson Relays on Thursday. Those events are for certain.

Not certain is the postponed Scappoose baseball game with La Salle. It hadn't been rescheduled as of press time. This time of year is trying for an athletic director and baseball coach in Scappoose's case. Medley's retort to the situation was 'I'm not a weatherman, Brewington.' It's probably just as well he isn't, the forecast for the rest of the week is not good.

Tuesday's games for baseball and softball hadn't been cancelled just yet, but they seemed unlikely. As did those slated for Wednesday.

At some point if the rain lightens a bit, schools may try to go to some all-weather-turf fields. We're not there just yet, but coaches start to get antsy when they've had two or three games cancelled and still haven't played. They all want to see where their teams are at, and who does best in what position, and how the hitting is, etc.

St. Helens boy's and girl's golf teams were to host their own invitationals Monday and Tuesday at a very windy Wildwood.

It happens every year. Games eventually get played. Sometimes they have to be moved. The weather usually turns a little better. It's the toughest situation athletic director face during the year.