It’s a quiet day here in Minnesota, with many schools closed on this Monday for an extended holiday weekend. But whether school is in session today or not, there is one theme that spring sports participants around the state will agree on: this is the finest weather imaginable.
Winter retreated early this year as spring came in like a lamb and has remained all warm and fuzzy.
“I can’t remember a spring this great,” said Bucky Mieras, athletic director and baseball coach at Orono High School. “It’s been fun, we’ve been outside.”
Most spring sports teams were able to practice outdoors as soon as the season began, rather than working inside while waiting for the weather to improve. Most teams are already involved in competitions; Thursday is the first available competition date for boys’ and girls’ lacrosse.
This weather is a far cry from 2008, when the spring was cold and wet across Minnesota.
“It’s going fantastic here,” said Minnewaska Area athletic director Bill Mills. “It’s as good as I’ve seen, especially relative to two years ago when it was something like Armageddon every day.”
Orono and Minnewaska both are home to defending state team golf champions; Orono has won the past two Class AA boys’ titles and Minnewaska is a four-time defending girls’ champion (A in 2006 and 2007, AA in 2008 and 2009).
“They were out pretty much right away,” Mills said of the Minnewaska girls’ golf team. “The course here opened March 27. The last time I remember that happening, I was in high school and that was more years ago than I care to remember.”
If there is any weather concern today, it’s a lack of rain. The state has been dry for an extended period, and concerns about forest and grass fires are growing.
“That’s our only issue,” Mieras said. “It’s too dry. That sounds crazy but it’s honestly the truth.”
Rain is forecast to fall beginning tonight, and no one would be overly upset with some precipitation at this point.
“It’s incredible for me to say this and I’ve never said this before and maybe I never will again, but we need rain,” Mills said. “It is bone dry. If we get a little over the next couple days, that’ll be fine with everybody.”
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn