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Snow in the metro could cause issues for start of spring school sports

Posted at 6:44 PM, Feb 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-18 19:44:53-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Weeks of snow and ice around the metro could lead to potential issues for spring sports as tryouts and training get set to begin.

Missouri and Kansas public schools can begin practicing for spring sports starting next week.

However, winter conditions still lingering around the area could lead to some changes.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had a winter like this that’s had such an impact on our playing or practicing,” said Sporting Blue Valley director Tom Mura. “It’s been a huge challenge just because you never know when you’re going to play.”

On Monday, Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex sat empty despite sunny conditions outside.

The dozen fields at the facility, often home to hundreds of soccer players during the season, continue to be covered in snow.

As a result, a college showcase at the soccer complex was canceled this past weekend while other events could see similar results.

“Team practices are supposed to start this week and those won’t be getting a chance to start because of the fields being snow-covered,” Mura said. “If there’s any ice or snow on the fields at all you can’t play. It just becomes unsafe. The ball won’t role.”

For Sporting Blue Valley and many other teams and programs across the metro, training now comes down to getting available time inside.

However, that too can provide some challenges.

“You really can’t reschedule because everything is just one event after the other,” Mura said. “You try to find indoor time but indoor time is already so booked during the winter months. It’s not like there’s empty field time.”

Schools in the area are also experiencing similar issues with the winter weather.

At Liberty North High School, athletic director Bob Kernell said coaches were planning on possibly holding tryouts inside the gym for multiple spring sports.

“It really creates a challenge and really crams your inside space,” he said. “You run out of daylight and you run out of time during the day to get the practices in.”

With the situation requiring teams to find open time and shuffle around their schedules, Kernell said all the sports were working together.

“There are a lot of emails and communication going on. ‘Hey, we need this area. Can you guys go to this area?’ Luckily, we have some big halls we can run in and do that,” he said. “There has to be major communication going on. Who goes late, who goes early, who is going before school.”

As the start of spring sports gets closer, the conditions outside continue to leave coaches and administrators hoping for warm weather ahead.

“We always look forward to getting outdoors. We’re just not going to be able to do it,” Tom Mura said. “There’s just nothing you can do about it . There’s no way to get the snow off the fields other than the sun.”

While schools around Kansas and Missouri can begin practicing next week, official games won’t begin until mid-March.