Recent rainy weather has affected more than just lake levels.
Spring showers have been a disruptive force in the early stages of the high school baseball season, with some teams already having to miss several contests and practices. Johnson’s Monday night bout against White County, for example, was pushed back to Thursday after an untimely shower made the field unplayable.
It’s the second game the Knights have had rained out so far less than a month into the season, and Johnson coach Michael Holland said it’s caused the year to have a disjointed feel from the get-go.
“As far as the team chemistry and starting to play better together, if you get a little bit of momentum and then you get a rain out, it’s almost like having to start over again with the intangible things,” he said.
Like most other schools, Johnson uses a full field tarp to keep the field dry during showers, and on some cases has gotten afternoon practice in even after a rainy morning.
But on days when the bad weather is more persistent, there isn’t much that can be done. Those days have become rather common in recent months, which has been a detriment to the younger players who are still trying to develop chemistry with their peers.
“Especially when you have inexperienced guys, it’s hard to come together when you’re never practicing on the field,” Holland said. “There’s only so much you can do indoors before it just gets old.”
Getting behind early in the year can also lead to scheduling issues later on, according to Holland.
Johnson’s missed Monday game, for example, will be played on Thursday instead. But that only opens the door to a whole new host of issues.
With another contest already scheduled for Wednesday, the Knights will now have to play games two days in a row.
Rescheduling one rained out game is easy. Finding the time to fit in multiple missed contests later in the season while already navigating a busy region schedule is much more difficult.
“You try to do your best to make them up,” Holland said. “But at the same time, I’m not going to play five games in five days and stress my kids like that.”
There’s no easy answer for the local teams that have already missed several nonregion games and days’ worth of valuable practice.
All that can really be done is wait out the weather and work on the mental side of the game in the hopes that when the rains pass, the physical parts will iron themselves out.
“We try to do a lot of things, as much as you can anyway, in the gym as far as scheme-wise,” Holland said. “You run defense and first-and-thirds and you’re giving signs, all that mental stuff. All the mental stuff we’ve been trying to rep really hard so we don’t have any mental mistakes and things that we can control once we do get back out on the field.”