Spring teams try to uncover bright side to delays

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Mother Nature has stepped in to stall season openers for many area spring sports teams.

Area high schools were scheduled to start their spring sports seasons this week, but rainy, cool weather has forced rescheduling. Among them is the the baseball opener for Central and Chaffee, originally scheduled for Wednesday. It was moved to 4 p.m. today.

"We're ready to get going because we have a lot of new players on the roster," Central coach Steve Williams said, "and we want to see what we need to go back and practice."

Notre Dame, whose opener with Sikeston was postponed Tuesday, will try to open today at home against Jackson.

"It's not looking good at our place," Notre Dame coach Jeff Graviett said. "We've vacuumed a lot of water off the field and it's still bad in spots.

"It's frustrating to the kids because the hitters are ready to see live pitching and the pitchers are ready to face hitters in game situations. They're all itching to go."

The Indians' opening-day pitcher, Bryan Austin, took a pragmatic view.

"Yeah, it's a little frustrating, but it gives you a chance to get in a little more practice before the season starts," Austin said. "It's really not that bad at this time of the year."

Jackson coach Sam Sides said, "You can't let it bother you too much. It's something you have no control over."

llewis@semissourian.com

(573) 335-6611, ext. 171

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