Monday, March 18, 2013--6:25p.m.
The crisp snap of a ball and glove is usually a sure signal that spring is here. But this year, what feels like a never-ending winter is keeping spring sports teams cooped up inside. "Well, if it was last year we could have started some time in February probably," said Middleton High School's Athletic Director Bob Joers, referring to outdoor practice. "But we're probably looking like another one to two inches on the ground coming in tonight and we probably have four inches on our stadium field right now."
At Middleton High, girl's and boy's track and lacrosse teams are sharing practice space with girl's soccer, softball and boy's baseball.
"We have a field house, we have a varsity gym as well as a small gym," said Joers. The teams share those facilities on a rotational schedule. "So some kids will start right after school and some kids will start 7:30 tonight," he said. "Obviously it's a little harder on your studies, you have to plan for that. Some kids will have to study right after school."
While the winter weather is forcing spring athletes indoors, it also means an extended season for winter-lovers to play in the parks. "People can go out and ski," said Laura Whitmore, the Madison Parks community relations coordinator. "As well as snowshoe to go out, enjoy it. As well as get a few last runs in on the snow hill, get your sleds out."
Whitmore said there have been a lot more people out enjoying the city's parks than last winter, but also said it's now time to start getting things ready for spring. "Quite frankly I think all of us are ready," she said. "Let's be done and move on to spring and summer."