- Published on 10 April 2012
- Written by Andy McCallister
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One of the challenges of trying to play spring sports in this part of the country is just coming up with a schedule.
This is not a news flash, to be sure, and yes, I know we’ve covered some of this ground in the past. But there are always twists and turns in how some of our local teams meet the challenges thrust upon them by the combination of weather and their school calendars.
No team among the Crete High and Doane spring collection this year faces any greater test than that of the Tiger softball team. Beginning Friday of this week, they will play all but two games of their entire 20-game Great Plains Athletic Conference schedule in a span of 16 days.
With the departure of Sioux Falls and Dana from the conference, the GPAC is down to 11 softball-playing institutions, which means that each team plays the other 10 in a doubleheader format.
And the way it shook down for Doane this season, the whole conference slate, except for the Tigers’ twin bill at Concordia March 27, got crammed into the final two weeks of April.
So on Saturday afternoon, Doane will host Northwestern and then climb aboard a bus on Sunday morning and travel to Sioux City to play Briar Cliff.
After two off days, Doane hosts Midland on April 18, then continues the home stand on Saturday and Sunday, April 21-22 against Dordt and Morningside.
Then it’s time to hit the road again. The Tigers play Hastings on the 24th, at Nebraska Wesleyan the next day and Mount Marty (in Yankton, S.D.) on April 27 before returning home on April 29 to close their regular season against Dakota Wesleyan.
The GPAC post-season tournament begins just four days later in Hastings, so there is precious little time for rescheduling games in the event our weather suddenly turns wet and disagreeable.
Couldn’t the conference just schedule some of the games earlier in the season, you ask, as is done with basketball?
Yes and no.
You can schedule softball games to your heart’s delight in early March, but getting them played is usually a risky proposition due to the kind of weather we usually have.
This year, it would have been no problem, but who knew?
So, baseball and softball teams in the GPAC schedule their “dispensable” non-conference games mostly in late February and through March, along with any out-of-state trips.
This year, the Doane softball team played four doubleheader dates in the Los Angeles area during the college’s spring break week.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have very many games scheduled during some of our recent unseasonably warm weather, playing just four games on the 18 days between their final California game on March 22 and a non-conference doubleheader with York on Tuesday.
The Tiger softball team, however, doesn’t have the market cornered on frantic April schedules here in town.
The Crete High girls’ tennis team will just have time to restring their racquets and re-lace their shoes next week, with meets on Monday, Tuesday and Saturday and then the following Tuesday.
The Cardinal golfers put their bid in on the subject with back-to-back-to-back meets Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week before playing Monday and Wednesday meets next week. Five meets in nine days — that’s pretty tough to beat.
We hear from the Crete High baseball team on all of this a little later in the month. Down the stretch of their regular season, they have games scheduled April 24 and 26 at Nebraska City and Yutan, then host Beatrice on the 27th and Mount Michael on April 30 before their regular season finale the next day in a twin bill at Elkhorn South.Have a little extra ice ready for those pitching arms, Jeremy.