Korby's Corner...Spring sports are buzzing thanks to Mother NatureAlthough shovels might better fit the scene of northern Minnesota weather in March, Cloquet track and field Coach Tim Prosen reminded his kids to bring water bottles to practice after the first day.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Although shovels might better fit the scene of northern Minnesota weather in March, Cloquet track and field Coach Tim Prosen reminded his kids to bring water bottles to practice after the first day.
“It was 70 degrees and humid,” said Prosen, now in his eighth year coaching the Lumberjacks. “Some days at state in June aren’t that warm!”
Although the state track and field meet sits more than three months away, unseasonably warm weather has gotten most spring sports squads outdoors earlier than normal throughout March.
It’s not even April yet, and all the snow is gone.
“Most years we don’t even have running water outside until May,” said Prosen Monday, as the Lumberjacks entered their third week of practice. “It’s been fun. I’ve sure seen it much worse.”
Prosen explained that during most Aprils, outdoor track meets get cancelled constantly, while even indoor events end up postponed because teams can’t even travel by bus because of snow.
Tuesday, Cloquet had its season-opening meet at Bemidji. The temperature around noon was nearly 60 degrees.
“We’ve realized lately what it’s like to be a southern Minnesota school or even somewhere else in the country,” Prosen said. “Usually we’re worried about tight muscles, but we’ve just worried about water lately.”
Prosen explained that hydration has been a must with this spring’s record-breaking temps. He added that they’ve been outside every day thus far, making practice much easier than being indoors at the high school.
“It changes your training schedule for sure,” Prosen said.
First-year Cloquet baseball Coach Rick Norrgard said his Lumberjack squad has been outside every day, like the track team.
“A couple days were nicer than ones we’ll get all summer,” Norrgard said. “It always helps to be outside. We’ve been extremely lucky.”
Like Prosen’s track team, Norrgard said being outdoors this early for baseball allows his fellow coaches and players to have more flexibility. He said that was never the case when he played for the Lumberjacks.
“I don’t ever remember getting outside this early when I played baseball for Cloquet,” Norrgard said. “We always started inside.
“But that was a long time ago,” he added, with a chuckle.
As Norrgard did in Cloquet, Ron Tondryk grew up playing baseball in Esko. He agreed the balmy weather has been great.
Entering his third year as the Lumberjacks softball coach, Tondryk said his team has practiced indoors every day so far, now entering their third week. For Tondryk, luck hasn’t been there.
“The first week it was nice, but the fields weren’t ready, while the second when the fields were ready, it was too wet,” Tondryk said Monday. “It hasn’t been this nice for a while, but today it was just too cold.”
Senior captain Shania Paulson said although being inside is a bummer at times, she added she and her teammates work well in the tight spaces.
“You can’t do anything about the weather,” said Paulson, a third baseman. “Yeah, balls fly everywhere inside the gym, but we work on our fundamentals and get our work done. We’re excited to get outside, because then it’s a different ball game.”
Entering her fourth year on varsity, Paulson thought back to seasons past. Then she realized something.
“First we cancel two games, then get outside,” she said with a laugh.
This spring, though, probably not.
Thanks Mother Nature. Much appreciated.