By Steve Williams
The calendar may have said “spring break,” but Old Man Winter wasn’t ready to be benched last week. He could go another inning or two.
As a result, a lot of games involving Knox County high school baseball and softball teams were postponed or canceled because of snow or cold weather on Monday and Tuesday.
But not all of them.
“We played a doubleheader in the snow at Union County on Tuesday,” said new Fulton head coach Adam Dyer. “The only time it stopped snowing was between games.”
Dyer’s Falcons may have lost both ends of the twinbill, but they didn’t let the unseasonable weather conditions stop them.
At South-Doyle, assistant baseball coach Nick Jacobs pointed out the difference in this year’s spring break weather compared to last year.
“It was 80 degrees here this time last year, and we got snow three days this year,” said Jacobs.
“Last season we went to Cocoa Beach to play games during spring break. This year the weather backed up our Monday and Tuesday district games against Sevier County to Wednesday and Thursday.”
A few Knox County teams traveled south this year.
South-Doyle, Bearden and West played in the Grand Strand Softball Classic at Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Lady Cherokees didn’t entirely dodge the early spring cold snap, but at least they got to play their games.
“It was really cold in the mornings with the wind blowing,” said South-Doyle Coach Robby Howard. “The highs were in the 50s in the afternoon.
“The kids went to the beach a little bit and tried to lay out in the sun, but they weren’t out there very long.”
All three Knoxville teams stayed at the same resort and enjoyed some time together away from the ball field, said Coach Howard. Watching the Lady Cherokees, Lady Bulldogs and Lady Rebels singing and dancing at Karaoke Night “was pretty funny.”
Playing in the tournament also were teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and New York, in addition to Tennessee.
“If we were at home, we couldn’t have played, except indoors,” said Howard, whose team finished 2-5 for the week. “It was nice to get in the games and against good competition.”
Carter’s baseball team played games at Cocoa Beach and Fort Pierce, Fla.
The Hornets took Wednesday off but went and watched some major league spring training action. While the Carter players saw the Nationals play the Braves, Carter coaches drove over to Lakeland, Fla., to see the Tigers play the Phillies, with Justin Verlander and Cole Hamels pitching.
Carter head coach Scott Rimmer and 12-year-old son Ethan even got some air time on ESPN, which was telecasting the Detroit vs. Philadelphia game.
“Chad Grubb, one of my former players, was watching the game on TV back home and spotted us as we were walking into the park. He took a picture of it and sent it to us.”
Bearden’s baseball team also played games down south in Gulf Shores, Ala.
Meanwhile, in Knoxville on Friday afternoon, with a drizzle of rain falling and temperatures in the mid-40s, South-Doyle’s junior varsity baseball team came from behind to defeat Seymour 10-7. Yep, a football-like score in football-like weather.
At least it wasn’t snowing.