Scott Novak: Athletic directors in a tough spot

Published 9:26 am Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cancellations and postponements are beginning to stack up faster than the snow outside.

To paraphrase a bit, “these are the times that try men’s souls,” or at least the athletic directors who are left with the task of trying to put the pieces back together.

The second round of heavy snow, blowing and drifting, and dangerously low temperatures have already taken their toll on the weekend games and now are threatening today’s games and perhaps Wednesday’s as well.

There isn’t much the athletic directors can do about it either.

The weather has been dangerous this January and has left schools with no choice but to cancel and postpone basketball games, wrestling matches and cheerleading competitions.

And it couldn’t come at a worse time.

Wrestling season begins its post season this week with conference tournament. The state tournament begins next week, so coaches cannot afford too many days off.

Basketball teams are in the heart of their conference and division chases. Those games of course will be put ahead of any non-league contests that still remain on the schedule.

The state has the option to allow teams to play an extra basketball game each week, but as of writing this, no such decree has come forth.

So that leaves ADs with few options. They can wipe out the remaining non-conference games and reschedule the league games as best they can.

Problem is, who knows how much more bad weather awaits us.

Once the bitter cold and dangerous wind chills are gone Wednesday, more heavy snow is in the forecast.

Quite frankly, I can’t wait for January to get out of here. Maybe February will be a bit more forgiving.

I have been doing this for more than 30 years and I am hard-pressed to remember a worse month as far was weather and cancellations are concerned during the winter sports season.

There have been times like this during the spring sports season thanks to cold and snowy weather to begin the year and then rain, which has hampered an entire month before.

I know our athletic directors at Brandywine, Buchanan, Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Edwardsburg and Niles will work diligently to get as many games rescheduled as possible.

But let’s face it, there comes a point where you have to cut bait and run.

That point is approaching fast. Let’s hope the weather turns in their favor after this week and we can get back to our regularly scheduled sporting events.


Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at