NOVAK: Hoops are over, bring on spring sports

Published 8:57 am Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The college basketball season came to an end Monday night with either Texas Tech or Virginia winning the NCAA men’s championship.

It came a day after Notre Dame’s big to repeat as women’s championship came up a point short against a very good Baylor team, that would have probably blown out the Fighting Irish had All-American Lauren Cox not injured her knee in the third quarter.

It has been a fun postseason in college basketball with Notre Dame and Michigan State both reaching the Final Four.

Once again, the tournaments provided fantastic finishes, a few upsets and plenty of highlights to last us until next March when the madness begins all over again.

The Final Four weekend locally signals the end of the winter sports season and the beginning of spring sports for our area high school teams.

A few teams squeezed in some games before spring break thanks to some decent weather.

But now that all six of our teams have taken a week off, it is time to gear up for two and a half months of pretty much nonstop action if the weather cooperates.

Although there were only two games on the schedule on Monday, the rest of this week is filled with baseball, softball, soccer, golf, tennis and track events.

Today alone, there are 20 varsity events scheduled between our six schools.

While the temperatures will fluctuate a bit this week, my main concern is the potential for rain Wednesday through Thursday.

We do not need to get off to a bad start with the weather. We need dry days that are reasonably warm to get the season started.

I love spring sports mainly because I have been cooped up in gymnasiums for the past three months, and I want to get out in the fresh air.

I know there will be days that I regret being outside with the weather, but for the most part, spring sports are a lot of fun to cover because we have many talented teams and six sports to choose from.

As I usually do, I would encourage everyone to get out and support their local teams.

I hate driving up to a game and seeing just a handful of fans sitting in the bleachers or around the fields.

These student-athletes deserve our support. They have been working their tails off getting ready for their seasons and having a decent crowd at their games cheering them on goes a long way.

For a good portion of these athletes, these will be some of their fondest memories of high school. You can help make those lasting memories by going out to the games, most of which are free of charge, and cheering them on to victory.

Do no wait until the postseason to come out and support your team just because they are winning. Get out there today and show them that their community is behind them.

Remember, these young boys and girls are ambassadors of their communities. When they travel to an away game, how they act and how they play are a direct reflection on the communities they come from.

Take that into consideration when deciding on whether or not to head over to the local ballfield, tennis court, soccer pitch or golf course and take in a game.

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