Spring sports battle with El Niño



Flooded fields, ruined equipment and announcements of cancelled games and practices are what many spring athletes associate with El Niño.

Many teams have had to cancel practices or games due to weather in the past  season. Tennis has been the hardest hit with three matches rescheduled.

“With [the] rain, you’re just wet and cold and it’s just not fun,” junior lacrosse player Angela Banfield said. “You’re focusing on trying to get warm then playing the game.”

El Niño occurs every two to seven years and caused Redwood City to receive 147 percent of average rainfall in January, but California is still in an extreme drought in 69 percent of the state and reservoirs are on average only 56 percent full, according to the San Jose Mercury News. To recover from the drought, California will need more excessive rain to reach previous levels.

Even though practices and matches get cancelled, the boys tennis team tries to make up the day of training they lost.

“We try to get out on weekends if we have practices cancelled. We just try to make up what we can,” Loveland said.

This is not the case with lacrosse, track and field and swim teams who continue to practice despite most bad weather.

“We go out and run a few miles,” freshman track and field runner Shannon Coan said. “We’re wet and your feet are all heavy because they are full of water.”

For coaches, it makes scheduling difficult.

“It’s definitely less fun in the rain. Practice turnout is way worse when it’s pouring. It’s hard to get into the pool,” swim coach Allison Stafford said. “It’s hard on coaches. My umbrella has taken a hit this season.”

Baseball and softball games are cancelled due to the field being wet. Baseball, however, has found a solution.

“We added a bunch of new absorbent dirt this year, that has helped a little bit. It really depends on how much it rains,” baseball coach Corey Uhalde said. “For a heavy rain we can expect probably about a day for it to dry out. Other fields are not quite that responsive.”

Coaches agree that rain should not affect the effort that athletes give.

“You always [try to] get a little better no matter what your situation, whether you’re in a weight room or using wiffle balls or hitting off tees,” Uhalde said. “So even though it’s not ideal, keep a positive attitude and not let it be an excuse to not work hard.”