Snow go for opening day for teams at Catonsville and Lansdowne High
By Craig Clary
Mar 21, 2018 at 2:25 PM
Catonsville practices in the cold five days before snowstorm
After playing scrimmages on three consecutive blustery, cold days last week, Catonsville High baseball coach Rich Hambor described the conditions.
“It was dry, but it was brutal,” said Hambor, in his 14th season as head coach.
But, the coach wasn’t going to use that as an excuse.
“I’m never going to say the weather is a deterrent because we all have the same weather,” he said.
Earlier today, the coach, who lives in Cockeysville, where six inches of snow had fallen by 10 a.m. this morning, he changed his tune about the weather and tempered his excitement for Catonsville’s season opener which is scheduled for Friday, March 23, at home against Manchester Valley.
“Right now, it’s Wednesday and it’s supposed to come down all day, so it’s going to take a few to days, not only to melt, but then to dry,” said Hambor, who has a home game scheduled on Tuesday, March 27 against Sparrows Point, and away game at Hereford on Thursday, March 29.
“Since we have a two-game week next week, as long as Manchester Valley is able to, we can move that game to Wednesday, Friday or Saturday which really wouldn’t back us up to much,” Hambor said.
If weather forces games to pile up in the same week, he feels his team will be prepared, noting he used 11 pitchers in the three scrimmages.
“I feel like right now, we have at least 11 different pitchers and we could probably go 12 or 13 deep of guys who have pitched before in travel, but maybe not pitched in varsity games before,” Hambor said. “That’s going to be a huge help if schedules get backed up.”
If the schedule gets jammed, that means more juggling for Catonsville High athletic director James Fitzpatrick.
Today’s schedule was light. The boys varsity and JV lacrosse teams were scheduled to play at home against Manchester Valley and the girls varsity and JV lacrosse teams were scheduled to play at Manchester Valley.
Fitzpatrick speculated on playing the boys lacrosse game as soon as possible.
“It’s not 100 percent, but we are looking at Monday, playing varsity only,” Fitzpatrick said. “Obviously, I will have to reschedule the rest of the stuff for this week.”
That includes the home varsity softball game scheduled for Friday, March 23, against Manchester Valley.
Fitzpatrick graduated from Catonsville High in 1975 and began teaching and coaching the girls soccer team in 2002.
He gave up coaching after the 2013 season and took over as athletic director the following year. He doesn’t remember anything this big on the first full day of spring or afterwards.
“I don’t remember a storm this big, but I think there was one back in the 90s, but that was going off recent memory and I was just a lonely old soccer coach then, and by the springtime, I was just a teacher,” Fitzpatrick said.
Lansdowne athletic director Todd Hawkins had to juggle 12 games (varsity and JV) between March 21 and March 23, so his preparation began early this week.
“I’ve already rescheduled the whole week,” said Hawkins. “Late Monday night, I had a plan, so that way I could kind of get it all together when it hit.”
Today’s varsity baseball opener at Chesapeake and JV game against Chesapeake at Lansdowne has been moved to April 9.
“I think not having a spring break, and people don’t want to here this, but it gives us more time to schedule,” Hawkins said. “Even though you could play on spring break, it was hard because people are going away.”
Meanwhile, coaches like Catonsville’s Hambor hope the 23 players on his varsity squad can pick up where they left off after practicing outside on the field Monday when it was 60 degrees.
“We really don’t want to lose the momentum we’ve had. We had a really good practice on Monday,” Hambor said. “When we come back, assuming inside, we probably just want to keep that intensity and go get some good swings in the cage and just keep our reps up.”