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Sodden fields scramble schedules Cancellations likely if rains continue


Liberty athletic director Bob Henard said yesterday that some spring games might have to be canceled if Carroll County teams can't get on their snow- and rain-soaked playing fields in the next two weeks.

"Right now, we've had to postpone five days of games, and if we lose games next week and some the week after that, we might have to cancel some games," Henard said of the problems caused by this month's blizzard.

"We're already looking at a condensed schedule. From the standpoint of postponing and rescheduling games, it's the worst I've seen."

Henard said Bruce Cowan, supervisor of physical education for Carroll County, has left the rescheduling of games up to the five athletic directors.

"We're on a day-to-day basis," Henard said. "We're hoping to get on the fields next week."

South Carroll athletic director Fred Baker didn't hesitate when asked to compare the condition of his playing fields this spring with other years.

"They're the worst I've seen in 28 years," Baker said. "And there's no end [to the bad weather] in sight. I know we won't get on our fields until next week at best."

Baker has postponed all lacrosse, baseball and softball games set for South Carroll this week, rescheduling them for mid-April and early May.

"It just adds to my job. You have to call the buses, the officials and the refreshment people," Baker said.

North Carroll athletic director Ed Powelson also was busy rescheduling this week's games for April and May.

But Powelson was trying to remain calm after the storm.

"I've been doing this job for 30-some years," he said. "We've had other years when we've had to delay the start of the season about a week. I just handle it. You have to do the same job twice, but there's no sense in worrying about it or complaining."

South Carroll lacrosse coach Gene Brown said the blizzard's timing was terrible.

"When it hit is as bad as the storm itself," Brown said. "We were just getting over the first snow and getting ready to get on the fields when this hit us. It was a crucial time for us to be on the field."

Brown said his team has had only two practices and two scrimmages in a month.

"That's the worst in 17 years I've been coaching," Brown said.

"I know everybody's in the same boat. I'm hoping to get out on the practice field [today] or tomorrow. If the weather continues like it is, we can play lacrosse in it."

Westminster athletic director Steve Thomson and Francis Scott Key athletic director Gary Watson also have been scrambling to reschedule games this week.

High schools aren't the only ones in a bind.

County Recreation and Parks officials are deeply concerned about the condition of their fields and are close to rewriting the rules for their use.

"We have adult lacrosse leagues practicing on the snow on our fields," said Richard Soisson, acting director of County Recreation and Parks.

"With all that moisture out there because of the snow, it will tear them up. It makes us rethink our present position of allowing people to play on our fields. We'll probably write up better guidelines for next year to protect our fields in situations like this."

Soisson said the county has had "bad snow years before but this is probably as bad as I've seen it."

He said no one has attempted to use the baseball fields yet.

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