There is no worse time of year to be a high school athlete then in the spring and that season officially begins today. Yes today (with snow on the ground) is the first day of practice for baseball, softball, lacrosse, track, golf and boy’s tennis...all outdoor sports.

As is often the case most of those sports will likely be relegated to holding their initial practice sessions inside a gymnasium which is clearly not an ideal setting. The good news is that by early next week we’re expected to be in the 60s so everyone should be able to practice outside at least for some amount of time.

However for a good part of their season spring athletes deal with pretty lousy weather. The month of March is devoted to practice and scrimmages when the weather is often more winter-like than spring-like. Nothing like playing baseball when the temperature is just above freezing and tennis is a fun sport with howling winds and snow flurries. Even when the first games are played on April 1st it’s likely that most of the parents and fans will be dressed in ski jackets and gloves while wrapped in blankets.

 Let’s be honest. It seems that spring gets shorter each year while fall gets longer.

Even well into April there’s as many days more suited for indoor sports than outdoors. The shame of it all is by the time the weather finally gets consistently nice in mid-May the season is just about over unless your team goes deep into post-season tournaments. There’s really not much that can be done but it just seems like spring high school athletes in our part of the country get the short end.

Switching gears a bit the winter sports season continues for some Ocean County teams and individuals. The boys’ basketball teams from Toms River East, Lakewood, Manchester, Point Beach and Donovan Catholic are still alive while on the girls side Toms River East and Donovan Catholic look to extend their seasons tonight. Meanwhile the state’s top wrestlers are in Atlantic City where the NJSIAA Championships begin tonight at Boardwalk Hall.