Wonky weather affects sports games through the fall

Chloe Parker, Reporter

As most of the community knows, we were fortunate enough to be able to receive a new turf this past summer. The construction took multiple weeks, taking up most of summer, but it was in use for the fall sport tryouts in early August.
Having this new faculty, the coaches have been eager to practice and host games, but with the unpredictable weather the past few weeks this hasn’t been able to happen. The weather has been throwing curve balls at us and with the week-long heat wave and buckets of rain we’ve had, practices have been cancelled and games have had to be rescheduled for safety reasons.
“With the weather, it hasn’t always been as productive as we want it to be because with the rain, the grass is growing quicker and not getting cut as frequently, so its been hard to do drill that really benefit our team,” Varsity field hockey coach, Caitlin Duvall said.
Since the coaches aren’t able to do drills of the skills that need to be improved, it’s only hurting the athletes chances to improve their play.
“With the heat wave we didn’t have a ‘real’ practice three out of four days,” Connor Dunay (’21) Varsity football player said, “We only did non- contact with no pads and went into the weight room for our practices.”
Turf time is precious. Hosting multiple games per week for a variety of sports doesn’t leave much availability for coaches to claim turf practices right after school. Another factor taking away turf time is the fact that recreational sports have begun.
Teams are now having multiple games per week, so all games can be fit in before play-offs, which is affecting the athletes physically.
Athletes also claim that it affects them mentally and academically. The athletes have adjusted to having occasional late nights, but now they are realizing how much time and commitment school sports take. Finding the time for daily tasks like completing their homework or going to bed at a reasonable hour has been getting difficult.
“Having away games affects my motivation to do my homework,” Varsity soccer athlete, Bree Gobell (‘20), said, “I’m up so late so it’s harder to get up in the morning and that cycle just repeats.”
Also, planning is a challenge with not knowing what to plan for.
“It’s mentally tiring because we have to prepare for a lot or nothing,” Morgan Hackett (’22) Varsity field hockey player said, “It’s also hard for underclassmen to transport their equipment and plan for rides.”
Why did we have to cancel the games? There could have been solutions. Why not just have mandatory water breaks in the heat? Why not only cancel if there was lightning or thunder? Well, a couple different factors come into play when making the call to cancel these sporting events. Hereford’s factors differs from other schools that are unable to have turf.
“At Hereford, the primary factor is lightning and thunderstorms, but we have the ability to play on the turf field so we try our best to get games in on the turf,” Athletic Director, Coach Kalisz, said, “At away games, we often play opponents with grass fields and their fields are wet, muddy, and unsafe.”
Having to continuously reschedule games, athlete’s schedules will only get tougher from here on out.