With the coldest, longest and wettest winter seen in years in the Bay Area, the start of the high school softball and baseball seasons have seen numerous cancellations and postponements. Based on a couple of different factors, some teams have been affected more than others. Local coaches offered their comments on how the wet weather has affected the beginning to their season. Responses varied more than one might expect.
Santa Clara Bruins Baseball Head Coach Pedro Martinez acknowledged that he’s been lucky only having to reschedule a couple of games, with none having been canceled altogether. With the Santa Clara Bruins recently upgrading their field to turf, the wet weather hasn’t been as big of a detriment as it could have been.
“I feel I’m more at an advantage than disadvantage due to my field being turf,” remarked Martinez. “I’ve actually had to move away games to my field to accommodate the weather. Most coaches are willing to work with each other. I don’t think anyone wants to lose games to be honest.”
On the surface, these early season non-league games don’t sound as crucial to the standings, but Wilcox Chargers Softball Head Coach Mark Gutierrez notes that the points from winning non-league games can make a difference when it comes to qualifying for CCS. Thus far his squad has had three games canceled and they are still working on rescheduling them.
“It hurts all teams due to needing the points to make it into CCS. We missed out on CCS last year because of points compared to the other teams,” noted Gutierrez. “I think non-league games are just as important as league games nowadays. What I mean is, we are always looking to play top-seeded teams because whether we win or lose, we get points. So, if we can’t reschedule the games, we miss out on the opportunity for points.”
Fremont softball is in a better position than Wilcox with the weather as they have not had any cancellations. Like Santa Clara baseball, they have redone their softball field to a turf field. Head Coach Hector Zuno acknowledged that missing these early games can be particularly tough for younger squads.
“Canceling games for younger teams can definitely be harder for team chemistry,” chimed Zuno. “With the pandemic shut down and weather canceling games, the established programs have an advantage. High school sports consist of athletes of several travel ball teams with a few other additions. If games get canceled, not only will chemistry be affected, but the mental state of these young athletes gets affected too. Most of them look forward to playing for their school and enjoy the competition.”
Even if they can’t compete on the field, there can be learning done off the field according to Wilcox Baseball Head Coach Matthew Huth.
“Younger programs can use the time to get better with practice in between rain out games. They can use the mental side approach to things if fields aren’t usable. Classroom talk can really help bring teams closer and more hungry to play when the weather clears up,” acknowledged Huth. “The rescheduled games can potentially hurt teams with less depth though when it comes to pitching.”