Breakup Causes Headaches for High School Athletic Programs
Spring sports prepare inside because of weather conditions
ANCHORAGE - This year’s breakup is causing some major headaches for the Anchorage School District.
Sports fields are still covered in several feet of snow and high school tracks look more like lakes – leaving high school athletes with no place to play.
Long time Service High School soccer coach Dan Rufner said he’s been letting players practice in the school gym and it isn’t working out.
“I've already lost two seniors to knee injuries for the year for practicing in the gym.”
Rufner said in a normal year the team would be practicing outside by now, but this is no normal year. The exceptional snow has already caused the district to cancel some events.
“Like Soldotna was already supposed to be up here this Thursday for a game against South, but there’s no field for them to play on,” said Rufner.
The only place where athletes can play is very crowded. High school and middle school teams are jockeying for space at the Dome in South Anchorage. The district has booked time in the facility through May, but not for everyone.
Dwyan Jones, the assistant track coach at Service, said the team has run out of practice time in the Dome and has taken to running outside. He said the track is passable, but the conditions are less than ideal.
“There’s still a little standing water on the north side,” said Jones, pointing to the soggy track. “Probably 80 percent of the track is still covered with snow.”
The district has begun using snow blowers and mini plows on some of the high school tracks around town and said it’s possible that outdoor meets could take place next weekend.
Outdoor soccer games, which are also scheduled to start next weekend, are far less likely.