Full schedules & scores

Lee: Spring unkind to high school sports

I’ve contended for the last 26 years that spring doesn’t officially start until after April 1 – and, in some years, it’s been delayed as late as early May.

You have to have empathy for spring sports athletes. I don’t want to be all gloom and doom, but the extended forecast for spring doesn’t look good. We’re supposed to continue to have seasonal conditions – read rain – until as late as early June. Of course, according to the “experts” we will have longer stretches of dry weather come May.

The iron athletes among the spring sports bunch are, no doubt, the tracksters, golfers and soccer players. They trudge on through rain, sleet and sometimes snow. At least the baseball and softball teams and tennis players catch a break, so to speak, when it’s too wet to play.

I suspect the rainouts will stack up in April. As has been the case over the years, complete league schedules may not be played.

• We’ve added new features to our spring sports coverage. We’ll continue to staff events from time to time along with the Prep Page features, but we’ll be publishing weekly notebooks for baseball, softball, soccer and track and a combined weekly notebook for golf and tennis.

Reader’s mailbag

Another fan of high school basketball wrote me a letter last week and enclosed a clipping from the Argus Leader, a newspaper in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Richard Hoy, who lives in Spokane Valley, agreed with the comment of George Root in my column two weeks ago regarding the new state tournament format in Washington. Root summed it up in two words: It stinks.

Hoy points out that in South Dakota the same format has been used for more than 70 years. The state has three classifications – AA, A and B – and eight-team, three-day tournaments are conducted for boys and girls.

The teams are seeded one through eight with No. 1 taking on No. 8, 2 playing 7, 3 facing 6 and 4 and 5 facing off the first day. The winners advance to the semifinals the next evening and the losers play in elimination games the next afternoon. Those winners advance to trophy games the final day.

“This format has been accepted by fans, parents, players, officials and sportswriters without change for the past 70 years or so,” Hoy wrote.

• The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association has met twice in recent days with the WIAA to give input on tweaks it would like to see made to the new format. The chief change the WIBCA desires is a return to the 16-team format.

WIAA executive director Mike Colbrese said any tweaks won’t be announced until mid-April.

• I welcome reader feedback. If there’s something you want to chime in on or you see something topical you think I should address, please send me an email at gregl@spokesman.com or a note to: Greg Lee, 608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200, Coeur d’Alene, ID, 83815.