Snow Could Take a Toll on High School Sports

Relentless snow has buried high school playing fields and could jeopardize spring seasons if it doesn't melt soon.

The sign on the tennis courts near Manchester High School says "tennis shoes only" but right now, only snowshoes can get you near the snow-covered nets.

Down the hill, hurdles peeking out from under the snow reveals just how much accumulation has to melt before the school can use its track.

"I suspect that coaches will get out here with some shovels and snowblowers and take at least a coat off there so the sun gets to it," said the athletic director, Lindsey Boutilier. "We'll be out here, my bet is, March 23, when we're due to get out here."

Practices for spring sports don't begin until then, except for baseball, which starts March 16. Boutilier said the snow has created a level playing field: all Connecticut high schools' fields are buried in snow.

"Everybody's worried," said the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Executive Director Karissa Niehoff. "The rain increases the weight of the snow and it's so deep right now that removal basically is impossible."

She warned that the snow sits above a frozen tundra, and after the snow melts the ground will be soggy for days.

The first high school games are slated for April 8, and some schools may have to reschedule until later in the spring, even if that means teams will play four or five games a week.

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