Brrrr weather for baseball, softball

Published 8:00 pm Thursday, February 14, 2013

Shiver me timbers!

Baseball and softball players are shivering all over as they try to get their respective seasons underway. February weather is unpredictable at best. This year it has been cold and wet, with a few sunny days inserted.

This weekend’s forecast calls for temperatures in the mid 50s Friday and Saturday but plenty of games still are on tap. Those frozen folks seated in the stands must button up their overcoats after covering themselves with insulated underwear from head to foot. Also, wear a hat or stocking cap. Gloves and blankets are additional condiments.

That northerly wind can cut you in two, especially when that coveted sun slips behind the clouds. I remember several years ago when my cousin Allen and his wife, Nancy, visited us. Residents of Washington Island, located off the tip of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., they were snowbirds in search of warmer climates.

We were blessed with a particular warm stretch of days in February that year. Allen and I played golf in shorts at the Brookhaven Country Club. He and his wife also played tennis on the City Courts every day and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Temperatures were in the low 70s during the day.

So much for global warming. New England and New York were blanketed with up to t-h-r-e-e feet of snow last weekend. Snow is beautiful if you have electricity at your residence. Most importantly, snow is nice if you can leave it behind and fly South after a few days.

On the local scene, Brookhaven Academy’s jamboree arrives right in the middle of the South State AA Basketball Tournament, which is being held in John R. Gray Gymnasium. The Cougars, coached by Casey Edwards, are anticipating another good season. Several of his best players are unavailable because they’re chasing that roundball state championship for Coach Dale Watts.

In the meantime, baseball continues with the dream of warmer temperatures and drier fields. The Cougars have 7 p.m. games tonight against Canton Academy and a 6 p.m. game against Copiah Academy tomorrow night. Brrrrrrrrrr.

Coach Randy Spring and his Ole Brook Panthers crank up their 2013 campaign in a Saturday jamboree at Vicksburg. They’ll play Clinton at 1:30 in a junior varsity game, followed by the varsity at 2:30. They have a 4 p.m. varsity date with Vicksburg.

Coach Keith Case’s Co-Lin baseball team plays a twinbill at Baton Rouge Community College today. They faced the host Bears at noon and tackleds Galveston (Texas) College at 3 p.m. On Saturday, Kaskaskia (Ill.) arrives at Co-Lin for a noon contest. Kaskaskia plays Mississippi Delta at 2:45 p.m., followed by Co-Lin versus MDCC at 5:15.

In case you haven’t noticed, most baseball and softball fields are better suited for mud wrestling. Rain and more rain have inundated the facilities, as much as 4 inches.

Of course, things could be a lot worse. Sunday’s tornado in Hattiesburg destroyed baseball stadiums at Oak Grove and Hattiesburg High. An unforgettable sight is that large, mangled pickup truck resting upside down in Oak Grove’s right field. From all accounts, Oak Grove and Hattiesburg might have to play all of their home games on the road this season.

The Southern Miss campus also was hit hard by the tornado. It’s a miracle that no one was killed during the later afternoon storm. Around 80 people suffered a variety of injuries.

Just north of Oak Grove, the Temple Baptist Church, located just off Highway 98, miraculously escaped serious damage. The tornado decided to bypass the large coliseum-style building.

Our son Terry, and his wife, Becky, live in South Hattiesburg, off Highway 11. They were unaware of the tornado until we called to check on their condition. Our grandson, Aaron, and his expectant wife, Angie, live close to the Southern Miss campus but their residence wasn’t damaged. Thank God.

Co-Lin’s Lady Wolves are off to a 4-0 start and play in this weekend’s Meridian Tournament. Coach Allen Kent’s team will face some strong opposition.

Bogue Chitto celebrated 50 years of basketball in R.L. “Bob” Calhoun Gymnasium last Friday night. Eight state championship teams were recognized. BC’s overall state championship girls squad won it all in 1965. A year later, BC’s Cheryl Brumfield set a state tournament record by scoring 53 points in an 81-55 win over Hurricane. That was back when the girls played 3-on-3, halfcourt basketball. In other words, 3 defenders versus 3 offensive players on one end of the floor and vice versa.

Times have changed, but Brumfield’s record still stands. BC’s Parquet Pit was completed in 1963. The Bobcats first won a state title with Calhoun at the helm in 1952.

The new gymnasium, situated in front of the present facility, is expected to be ready for next season.

N-E-1-4-10-IS? Brookhill on Natchez will host a Spring Thaw Junior Tennis Tournament this weekend. Tournament director David Misner said several local players will join the statewide list of competitors. Plenty of tennis and cold weather available but not much chance of rain.

Contact sports editor Tom Goetz by Email: tom.goetz@dailyleader.com