Inclement weather forces athletic cancellations around Santa Clarita

COC's baseball field formed large puddles due to recent spouts of heavy rain in Southern California. // Bobby Block/The Signal
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Multiple high school sporting events were canceled this week due to reasons not related to COVID-19. Rainy weather conditions wreaked havoc on fields and created difficult travel conditions for prep teams of all kinds.

West Ranch assistant principal Kristan Hinze confirmed in an email on Thursday afternoon that all varsity sports for that day, both indoor and outdoor, were canceled due to weather. The Wildcats’ boys volleyball team also canceled its JV match against Saddleback and its freshman match against Castaic that same afternoon.

Although West Ranch cited weather as reason for cancellation, boys volleyball coach Brandon Johnson said that he received an email from Saddleback saying that the school had canceled athletic events as a COVID-19 precaution.

The wet weather caused problems for prep baseball teams throughout the week. The games between Hart and Saugus, as well as Valencia and Golden Valley, were both moved from Wednesday to Monday. The West Ranch-Canyon game still took place on Wednesday, but was moved up to 2 p.m.

The Wildcats and Cowboys attempted to move Friday’s game to Thursday, but it was canceled due to weather. Friday’s matchups between Hart and Saugus and Golden Valley and Valencia were rained out as well.

Rainwater causes drainage problems on Foothill League baseball fields. Water gathers in certain areas of the field, creating swamp-like messes.

Valencia has a tarp for its infield, but it can only be on the field for a short amount of time before it begins to destroy the grass.

The weather affects the routines that baseball teams have established, but they do their best to adjust.

“It definitely messes with the practice routine because the way we do it is we have things we do certain days and when rain gets in the way, you have to adjust,” said Vikings coach Mike Killinger. “Sometimes you can go down on the football field or the batting cage. You just have to make the best of it.”

In the opening week of Foothill League track and field, only one meet took place. Valencia hosted Golden Valley on Wednesday just before the rain came rolling in. Even then, the meet didn’t go off without a hitch. It was delayed due to power problems caused by prior rain.

On Thursday, the two remaining track and field meets were canceled. Hart was scheduled to host West Ranch and Canyon was set to host Saugus.

“Currently, with the weather and just the uncertainty of everything that’s going on, today we were able to take a step back and let the kids go home and be with their families so we can sit back and reassess with administration about what we need to go moving forward or what the protocol will be,” said Golden Valley track and field coach Lonnie Davis.

The two postponed Foothill League track meets as well as the league baseball games will have to be rescheduled, since they are crucial league contests, but a new date has not been determined for any event.

With rain in the forecast for up to another week, it’s tough to find a day that weather doesn’t interfere. Furthermore, with increased event cancellations due to Coronavirus, it’s unclear what the immediate future of spring prep sports looks like.

Davis, Johnson and Killinger each agreed that the decisions made within the week will have a huge impact on how their team trains and the experiences their seniors get out of the season.

“There is only so much that we can handle and so much that we can control and I think that’s a good life lesson for my boys,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s volleyball or not, we can only control what we can control. We talk about that a lot in a volleyball sense. It’s a competition between our side and their side, but our side is the only thing we can control.”

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