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Johnson: Every school dealing with weather issues

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 5:30 a.m. CST

Last week, I did a story on the weather we’ve had this winter – and the resultant cancellations/postponements – wreaking havoc on area prep teams.

It hasn’t exactly been 75 degrees and sunny since the story ran. For the most part, scheduled events have been played this week, with the notable exception of a heavier than usual Wednesday schedule that was whittled down to one game. Even for the teams that didn’t have a game Wednesday, it was another day that practice was wiped out.

In honor of the extreme cold and snow extending into February, I decided I’d share some of the insight a couple of coaches gave me last week that didn’t make it into the story.

One of the subjects had the big finish to what he termed a “huge week” wiped out last Saturday. Coach Joe Blumberg and the Morris boys basketball team were supposed to face Sycamore with the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference East lead on the line, but when it snowed all day, the game was postponed. It will now (weather permitting) be played Feb. 15, and the Redskins also will play at Sycamore on Feb. 28 to end their regular season.

But as Blumberg told me last week, there isn’t a team around these parts that has been immune to what the Redskins have gone through.

“Every school in the area is dealing with the same issues right now,” Blumberg said. “Those that use snow days as an excuse will get passed by those that shrug it off and find a way to improve, despite not being able to practice together. It’s the same response to adversity we try to teach them in how they will deal with setbacks down the road in their personal lives. Turn the adversity into an opportunity.”

Seneca wrestling coach Todd Yegge called this “the most trying winter that I can remember in my coaching career.” And that was in spite of the fact that, until last week, the Fighting Irish hadn’t lost a single match or tournament. They did have their final dual of the season against Dwight and Streator postponed Jan. 28, but they were able to make it up two days later.

Getting every event in wasn’t always easy, and every event wasn’t always exactly what it was intended to be.

“We did attend a meet at Peterburg PORTA High School in December, which we traveled over two hours to attend, and three schools did not make it to the meet due to the weather conditions so we missed some mat time there,” Yegge said. “One school was just 10 miles away and thought better of braving the weather to make it to the competition. Needless to say, we made it to the event, wrestled two dual meets against Auburn and Petersburg PORTA and we returned safely to Seneca the same day.”

Today, the Irish are wrestling at the Class 1A Stillman Valley Regional – well, they are if Mother Nature isn’t intervening.

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