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Winter weather sabotaging Soccer season

Soccer players Max McDaniel, a senior, Devon Fellman, a senior, Alex Bohn, a freshman, and Noah Collyer, a freshman, endure muddy conditions at practice. Photo by Jakob Berger

Switching the Bear River Soccer season from Fall to Winter this year is forcing teams to pass on practices due to unplayable weather conditions and muddy, uneven fields.

Officials say that just looking at the field, they can tell playing soccer isn’t advisable.

“Our fields are unplayable due to the weather conditions and it will screw them up if we practice,” said Dan Buxtom, the varsity boys soccer coach.

“(We can’t practice) because of the field conditions and we have to consider injuries that may happen,” said Joe Giovacchini, the varsity girls soccer coach.

Most players agree with the coaches.

“(Practices) have mostly been canceled or hard because it’s been raining, dark, and cold,” said Romeo Connors, a senior. “We also can’t use half the field because it’s mostly wet.”

“(I’m) kind of disappointed how it has changed,” said Evan Waters, a sophomore.

“Practices have been fine lately, it’s just been hard to move around with frozen toes and not many places to play,” said Matthew Phipps, a freshman.

“I would love to play in the rain and hate that practice is getting canceled recently,” said Christopher Burcham, a senior.

“We didn’t have practice on Winter break because the field was wet and it was cold, so we practice in the MPR when cheer isn’t in there and, if they are, we have to practice outside,” said Kayleigh Siebels, a senior.

“It’s very cold and been raining miserably lately,” said Cameron Ramsour, a senior. “With field conditions, players can get injured.”

“It’s stupid that they moved soccer to Winter, because all other sports are indoors and we have to play outdoors,” said Savannah Collyer, a junior.

The coaches said they don’t have a definite fix for the season.

“Weather will be something we contend with through the rest of the year and must be adapted to,” said Buxtom. “There is no easy solution. We must follow the CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) and the Sac Joaquin Section so, at this stage, we must find a way to be an outdoor Winter sport.”

“We will be forced to reschedule games and play on turf fields at other schools,” said Coach Giovacchini. “We will just have to do the best we can. (For example,) we will play on our field if we can and on other schools’ fields if we can’t.”

Players say they can already see how the season will turn out.

“I feel like we won’t nearly have enough practices and won’t be ready for games because of it,” said Burcham.

“I expect it to be pouring and freezing,” said Waters.

“(The season is) not as well as years passed because, with the field wet, it’s harder to run and your muscles are tighter because it’s colder,” said Ramsour.

“I’m expecting it to go decent, but it would be better if it were a Fall sport,” said Phipps.

“I feel like turf field schools will have a disadvantage since they now have to play in the mud,” said Siebels.

“We aren’t having enough consecutive or strong practices because they keep getting canceled or the conditions are sub-par,” said Connors.

“I expect a lot of things to get canceled and I don’t know how we are going to make it up,” said Collyer.

Players also think they know a few ways the coaches are planning on adapting.

“(The coach) is going to bring us into the gym, hopefully,” said Waters.

“We have Under Armour shirts and, if it’s rainy on a home game, we will go to NU to play on a turf field,” said Collyer.

“We are going into the gym so we can get more playing time,” said Phipps.

“He doesn’t really have a lot of options because soccer is an outdoor sport and every other Winter sport is already inside, so all he can do is hope for good weather,” said Connors.

Coaches expect the players to be to be affected in different ways as well.

“Lack of practice opportunity will affect all of the players, but our players have a positive attitude and I believe that will minimize the impact on them,” said Coach Buxtom.

“I think the attitude having to play in this weather and having to reschedule will affect them at games and practices,” said Coach Giovacchini.

Players have mixed opinions on how they feel affected by the weather.

“First of all, every time we warm up we have to do it on the track with our soccer cleats which slows me down so I can’t get completely warmed up and, when the field is wet, we can’t pass the ball or shoot well.” said Connors. “We can also slip more often and this can create injuries.”

“I don’t want to play, because I can’t get warmed up and it makes it harder to play,” said Collyer.

“Not everyone is into it right now,” said Waters.

Players have similar suspicions about other reasons practices are getting cancelled.

“Definitely players have been more prone to injury,” said Ramsour.

“The coaches don’t want us to get sick,” said Phipps.

“The coaches and parents don’t want the players getting sick and missing games along with practice,” said Waters.

Coaches reflected on how the soccer season was last year compared to this year.

“It used to rain last year too, but the field conditions weren’t this bad,” said Coach Giovacchini.

“Soccer was a Fall sport and weather doesn’t affect us as much during that time,” said Coach Buxtom.

Unlike the weather, it is clear to players that the season change has driven them into a corner.

“It’s Winter and soccer shouldn’t be in the Winter,” said Ramsour.

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Winter weather sabotaging Soccer season