Mother Nature not being kind to area spring sports teams

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Southeastern Wisconsin has seen a lot of rain in recent weeks, and athletes are getting tired of the weather! Those responsible for scheduling the games are more than ready for the rain to go away!

The UW-Milwaukee baseball team played its opener this year on February 15th. Two months later, the Panthers were still trying to figure out why they still hadn't been able to play a home game.

If a Division I college program can't get its games in because of the Wisconsin weather, one can imagine what is happening on the high school diamonds.

"You have rainy springs, but never anything where you cancel pretty much every sport the whole spring," St. Francis Athletic Director Mike Lewandowski said.

St. Francis uses Milwaukee County fields for its summer baseball and spring softball schedules.

"We would play probably about 15 games here a season. We have not been able to play any. Our swim team would be better off here right now than our softball team," Lewandowski said.

There is no diamond life right now at Pulaski High School either.

"Sometimes, we will have to cut this gym in half and have soccer on one side and baseball on another side, or softball and track. Oftentimes our track team is kicked into the hallways of the school to practice," Pulaski Athletic Director Derek Czekalski said.

The juggling act gets even more involved when a game is postponed.

"I contact the other school -- the other school's AD and figure out when they might have an open date. We contact the bus company to let them know that we have to cancel and reschedule as soon as we can figure out a date that works. We have to contact the County to reserve the field for a game. Once that all works out, you have to figure out how that can work best for the student athletes," Lewandowski said.

"In our parking lot, there's not a lot of student cars, I can't think of any off the top of my head who have a car to just go home -- so they often will get a bus ticket and then go stand outside in the rain to wait for the bus that they'll be sitting on for almost an hour sometimes. Our kids are very passionate about sports and they're very resilient when it comes to their participation in them," Czekalski said.

Pulaski plays its home games at Al Simmons Field. Al Simmons was a lifelong Milwaukeean and a baseball Hall of Famer.

When the weather improves, every schedule will be filled with makeup games.

"Oftentimes, just every day, there will be a game -- just by any means necessary to play, so they will be very active. There will be some rag armed pitchers when all is said and done. Right now we are looking for pitchers," Czekalski said.

"Doubleheaders every day -- even looking at doubleheaders on Saturdays at this point," Lewandowski said.

Given all the postponements for area teams this spring, it is safe to say when the weather breaks consistently, there will be all kinds of game action scheduled in order to make the conference races as representative as possible.