Spring sports bring scheduling problems


Jake Morgan

PRACTICE PROBLEMS: With so many sports being held, field space is limited.

Jake Morgan, Sports Editor

As the move into spring sports begins for Illinois high schools, unique challenges ariseespecially in DGN’s West Suburban Conference (WSC). New seasons for sports are beginning to show the difficulties of figuring out practice space, and teams in both the gold and silver part of the conference have had to turn down out of conference games due to WSC restrictions.

Uncertainty is one of the biggest issues with these teams. DGS softball was ranked 19th in the state before everything shut down last year, and with limited ability for coaches to schedule games outside the WSC, it may be hard to reach that point again. 

“It’s definitely a concern but in these difficult times we’ll just have to rise to the occasion as best we can. We are just happy to be playing at this point. I don’t see anyone with an advantagealthough that could change,” DGS coach James Cushing said. 

The spring seasons might entail games being scheduled during the season rather than before, but DGN girls’ varsity soccer coach Brian Papa isn’t concerned about that. 

“To prepare for a season and our opponents is the least of our problems. In losing all last spring season, it is more difficult to identify the talent we have on our team.  Sure, as a coach, we kind of know the returning varsity players, but not knowing the younger players makes it interesting as well as challenging,” Papa said. 

Availability of space is a concern for coaches as well. With fall sports being pushed into the spring and summer it has been increasingly difficult to schedule practices. 

“You will have boys and girls soccer, football, track, lacrosse, softball all sharing the outdoor facilities. There is only so many hours in the day,” Papa said. 

Girls cross country and track coach Tim McDonald, who is in charge of the entirety of spring schedules for teams at DGN, says that the biggest problem is space and that there’s only a limited amount of fields.

“We have two turf fields and a small grass field to the east. We have use of Doerhoefer [Park] as a third turf field in March but it gets more difficult in April with community youth sports starting back up. On April 5, the following teams will need practice time on the field: boys football (all levels), boys soccer (all levels), girls soccer (all levels), girls lacrosse (JV & V), and you have boys and girls track using the track as well as the east grass field. So that means we have 11 levels and two fields.  It is going to be less than ideal,” McDonald said.

With schedules being so unordinary, backlash could arise, but DGN athletic director Denise Kavanaugh understands and is making sure that doesn’t happen. 

“As people see the improvements happening, there is frustration with the ‘speed’ of getting back to business as usual.  For some it is too slow, and others not fast enough. That is how it is right now. Every decision-making team I have been a part of has had the best interest of our students’ safety and overall well-being,” Kavanaugh said. 

At the end of the day, DGN baseball coach Kyle Briscoe and other coaches alike are just happy to begin playing again, no matter who, when, or where they’re playing. 

[COVID-19]has been tough for every sport, but last year all spring seasons didn’t have a season. Everyone is doing their best and I respect that. At the end of the day I’m just glad we have a schedule and we get to play,” Briscoe said.