GLASGOW – The snow continues to fall and temperatures remain frigid across much of Montana causing postponements and cancellations of spring sporting events.
Friday morning, Glasgow set a record low temperature for April 6 at 4 degrees. The previous record was 6 degrees in 1899 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Scotties have not been able to compete on the track or golf course yet this season, and they’ve only played one softball game to date.
“It’s been a little crazy. We’ve been a little spoiled the last three springs, because we’ve been able to be outside with all of our teams on Day No. 1,” Glasgow athletic director Brenner Flaten said. “We knew the time was coming. Being (on the Hi-Line) it’s not all that uncommon to have issues (with the weather). This year is a bit different than the previous three. We haven’t been able to get outside. Our softball team, we were able to go outside for the first time Wednesday this week. That was the first time they’ve seen grass anywhere.”
The Glasgow softball team still has not been on its game field, as Flaten said it is still “inundated with snow.” However, the Scotties were able to get on the practice football field to practice outside rather than in the gym.
“We’ve already played one softball game in Lewistown, and we went in knowing it was going to be a struggle,” Flaten said. “Not only do we have a young team — graduated pretty much our entire starting roster — we’re going into a team like Lewistown, who is a veteran team but also has been able to be outside and practicing for a week and a half, two weeks. When we got down there to play a game, we hadn’t even taken live pitching or been outside yet.”
“Our golf team hasn’t been able to get outside either,” Flaten continued. “They’ve been in a gym, and they haven’t even been able to be on the driving range yet.”
Glasgow’s bowling alley featured a golf simulator around 10 years ago, according to Flaten, but now the golfers have been relegated to hitting into nets off of grass platforms and practicing putting as they count down the days until they can get outside to practice.
Glasgow’s track team has yet to compete in a meet. The Scotties were scheduled to host the season-opening Glasgow Invitational, which usually has about 30 schools, on the Thursday before Easter break. Even with Glasgow’s all-weather track, the facilities were not ready.
“It’s not a good thing, obviously,” Flaten said in regard to the cancellation. “We were scheduled to be in Baker this Saturday, and with them cancelling and the weather the way it looks, we had intended on switching gears and going to Frenchtown.”
Glasgow to Frenchtown is 450 miles one way, showing the need Flaten felt for his athletes to be able to compete.
“We were willing to travel that much greater distance to actually get a meet in,” Flaten said. “Then the winter storm came out that it was going to hit, and we weren’t comfortable going over the mountains with the way that looked.”
“One thing that’s a little bit different this year is that I think it’s affected most of the state,” Flaten said regarding the weather. “In years past it’s been just us, and then you’re really putting yourself in a bind if everyone else is outside practicing and getting to compete. Then you’re really falling behind. This year I think there’s a lot of teams in our same boat that haven’t competed yet.”
Glasgow will afford many of those teams in northeastern Montana the opportunity to compete. Glasgow will host a meet at its facilities called the Snow Buster on April 10.
“Our facility is very near being ready, we’ve just got a few things to take care of,” said Flaten. “If the weather reports hold true, it’s supposed to be mid 40s on Tuesday. It should be a pretty large meet, because we’re not the only ones in the area with the issue. We expect most of northeast Montana to be there on Tuesday.
“We’ve got the benefit here for a smaller community that we’ve got a nice track facility with an all-weather track. Ninety percent of Class B schools that don’t have an all-weather track, they’re struggling even more to get outside and practice. At least now we’ve cleared our track and we’re out there running. Our coaches would rather be outside from Day 1 getting the kids ready, but at the same time there’s nothing we can do to control it.”