GREAT FALLS — Spring sports in Montana take some extra preparations due to uncontrollable circumstances, the most problematic being the weather. With snow showers still coming in and causing unsafe field conditions, outdoor teams are being forced indoors.
Great Falls High softball coach Don Meierhoff says this year has been worse than most.
“We were outside once but it was so cold that we didn’t get much done so went back inside the next day,” said Meierhoff.
The Bison have been practicing inside the gym where they don’t have much space and cannot create real game scenarios. From a coaching standpoint, Meierhoff says it’s much harder to judge talent and make decisions because you are unable to see the kids perform at their strongest. Most years the team is able to spend time outdoors before the season starts but this year has been completely different.
“You just got to deal with it. It’s softball in Montana so it’s not the first time we’ve done it but it is rough,” said Meierhoff. "Usually we’re outside at least five days before we start playing. This year it just hasn’t happened but it hasn’t happened for anybody so everybody is in the same state this year.”
The Bison opened up their season on Friday evening against Butte but they weren’t even sure if that was going to happen. The team found out the morning of Friday that they would actually get to play rather than having to cancel the first game of the season. Despite all the hardships that spring teams must go through in order to prepare and play, they stick with it simply because they love the game.
“It’s the love of the game. As hard as it is going indoors all the time, it’s still fun,” said Meierhoff. “It doesn’t dampen it at all, it just throws a wrinkle on it.”