That’s Snow Way to Practice

By Auburn Larson, Current Staff

On Tuesday, East golfers grabbed their putters and headed to the library.

The unexpected snow and freezing temperatures in April has forced many West Bend High Schools sports teams to practice in very unconventional ways this spring.

East and West varsity tennis teams have to practice indoors at Pleasant Valley Tennis and Fitness Club due to the blanket of snow covering the outdoor courts. However, there is not enough space for the junior varsity teams, so they practice in the WBHS hallways.

“One day we built nets using our tennis bags and school backpacks, and yesterday our coach, Cindy, brought portable nets,” East ninth grader Trey Larson said. “Then we have to try our best to keep a rally going in a really small space. It’s not what I expected my first couple of tennis practices would be like.”

East JV tennis players Michael Conklin, left, and Trey Larson practice Tuesday with a portable net in the second floor hallway. Photo courtesy of Larson.

Softball has also been affected by the snow. Many games have been cancelled and the teams are now confined to the Sky Garden, where gymnastics meets would usually take place. They were able to play a handful of games before the majority of the snow came.

“One of our first games we actually had to shovel off the field but now it’s too much to even shovel,” East junior Megan Lemke said. “We are all hoping it melts soon.”

All four track teams are also having a difficult time finding gym space, so the West girls decided to take a different approach. Instead of track shoes all the girls brought snow boots to practice.

The West girls track and field team after their sledding practice on April 4. Photo courtesy of WBW Girls Track Twitter.

“One day we had to run up the hill and then we would sled back down it,” West ninth grader Noelle Pommer said. “We’ve also ran up and down the hills with no sleds, and have had practice in the parking lot instead of the track. It has given us more opportunities to bond with each other.”

The sport with possibly the most difficult challenge is boys golf. There are no indoor facilities and it is impossible to practice outside, so they have had to compromise.

“Today we are practicing our putting in the East library,” East junior Jacob Schwechel said. “It’s not ideal but we have to practice somehow I guess. We’ve only been able to have a couple of practices.”

With forecasts predicting fifty degree weather, West Bend athletes remain hopeful that they will soon be able to return to their traditional practices and competitions.

(Top image: East softball players Elise Sturn, left,  and Andrea Gremonprez shovel snow before their April 9 game against Cedarburg. Photo courtesy of  Denny Ziegler.)

Science teacher Skip Clark helps East golfer Jacob Schwechel line up a putt Tuesday in the East library. Photo courtesy of Schwechel.

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