Southcentral sports groups hustle to clear snow and move outdoors

Jeremy Peters
An already snowy April got worse Tuesday morning, April 23, when moderately heavy snow began falling across Anchorage. The weather service predicts just an inch of accumulation at lower elevations, but the Hillside can expect up to 4 inches.
ERIK HILL
An already snowy April got worse Tuesday morning, April 23, when moderately heavy snow began falling across Anchorage. The weather service predicts just an inch of accumulation at lower elevations, but the Hillside can expect up to 4 inches.
ERIK HILL
While waiting for a dump truck to return for another load of snow, the operator of a municipal loader mounted snow blower tidies up Juneau Street Wednesday afternoon April 10, 2013 in Fairview.
Erik Hill
Paul Skof works on clearing his driveway following an overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 in Airport Heights. "It happens every April," he said. "You gotta expect it. At least it was light, fluffy snow! When you have a day like this after a snowfall, it's hard to complain. We live in Alaska!"
Erik Hill
Jake Kuipers, front, and David Zaloudek of the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department groom the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail following overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 near Pt. Woronzof.
Erik Hill
The Chugach Mountains disappear from view as clouds descend on east Anchorage following an overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 in a view from the Postmark Drive pullout.
Erik Hill
Light, fluffy snow rests atop aircraft following overnight snowfall Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Erik Hill
Overnight snow sticks to yard ornaments Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 in Airport Heights.
Erik Hill
Overnight snow accumulates on yard decor Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 on Columbine Street in east Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Larry Gill clears snow at his West Anchorage home on Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service says Anchorage could see another inch or two of snow today and tonight before the current weather system passes out of the area. Commenters on the NWS Facebook page reported snow totals of 10 to 20 inches in the Anchorage area from Monday's storm.
ERIK HILL
A pedestrian crosses Sixth Avenue in a snowstorm Monday afternoon April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Christopher Hafner of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership clears a sidewalk along Fifth Avenue near B Street while working with a crew Monday April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Michael Anderson ignores the snowfall while manning the grill at his M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs Monday April 8, 2013 on Fourth Avenue downtown.
Erik Hill
Yet another spring snow storm hits Anchorage, affecting motorists on A Street and elsewhere Monday April 8, 2013.
Erik Hill
Pedestrians mince across Fifth Avenue at D and E Streets during another spring snowfall Monday afternoon April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Icicles stretch downward off an awning during another spring snow storm Monday April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Johnny Thao of Urban Hot Dog, foreground, and Michael Anderson of M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs operate their businesses in a snowfall Monday April 8, 2013 on Fourth Avenue downtown.
Erik Hill
A moose ignores the snow to munch on pussy willow branches along Pt. Woronzof Road Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Field maintenance crews clear snow from tarmac as a Boeing Dreamlifter cargo jet sits parked Monday March 25, 2013 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Erik Hill
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Fr. Leo Walsh brushes snow off a friend's plane before moving on to his own at Lake Hood Seaplane Base Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage. "You've got to get it while it's dry," he said of the snow.
Erik Hill
Pedestrians walk down a sidewalk along 5th Avenue in Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Lance Warnick shovels a sidewalk at 501 W 9th Avenue during a spring snowstorm in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
David Post works to clear his driveway as snow continues to fall along McKenzie Drive Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Melissa Fisher waits at a bus stop along DeBarr Road during the spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
A pedestrian crosses 5th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Melissa Fisher waits at a bus stop along DeBarr Road during the spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Pedestrians cross E Street at 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
A bicyclist rides along E Street in Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
An already snowy April got worse Tuesday morning, April 23, when moderately heavy snow began falling across Anchorage. The weather service predicts just an inch of accumulation at lower elevations, but the Hillside can expect up to 4 inches.
ERIK HILL
An already snowy April got worse Tuesday morning, April 23, when moderately heavy snow began falling across Anchorage. The weather service predicts just an inch of accumulation at lower elevations, but the Hillside can expect up to 4 inches.
ERIK HILL
While waiting for a dump truck to return for another load of snow, the operator of a municipal loader mounted snow blower tidies up Juneau Street Wednesday afternoon April 10, 2013 in Fairview.
Erik Hill
Paul Skof works on clearing his driveway following an overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 in Airport Heights. "It happens every April," he said. "You gotta expect it. At least it was light, fluffy snow! When you have a day like this after a snowfall, it's hard to complain. We live in Alaska!"
Erik Hill
Jake Kuipers, front, and David Zaloudek of the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Department groom the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail following overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 near Pt. Woronzof.
Erik Hill
The Chugach Mountains disappear from view as clouds descend on east Anchorage following an overnight snowfall Tuesday April 9, 2013 in a view from the Postmark Drive pullout.
Erik Hill
Light, fluffy snow rests atop aircraft following overnight snowfall Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Erik Hill
Overnight snow sticks to yard ornaments Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 in Airport Heights.
Erik Hill
Overnight snow accumulates on yard decor Tuesday morning April 9, 2013 on Columbine Street in east Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Larry Gill clears snow at his West Anchorage home on Tuesday morning. The National Weather Service says Anchorage could see another inch or two of snow today and tonight before the current weather system passes out of the area. Commenters on the NWS Facebook page reported snow totals of 10 to 20 inches in the Anchorage area from Monday's storm.
ERIK HILL
A pedestrian crosses Sixth Avenue in a snowstorm Monday afternoon April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Christopher Hafner of the Anchorage Downtown Partnership clears a sidewalk along Fifth Avenue near B Street while working with a crew Monday April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Michael Anderson ignores the snowfall while manning the grill at his M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs Monday April 8, 2013 on Fourth Avenue downtown.
Erik Hill
Yet another spring snow storm hits Anchorage, affecting motorists on A Street and elsewhere Monday April 8, 2013.
Erik Hill
Pedestrians mince across Fifth Avenue at D and E Streets during another spring snowfall Monday afternoon April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Icicles stretch downward off an awning during another spring snow storm Monday April 8, 2013 downtown.
Erik Hill
Johnny Thao of Urban Hot Dog, foreground, and Michael Anderson of M.A.'s Gourmet Dogs operate their businesses in a snowfall Monday April 8, 2013 on Fourth Avenue downtown.
Erik Hill
A moose ignores the snow to munch on pussy willow branches along Pt. Woronzof Road Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Field maintenance crews clear snow from tarmac as a Boeing Dreamlifter cargo jet sits parked Monday March 25, 2013 at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
Erik Hill
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Fr. Leo Walsh brushes snow off a friend's plane before moving on to his own at Lake Hood Seaplane Base Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage. "You've got to get it while it's dry," he said of the snow.
Erik Hill
Pedestrians walk down a sidewalk along 5th Avenue in Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Lance Warnick shovels a sidewalk at 501 W 9th Avenue during a spring snowstorm in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
David Post works to clear his driveway as snow continues to fall along McKenzie Drive Monday afternoon March 25, 2013 in west Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Melissa Fisher waits at a bus stop along DeBarr Road during the spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
A pedestrian crosses 5th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Melissa Fisher waits at a bus stop along DeBarr Road during the spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
City street maintenance graders remove snow along 9th Avenue in Anchorage on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
Pedestrians cross E Street at 4th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth
A bicyclist rides along E Street in Anchorage during a spring snowstorm on Monday, Mar. 25, 2013.
Bill Roth

East High sophomore Brielle Johnson estimated the snow on the school's practice field was four feet deep, but the girls soccer team was digging into it with shovels one sunny afternoon last week anyway, hoping to speed the spring thaw.

"I think it's just a free-for-all, you know, go hard and go home," Johnson said. "This counts as fitness, working those upper arm muscles and back. Snow's pretty heavy."

With April storms bringing more than 20 inches of snow, outdoor sports played on grass and turf have been put on hold.

Cook Inlet Conference soccer teams were scheduled to hit the turf at outdoor stadiums last week, but they're still playing in The Dome, and Thursday has become the new target for the first outdoor match.

The high school softball season was scheduled to begin Monday, but those games have been postponed and likely will have to be canceled if the snow doesn't disappear by next weekend.

The high school outdoor track and field schedule is set to venture outdoors Friday with the Frosh-Soph Championships at South High. But as of now, all outdoor meets are questionable and day-to-day, said CIC meet director Christopher Lisenby.

"Everybody is anxious to get out," said West boys soccer coach Laef Eggen. "For Anchorage teams, somebody should submit a proposal to remove the snow; hiring somebody to clear the field off down to six inches, four inches and let Mother Nature take care of the rest. We'd probably be playing."

Snowblowers have been used at Albrecht Fields in an effort to prepare for softball season, but that still didn't save the start of the season.

One field at Albrecht is virtually free of snow, but still too wet for play. The other primary field still has a foot or so of snow, said Donnie Brooks, the softball director for the Anchorage Sports Association. If fields are still unusable Saturday, the season will likely have to be shortened.

"I'm not optimistic, but I'm hoping with any luck we can start Saturday," Brooks said. "If I can start Saturday, I won't lose any games."

Efforts to remove snow aren't limited to high school sports venues.

The grounds crew at the Palmer Golf Course was manually removing snow from greens last week. The opening of Palmer Golf Course has become an annual symbol of spring, because it's almost always first to open for play in the Anchorage area. Course management is hoping for opening day to arrive before April ends.

Anchorage Golf Course is often the first to open in Anchorage and is shooting for May 3, but general manager Rich Sayers said temperatures will have to rise quickly in order to hit that mark.

The National Weather Service forecast for Anchorage said Monday and Tuesday skies should be clear, and temperatures could hit the low 50s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

    Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

 

 


By JEREMY PETERS
jpeters@adn.com