It was a meeting the athletic directors from the 10 Olympian Conference schools were hoping to avoid having, but one that became inevitable given the weather southeast Wisconsin experienced over the past couple of days.
With cancellations and postponements mounting, the ADs met in Wrightstown on Tuesday to discuss the rescheduling of OC softball and baseball games that had been postponed, according to a press release from OC commissioner Scoop Druschke.
“The purpose of the meeting was to try and make our conference schedule such that we could determine a fair conference champion,” Reedsville athletic director Steve Mirsberger said. “(The meeting was) very congenial as all of our meetings are with this conference’s athletic directors. We worked together and made a consensus everyone could work with. Everyone was willing to help everyone out so that it could be accomplished.”
Mirsberger said the ADs had two options. One was to completely redo the schedule so everyone played each other two times, including on Saturday’s. With conflicts arising on some Saturdays, the ADs unanimously went with the second option: both baseball and softball games that are scheduled from the beginning of the season to the beginning of the second half of the conference season will be considered non-conference games.
“I like how the season will end up even though we are only counting one game against each team. We are able to fit postponed games in and not cause a log jam at the end of the season,” Roncalli athletic director Dave Mueller said in an email. “I didn’t want to have doubleheaders or play all week and then doubleheaders on weekends. That wouldn’t be fair to the athletes. I thought (the chosen option) would be fair to all teams taking into account the weather.
“To summarize it is a very unique year with the weather and we just need to make due with what we have. Coaches and athletes have been cooperative with the changing practice times and we are hoping this is just a one-year blip in the spring season.”
Manitowoc Lutheran athletic director and baseball coach David Uhlhorn agreed
“I was hoping that we were going to make some changes to the schedule. There was no way most baseball teams in the Olympian were going to put decent varsity pitchers on the field if we were playing four to five conference games a week,” Uhlhorn said in an email. “I also like the idea that we can still fit in games in April if we can and play them as non-conference games. … (We had) great cooperation with all the ADs, (who were) willing to do what is in the best interest of their athletes. No one had a complaint on what to do.”
According to the press release, the schools will attempt to play as many of the scheduled games as possible, but all first-half games will not be counted as conference contests. So, the conference title race will be based on eight games instead of the usual 16. If a doubleheader is scheduled in the second half of the season, the first game will be counted as a conference contest, and the second game is considered non-conference.
Mirsberger said the first half of the meeting, which began around 1 p.m., was discussing the options with the second half being working out the schedules, which wrapped up around 2:15 p.m.
“I would have liked to have seen a full conference schedule, however as soon as it was pointed out that there weren’t enough days, that just wasn’t possible,” Mirsberger said. “There is a lot of trying to be optimistic. Then you look at weather forecast and it makes it hard to do. It’s just incredible.
“We’re telling the athletes and coaches it’s a situation no one can control and we are all sympathetic to how difficult it is to continually hold practices in a gym environment. Our coaches are mature and understand what they can and can’t control. But our high school athletes, some of them are seniors and this is their last year and they are terribly frustrated.”