Up North: Proctor athletics eyeing outdoor start to spring seasons

Up North: Proctor athletics eyeing outdoor start to spring seasons

Up North: Proctor athletics eyeing outdoor start to spring seasons

An unprecedented winter has left many spring sports teams with hopes of having a longer and more productive season.

Whether it’s softball or track and field, the Proctor Rails are gearing up for a spring season like never before.

“So, started practice, I’m looking at the weather and I’m seeing 60 degree temperatures. I’m like, 25 years, I don’t think I’ve ever been on the track day one,” said Nathan Johnson, the Proctor track and field head coach. “So it was quite an adjustment. You had to look at our training, what are we doing and how do we make sure people don’t go get hurt in the first day? So this is just awesome. I mean, we have good numbers this year and weather helps that, you know.”

For many athletes in the Northland, getting to practice outdoors in the early stages of the spring season can be an unfathomable idea.

Both Proctor’s softball team and their track and field team have taken advantage of the warmer winter weather so far. For once, their opportunities are endless, and they don’t need to be confined to the indoors anymore.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited,” said Grace Abbott, Proctor softball’s third baseman. “We have been inside the past couple of years for so long and this year to be outside is going to be really fun. It will get our season rolling and starting early rather than starting later like we have in the past years.”

“Being outside, it’s obviously better with pop flies and bounces on our actual turf, and we’d like to always be outside which we can do a lot more this year, so it’s great,” said Anika Burke, Proctor’s catcher.

“Usually we’re about a month behind a lot of southern schools in the state,” said Cameron Pease, a senior track and field runner. “Just because we get more snow up here and it takes a while to cleared off the track. But this year we’ll be on the same page as everyone else. So we should be able to perform pretty well, and you know, it’ll be better for everyone’s bodies.”

“We had to run inside in the hallways and that’s bad on like joints and shins and stuff,” added Carlie Blevins, a senior track and field runner. “So it was really hard to be stuck inside for so long before we could get on the track again. When we got on the track, we were all so happy to finally be on the track that we ended up having pretty strong finish to our season.”

The advantage that the Rails have won’t just be Proctor exclusive.

“We had some really good hurdlers last year,” said Johnson. “I don’t know if they went over a full flight of hurdles until April just because we had so much snow. I think that’s going to be a huge advantage for teams, all teams in the Northland this year really get to be outside so fast.”

With impending winter weather on its way this week, the Rails will have their fingers crossed that their outdoor aspirations will be met.