Schools of Thought: Listen for the spring sounds

Spring begins today.

You probably just looked at the date and wondered what I’m talking about, didn’t you?

Well, even though the calendar doesn’t exactly say today is the first day of spring, it is the first day of spring for area sports teams who will take the – well, the fields are soaked from the winter – gymnasium for the first day of practice.

Before you know it, the area’s boys and girls of spring will be swinging for the fences, dropping down bunts and running track.

March is a month of transition for the area’s high school athletes.

With most of the winter champions decided across the state with the exception of basketball, most athletes are looking forward to the last leg of the interscholastic sports year.

The spring.

That means baseball, softball and track and field from in just about every school, and tennis and lacrosse to a lesser extent.

It means eventually escaping the confines of area schools’ gymnasiums probably by the end of the month, or sooner if the snow stays away. Not to mention the fresh air and the smell of freshly cut grass.

The first day is a special day for many teams. It means a fresh start as the successes or disappointments of past seasons are washed away. Everyone has just as good a chance of winning a Section II championship as every other team.

And even though one school’s teams share the same preseason goals as everyone else on this first day of practice, the Fonda-Fultonville baseball, softball and track and field teams are, for right now, just happy to be there.

And there’s plenty of reason for them to be happy to be there as it looked early on as if they may not, but the community and the teacher’s union rallied behind the Braves and found a way for the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District to provide spring sports for its student athletes.

While the contributions helped the Braves back from the abyss, it also threw out a helping hand to the rest of the Colonial Council, where several teams would have found themselves with two fewer games if the Braves were absent from league play.

On the track, the Braves have championships to defend. It would have been a shame if the seniors would have been denied the opportunities to defend those championships.

After the turbulent 2012-13 in Fonda as the athletic department has hung in the balance for most of the past year, perhaps things will be a little more stable as the 2013-14 budget is put together by the Board of Education.

I guess we’ll see.

Everything else will have to be decided on the field. When the seasons start in April, the haves and have-nots will separate themselves in a short season. After a three-month winter season, the spring regular season is roughly six weeks.

As the season races toward the sectional tournaments at the end of May, the temperatures will rise.

By that time, we’ll be trading the winter coats we’re wearing now for our T-shirts and shorts.

But even if one of the local teams wants to test my endurance by hosting a night game on a cold April night, I’ll at least be happy to be outside.