The cheers from the regional basketball tournaments are still dying down and we’re still two weeks from the first day of spring, but the first day of the spring sports season — the day when high school baseball, softball and tennis teams can start their seasons — is today. Yes, today.
The season had been originally scheduled to start on its traditional date, the Monday following the second state basketball tournament, which this year is March 19. But last summer the KHSAA moved the start date up in an attempt to allow schools to free their schedules for a new statewide assessment test window in May, so opening day has been moved up 12 days.
Most teams will wait a little longer to get going, however. Concerns over unpredictable late winter weather — yes, it’s still winter — the fact that most schedules were already set and the fact that the start of practice wasn’t moved up means most coaches in this area will still start at or near the traditional opening day.
The postseason is much earlier for tennis and track and field, which gets an early start with its indoor season. State championships in both sports are set for May 17-19. That has caused quite a commotion among track coaches, who are unhappy with a more compressed season that is more likely to have more competitions in less-than-ideal weather conditions. It has resulted in a major shuffling of major meets, with some invitationals that have traditionally been held in April pushed back to late March and the final regular-season meets set for May 4-5.
Baseball and softball postseason schedules are largely unchanged however; the district tournaments start in the same week they did last year, and the only change is that the two state tournaments will be played the same week (June 4-9).
Here are the scheduled baseball and softball openers for area teams:
- Boyle County: March 20 at Anderson County
- Burgin: March 16 at Owen County
- Casey County: March 15 at Clinton County
- Danville: March 14 vs. Marion County
- Garrard County: March 14 at Berea
- Lincoln County: March 15 at Washington County
- Mercer County: March 19 vs. Anderson County
- Boyle County: March 16 vs. John Hardin at West Jessamine Invitational
- Burgin: March 14 at Bethlehem
- Casey County: March 22 at Campbellsville
- Danville: March 16 vs. West Jessamine at West Jessamine Invitational
- Garrard County: March 19 vs. Russell County
- Lincoln County: March 19 at Lexington Christian
- Mercer County: March 22 at Garrard County
The early start to the season is sneaking up on everyone, including the Advocate sports staff. Our preseason baseball and softball previews will be out sometime next week.