Where are you spring?

The real effect of Meadville’s drawn-out winter weather

With less than two full weeks left in the 2018 Spring semester, the Allegheny College campus is finally feeling what spring is supposed to feel like. This past weekend, the Meadville community was blessed by sunshine and 70 degree temperatures for the first time in what feels like an eternity.

For a winter that seemed to never end, we may have finally approached the end to the snowiest spring I have ever been a part of. Although the students at Allegheny may have enjoyed this weather, the spring sports athletes may have enjoyed it a little more than their fellow peers. Simply because the weather this spring has been one for the record books and I am not talking about the good kind.

The spring sports teams here at Allegheny have had to withstand below freezing temperatures and lots of that fluffy white stuff throughout the majority of their seasons this year. Meadville is not often looked at as a haven of beautiful weather, but this spring has been in a category of its own.

The Allegheny Softball and Baseball teams have had to deal with some serious adversity regarding their home contests. The Softball team has had 12 contests postponed due to inclement weather this spring, seven of which were to be hosted at the Robertson Athletic Complex, where the Lady Gators home field is located. The Baseball Gators have yet to play 10 games at home while being well over halfway through their 40 game season.

The Allegheny mens and womens tennis teams have had to resort to using the Wise Center to play their home matches on multiple occasions as well. Until this past weekend, I was beginning to question if spring had caught a cold and decided not to show up in 2018.

The extended winter weather is not only creating issues at the collegiate level. The lovely weather we have had this spring has set a new record for weather related postponements through the month of April in Major League Baseball history. Now at 26 different postponements related to either snow, ice, rain, or freezing temperatures, the Gators are not the only spring athletes facing mother nature’s wrath.

There are nine spring sports teams here at Allegheny, all of which have had to deal with this inclement weather. But has this spring really been worse than in years past? Just 45 minutes up the I-79 interstate, Erie, Pennsylvania is nearing 200 inches of snow this year after its latest snow dusting this past week. This would be a record for any large city in United States history. Some would argue that this could qualify for the “worst spring of all time.” If someone asked me that question, I would not hesitate to say yes.

There is also the opposition to that theory. Some may see snow and cold in April as a blessing instead of a curse. My opinion is the latter. The idea that 70 degrees and sun is not every person’s ideal spring weather is hard for me to understand, but then again, I am not every person. You have to be a certain type of person to live in a community that is famous for snow records. For me, I think snow two weeks during the year is plenty. If this spring were a person, they just might live in Erie, Pennsylvania.

This weather could also be seen as a life lesson for some of these spring athletes as well. The constant changes of schedule battling through blistering cold and precipitation is potentially a metaphor to future life.

Life after college is something not any undergraduate students have ever had to deal with at this point in their lives. Bills, student loans, finding jobs, starting a family, all of these things can be related to in some way what this weather has taught these spring athletes this year. You are not always going to get the job. You are not going to always make the right decisions.

Just like this weather is not going to always let these athletes play. Even if they are playing here in Meadville, it could be 41 degrees with rain and wind. Nothing about being a collegiate athlete in Meadville, Pa. is easy. The weather will always play a huge role in the spring sports season. That is just life and one thing everybody knows about life is, it is not easy.