Record rainfall taking a toll on high school spring sports

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As Seattle continues to shatter rainfall records this year, the wet weather is wreaking havoc on spring sports for local high schools.

Coaches and athletic directors said that tennis, baseball, and softball have been the most impacted.

For instance, the tennis team at Bishop Blanchet High School has had to reschedule nearly seventy percent of its matches.

"I don't remember anything even close to this," said George Monica, who is Bishop Blanchet's Athletic Director.  "We've never had anything like this in terms of the numbers of cancelations, postponements, changing fields, changing where we practice, all those kinds of things, with the weather that we've had."

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That's saying a lot, since Monica's been scheduling games and coaching sports at the school for nearly 40 years.  

This year, across all spring sports, he says 32 of Bishop Blanchet's athletic events have been impacted by the rain.

"Every time you look up and feel a little bit of rain you're thinking, I hope the kids get the game in today, I hope we're able to get this done so we don't have to reschedule," said Monica.

He said it's a problem schools across Seattle are dealing with.  He knows this because coaches and athletic directors from different schools are in constant communication, working to reschedule games that get rained out.  That communication is especially important with high school playoffs right around the corner and some teams running out of time to make up games.

"We're really lucky in our league that we have some great schools that have been really flexible and cooperative," said Monica.

According to the National Weather Service, 44.67 inches of rain have fallen in Seattle between October and April.  That's the wettest stretch they've seen during that time period since they started keeping rainfall records more than a hundred years ago.

"One hundred percent, I believe it.  It's been awful," said parent Julie Stuntz, whose son plays baseball for Bishop Blanchet.  "There was one game where we had two rain delays and it went into extra innings and they were literally out there for four-and-a-half hours.  It was brutal."

During Tuesday's tennis match between Bishop Blanchet and Ingraham High School, coaches from both teams stopped several times to examine the courts when rain started falling.

"If it gets a little more damp, the white lines on the court are the issue," said Kerry Loveland, Bishop Blanchet's tennis coach.  "The white lines can get a little slippery."

Loveland said the team was thrilled to be able to finish Tuesday's game, with a win over Ingraham.  He said they barely made it without a rain delay: the last match ended at about 6:15 p.m. and not long after, it began to pour.