DES MOINES, Iowa — April showers and cold temperatures are causing headaches for several central Iowa sports teams including the Des Moines Menace Youth Soccer Program.
“Especially after a long winter season, our families and players have been indoors in gyms just chomping at the bit to get outside, and once they do and it’s raining and it’s cold and it’s windy, it’s tough. So it definitely does halt the momentum a little bit,” said Director of Operations Lyle Hunt.
Hunt said over the past week they had to cancel programs, sessions, and games due to weather.
“We have a program called Junior Menace, that’s for the very youngest players in our organization, as young as three and as old as nine, and these players are just showing up because they love the game and they want to run around, and again we’ve had to cancel that. Canceled a session last week, which is never fun,” Hunt said.
The Premier Games were also canceled over the weekend. Hunt said it’s very challenging to reschedule that type of large tournament.
“There’s so much work, so much scheduling that goes on with that. Those tournaments take place at Cownie Soccer Park, and that facility, as many of you know, is booked,” Hunt said.
Soccer players aren’t the only ones frustrated with mother nature; the Iowa Cubs canceled several games, as well.
“We were supposed to have our opening day on Thursday and play a five-game series through today. We’ve only gotten two dates of baseball in. We actually ended up with a double header on opening day and then playing Saturday, the rest of the games have been messed up because of the weather, and so those have been postponed until later,” Iowa Cubs Manager of Media Relations Shelby Cravens said.
Even though they haven’t had much time on the field in Iowa, Cravens said they’re still doing as much as possible inside.
“The trouble is these guys come from spending six weeks in Arizona and a lot of them live in warm climates in the off season as well, and so this is a real shock for them to come here and see snow and play in 30 to 40 degree weather, and so they haven’t really been able to get on the field at all but really one full day which was opening day, as well, so they’ve kind of been stuck indoors hitting the cages,” Cravens said.
Not only are wintry conditions tough for the players, it’s not much fun for the fans, either.
“People definitely look at the forecast and that directly impacts our sales,” Cravens said. “We’re hoping we will just get this cold weather out of the way early and we will get bright sunshine for the rest of the season.”