High school sports slip and fall during winter storm


In a week full of school cancellations, high school athletics in north Clark County and Woodland took a big slide in the ice with the majority of practices and games canceled.

The cancellations present any number of challenges, but one of the biggest is rescheduling games.

Rescheduling is complicated because the matches have to take place on days that work for both teams and have officials available, which takes time, Battle Ground High School Athletic Director Kirsten Talbott said.

“So, we’ve canceled, but we haven’t rescheduled anything without talking to the officials assignors first,” Talbott said. “Because we can do that all day, but if we don’t have officials available, you can’t reschedule. I just got off the phone with Mountain View. We’re trying to move a game from tomorrow night to Monday, but we need to make sure that we have officials available to be able to work that game and so, once they confirm, it just takes time.”

For Battle Ground, all of the games canceled last week were against non-league opponents. Talbott said, with protocols, rescheduling league games come first, while non-league games come second. With that in mind, however, juggling the upcoming schedule with makeup games can hurt players as the non-league games can be dropped fully.

“Now, we’re looking at playing a game Saturday night and every day [this] week and trying to shift and maneuver and double up where we can to try and get those games in,” Talbott said. “And unfortunately, when it comes to non-league stuff, there’s a chance we can’t reschedule that because there’s no room in the schedule. So, then our kids lose games and matches and things like that, you know. So kids ultimately end up losing out on opportunities if we can’t.”

Talbott said, however, she and her colleagues try to solve those challenges cooperatively. During the snowy week, Talbott and other athletic directors were taking part in Zoom meetings and phone calls to reschedule games.

“Everybody’s worked very creatively to get everything rescheduled, and our 3A and 4A leagues work really well together,” Talbott said. “We all collaborate quite nicely, so that we can make sure we get it done for the kids.”

Ridgefield High School boys basketball coach Jason Buffum said the past week was frustrating to him, in large part because he worries his team’s momentum melted away faster than the snow thawed.

“Some things obviously in life are out of your control. I felt like we had a pretty good first half of our league and a nice start to the second half and momentum goes a long way in sports and when you get it going, you hate to have it taken away,” Buffum said. “Obviously a lot of people are in the same boat. So, if you’re a team that’s on top, you’re hoping that you can keep going, and if you’re a team at the bottom, you hope it switches you around, and if you’re in the middle, you’re hoping you can find a way to win a few more games.”

On the other hand, Buffum hopes that the time away has benefitted the players who were recovering from injuries. For those able, however, Buffum has encouraged his players to work up a sweat every day they stay home. He has also been sending them game film for them to study.

“You spend all this time getting in shape and prepared, and we haven’t practiced since last Thursday. So that’s almost a full week out of the gym,” Buffum added. “No practice kind of creates a competitive disadvantage when other teams are allowed to get in the gym and have some practices. So, this puts you behind the eight ball a little bit, and we’re just hoping that, as we come back in here and have to have this NBA schedule, that we’ll be able to maintain.”