Weather always has last word

One would have thought the lessons of the past would have sunk in after all these years.

The lesson? That when it comes to the Copper Country, weather always has the last word.

This year is no different as local sports teams have had to adjust their schedules because of the long winter we’ve just gone through.

And yet, this isn’t the worst case scenario when it comes to long-lasting winters.

Just a few years ago, the snow was still on the ground in early May. That played havoc with the golf, track softball and baseball schedules.

But the remarkable thing about that year was the performance of local prep golf teams.

With just a very short time to practice, the Jeffers and Chassell golfers managed to win Upper Peninsula championships down in the Escanaba and Gladstone.

Now, Escanaba, Gladstone and the Iron Mountain areas are located in the banana belt of the U.P. and normally get just a fraction of the white stuff we do up here.

Our softball and baseball teams usually have to wait until early or mid-May to get their some games in.

In fact, they play in some of the coldest temperatures I can recall.

The Houghton and Westwood girls were playing a doubleheader at Bugni Field, and with the usual wind blowing up on the hill, it was really bitter. The wind chill was probably in the teens that day.

It was so bitter, it reminded me of some football playoff games I’ve covered in early November. 

Still, if you want to play sports up here, the weather is something you learn to adjust to.

Take the old slow-pitch tourneys the MTU Vets Club once held. The club, perhaps unwisely, scheduled the tournament in early May.

The event was often held with snowflakes falling more often than not and earned the nickname of the “Blueball Tournament.”

The forecast is calling for the temperatures to be in the low 70s early next week.

But I remember very clearly a late June evening many years ago when snow began falling during a Twilight League game at the old Wolverine Field.

It didn’t last long, but those really were snowflakes coming down.

And that’s a true story.