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Peterson: Weather has final say on sporting events

I used to have a saying that you can always tell a newcomer to our area by his/her reaction to the first heavy snowfall of the season.

Someone who had never been to the Copper Country between late November and early April would always talk abut the volume of snow.

But to local residents, the amount of snow we can get here comes as no surprise.

They’ve literally seen it all when it comes to Mother Nature.

The one thing I’ve learned about weather up in this neck of the woods is that it always has the final say.

There are many instances when weather did just that in a sports event.

Take the 1989 Class C football playoff game between L’Anse and St. Ignace. The game was played at a neutral site in Munising on a dark, stormy evening.

It wasn’t cold enough to snow that early November evening, but it sure felt like it.

With rain and 50 mph winds, it was coming down so hard, it was literally coming down sideways.

St. Ignace had the good fortune to score in the first quarter and take a 7-0 lead. Although both teams had strong offenses that particular season, that proved to be the only points scored that night.

Or how about the late September afternoon in 1996 when Baraga took on Washburn, Wis. in a key football game. Heavy snow had fallen the night before, at least a record foot and half of it.

It was the only time I could recall that much snow falling in September.

There were high snowbanks around the Baraga field and that made the conditions suspect.

As I recall, the Vikings scored enough points to secure a victory.

And as we’ve already found out this week, inclement Upper Peninsula weather can cause numerous postponements.

There was also the year there was so much heavy snow in the spring that the local high school golf season was completely wiped out.

But the Jeffers High boys golf team was able to go down to Escanaba and win a Upper Peninsula championship. That took some good coaching and more than a little sisu.

If I had just a nickel for every game I was assigned to cover that was postponed — or directly affected — by our weather I would be sitting in a condo in Palm Springs or Tampa.

No kidding.

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