Feb. 7, 2013
I’ve always found this to be an interesting time of the year in college athletics; winter sports are in full swing – men’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball are in the middle of tough conference schedules, battling for playoff seeding; indoor track is in full stride, swimming is preparing for conference championships and men’s wrestling is gearing up for NCAA regional championships. The past three weekends in Bristol have seen snow and ice storms wreak havoc on schedules and driving conditions. We’ve just finished following Punxsutawney Phil miss his shadow and had our Super Bowl party. Yes, its winter – or is it?
All of the above remind us of the cold, gray days of winter. But, if you’ve ever spent time on a college campus, you know that all of those events also remind us that spring sports are upon us. Yes, Major League Baseball Spring Training is still a few weeks away and they’ll be in sunny, warm Arizona and Florida, but at King our golf, tennis, baseball and softball teams are kicking off their “spring” seasons in sub-40 degree weather with snow on the ground (it is slowly melting as I type).
January and February are a facility director’s nightmare. Teams frequently can’t practice outdoors – so baseball, softball, track, and tennis all need time indoors. And, by the way, men’s and women’s basketball, cheerleading, and men’s volleyball are right in the toughest and most important stretch of their season. They all want to practice – all need to practice – indoors. And space and time are limited. It’s the beauty of spring sports in the Winter. It’s all about compromise. Fortunately at King, we have a great staff and great student athletes, who make it all work.
All of our programs continue to succeed on the courts and fields, and the outlook for the spring is bright. Men’s Basketball knocked off 12th -ranked Barton last weekend – King now accounts for two of Barton’s 4four losses on the year – and our men’s and women’s indoor track programs both secured a No. 1 ranking in the Southeast Region last week. Baseball, Softball, Men’s Tennis, and Men’s and Women’s Golf are all predicting to finish in the top-4 in Conference Carolinas this year, and baseball is off to a great start, going 2-1 in their opening weekend, including a 4-2 win over pre-season No. 10 Francis Marion.
Softball will open up this weekend, while tennis and golf open their seasons in the next two weeks. Yes – its an exciting time for Spring sports in the Winter – and its an exciting time to be a Tornado. Check out www.kingtornado.com for the most updated schedules for all of our sports – we will have live webcasts and live stats for all home sports – but don’t let that keep you away. Come out and support our student athletes in our spring sports – we guarantee it will be 70 and sunny…after all, it’s a spring sport.
To read more from Athletic Director David Hicks on his blog, click here.