COLUMN: Lemonade from lemons?

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Anderson making best of bad weather

By John Herndon

Rick Sallee says he believes in making lemonade out of lemons.

Not that anyone needs a summertime beverage to cool off these days. The Polar Vortex, or whatever the weather nerds are calling that phenomenon that made Kentucky colder than Alaska last week – really, it did – has seen to that.

But after yet another cancellation, Sallee, the Anderson County High School athletic director, posted on his Twitter account, “ACHS considering adding an ice skating or bobsledding team.”

Personally, I would have preferred hockey, lots of hockey, or skeleton, but you have to love Sallee's Winter Olympic spirit.

If someone around high school sports did not have a sense of humor during this winter, when schedules are as reliable as Confederate money, he would undoubtedly go insane.

As of Thursday, the Anderson girls' and boys' varsity basketball teams had not played games in nine days and each had three consecutive games called off because of winter weather. The school wrestling team had a big tournament at North Hardin when the meet was canceled on Jan. 18.

Swimming might conjure up images of sunshine and warm weather, but the competitive version of the sport takes place in winter and it got in the spirit last week when a meet at Asbury University was called off.

That's just the high school varsity teams. Freshman games and middle school games went by the wayside too.

The preps are just so much different than the colleges and the pros. You have school busses loaded with minor children traveling to and from games. In a lawsuit-happy society, there are countless liability issues in the event a bus skids or even something like a heater malfunctions. As an administrator in another county recently told me, “It's just not worth the risk.”

“There is nothing you can do about the weather and it is frustrating, but everyone is in the same boat,” Sallee said. He might have been more accurate to say everyone is in the same dogsled.

Around the high school, the kids involved have been taking to Twitter to express their feelings.

Anderson girls' basketball player Makenzie Cann took to the social media last week to say, “Literally every time we have a game there's snow. It's makin' me mad.”

Her teammate and classmate, senior Alex Avritt, had this for the world to see, “Pleaseeeee no more snow days, I wanna graduate!”

And, during practice last Monday, just before the latest round of Kentucky-turned-North Pole hit, wrestler Cody Dillow admitted a problem in his sport. “I have trouble keeping my weight,” he smiled.

Conditioning is a problem, but, as Anderson girls' basketball coach Tony Kays noted last week, “At least we are able to practice. Some places can't even do that.”

But it's still frustrating.

Sallee said the Anderson boys' basketball schedule was loaded heavily in January and February in anticipation of the football team making a long playoff run, which it did. “There are not a lot of (mutual) open dates,” he said.

The highly-ranked girls were invited to several big events, which they want to get in, but they also have two district games to make up, unless something can be worked out. Sallee did say his counterparts at other schools are very cooperative and schools are facing the same dilemma across the state.

As for Sallee, he says there is no truth to the rumor, started by yours truly, that he might be looking to move to Florida or Arizona before next year. “I am afraid of hurricanes. Those things scare me,” he said. “Arizona? Too hot.”

But Sallee might still be looking for a place to drink lemonade.

“What's the weather like in San Diego?”


Comment at www.thandersonnews.com.