Spring sports face first battle: clearing the snow


March 31, 2023

Dave Harwig

Glenn Plante works on removing snow from the Esko School softball field on Saturday.

A quick check on local field and track conditions shows that the spring sports season may take a bit longer than usual. Despite valiant efforts by local businesses, parents, coaches and athletes, Mother Nature has decided to only mildly cooperate this spring after a harsher-than-normal winter.

The Northland is in the midst of a Top 10 all-time winter for snowfall, and the snow keeps falling. After a mild spell last week and a reprieve from the snow, with temperatures into the mid-40s, many locals took the opportunity to get a jump-start on clearing fields and tracks.

Dave Harwig

Esko track coach Gary Beaudot stands in the high jump pit area after shoveling snow Saturday at Esko Schools Stadium.

Up at Cloquet's Braun Park, Kiminski Paving had numerous machines blowing snow off the fields with plans to let the sun do the rest of the work. By Sunday night, one could see blotches of brown dirt starting to poke through the snow.

Esko was also busy with parents, including Glen Plante, moving snow off the softball field. Track coach Gary Beaudot spent much of the weekend trying to clear snow off the long jump and high jump runways. By the end of the weekend the warmer temperatures began to make their mark and melt was beginning fast and furious.

These scenarios were being played out all across the Carlton County area.

Unfortunately, more snow made its way into the area Tuesday and more is expected by the weekend. On the positive side, the work these people have put in has gotten the top hard pack and crusted snow off the fields, which will make snow melt go much faster as temperatures rise.


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