Patriots finally outside for meet in Pillager
Talk about spring fever.
The Pequot Lakes Patriots spring sports athletes have been inside practicing for almost two months as they waited for the extended winter conditions, excess snowfall and cold conditions, to pass.
Finally, on Thursday, April 25, the first outdoor competition took place for Pequot Lakes’ athletes as the Patriots boys and girls track teams competed at the John Reimer Invitational at Pillager.
Pillager school officials did an admirable job preparing for the meet, but the evidence to the late spring included snow banks around the track and unseasonably cold temperatures.
“With our unique situation (cold weather), I would have to say the best thing we had going for everyone was a positive attitude,” Pequot Lakes coach Dave Guenther said of the meet. “It’s easy to become complacent with the weather, but I have to give my coaching staff credit for keeping things so upbeat, fun and positive."
Guenther also credited Pillager’s staff for preparing the facility.
“They put in a lot of team into preparing for a meet,” he said. “We told our kids and parents to take plenty of pictures of because we may not see this again for some time, or at least hope not.”
Adding to the weather challenge is the construction project being completed at Pequot Lakes High School.
“(The practice routine) is going to be interesting with our facility being in the building stages,” Guenther said, “but I’m sure we will continue to come up with creative, fun, and effective methods to keep the kids motivated. I am blessed with a great group of student athletes.”
The Pequot Lakes girls are also having fun despite the unusual spring. Girls’ coach Brian Kazmierczak let his girls select their events at the Park Rapids meet on Friday, April 26.
“I wanted them to have a good time at the meet after being cooped up for seven weeks,” he said. "I think they had fun."