A slow start to spring

March 16, 2013 

Spring finally seems to have arrived in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, but it’s been so long in coming that several teams are a little bit behind the curve.

Most teams, even the ones that traditionally dominate their respective conferences, have at best only a handful of wins.

Case in point: Carrboro’s soccer team.

Almost two weeks into the season, the Jaguars had just two wins.

Mind you, Carrboro is no second-rate team. The defending state champions, in their first season with Mark Kadlecik as head coach, were undefeated heading into this weekend’s game with 5-0-0 Clinton at The Brittany Soccer Showcase in Wilson.

It just that fields have been sodden for days and days after repeated rainouts.

And it’s not just fields. Tennis teams have had to postponed multiple matches.

While all local high schools have hard-surface courts that are undamaged by even the worst rains, even a few drops of precipitation will render such courts slippery and dangerous.

“I feel like we’re just getting started with the season,” Chapel Hill High School coach Neil Alderman said last week.

Still not hand in hand

Some YMCA members have mixed feelings about the Y’s recent decision to pause for a bit before proceeding with renovations.

Racquetball and handball players are generally pleased that the Y’s board of directors recently resolved to get more data before doing anything to the two hardwood courts in the facility at 980 Martin Luther King Blvd., where some had resorted to picketing to call attention to plans to “repurpose” the courts for expansion of the exercise and fitness area.

Those are the only such courts available to the public in Orange County.

But some of those players took issue with the directors’ statements regarding the issue.

“There never was an imminent threat to the courts,” board chair Dabney Grinnan said in an article published March 10 in The Chapel Hill News.

Billy Barnes, one of the court users who initially protested the renovation plan, took note of a memo from YMCA interim director Ralph Yohe posted in the court area in mid-December.

“The courts will close permanently in early spring. ... We expect to have more detail and architectural renderings of the proposed changes in February, with a targeted completion date in mid- to late-summer,” the notice said.

“I hope you can understand how we feel when the board chairperson tries to make it look like we’ve been protesting a threat that never really existed,” Barnes wrote in a letter to the CHN.

The problem here might be that both sides are speaking the truth.

The court users have been upset with the plan, but Grinnan has said there is no plan set in stone. No architectural plans were reviewed and no target date got set, she noted.

That has not resolved the issue.

The racquetball and handball players must be aware that the YMCA, after listening to all opinions about how best to use that space now devoted to the courts, may yet proceed with expanding the fitness area.

Tigers in NCHSAA final

Most readers might be aware that Sunday’s editions of the Chapel Hill News is finished on Friday evenings. Hence, events like’s Saturday’s state high school basketball championships are played too late to be in the Sunday paper. But complete coverage of Chapel Hill’s game with Charlotte’s Harding University High School can be found in the News & Observer and at www.newsobserver.com

Warnock: 919-932-8743

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