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Kuemmel's Corner: Cold weather causes cancellations

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Mother Nature has done it to us again.

With the weather earlier this week reaching record cold temperatures (coldest temps in 20 years!!!) and the governor stepping in to close all schools in the state, we have again had to make adjustments to our practice and game schedules. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the question, “Why do we live here?” already this winter (mostly by my wife).

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With the arrival of winter weather, we receive many calls concerning games and practices. Coaches of our outdoor sports always check the Minnesota State High School League cold index before competing outside. While our skiers are very hearty and used to the weather, we cancel any competition if the temperature drops below -4 degrees or -40 wind chill. We cancel practice if the temp drops below -20 degrees or there is a wind chill of -40. Some people are surprised that we would go out if the temperatures are just higher than this, but our coaches do a good job monitoring the athletes and the athletes do a good job preparing for the weather.

Whenever school is cancelled, our policy is to cancel all lower level (ninth grade) games and practices. We try to play all scheduled games at the varsity level, as long as we feel our students-athletes can safely travel to and from the game. It is very difficult to try to reschedule games, especially with officials, transportation, and facilities. There are many occasions when the roads are not in good condition in the morning, but yet are clear by nighttime when most of our games are played. When school is cancelled because of snow or cold, we do not have students in to practice. We like to be able to play the games so fans can come and cheer us on, but our biggest priority is obviously the safety of everyone involved.

When there is bad weather, I am in constant communication with our superintendent and transportation department, as well as the coaches and the opposing school. We have a great transportation department that works hard to keep our teams safe, but we also have to think about the safety of the fans that will be driving to and from the games.

Remember, the up-to-date status of all games can be found at www.suburbaneast.org.

While the record cold temperatures kept everyone inside and warm, our winter teams know that they may miss a practice here or there because of the weather, but are always ready to go when it comes to game time.

Stay warm everyone!

-Phil Kuemmel, Park High School Activities Director

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