By John Anderson

In a year when it looked liked winter would never end, there is hope on the horizon. A short ride around town yesterday revealed the perseverance of the local teams as they adapt to the conditions and make do.

Up at the Pappas Recreation Complex, one Little League team worked out on the clear artificial turf field while another grabbed a sliver of grass for some fielding practice. The natural grass fields will likely be soggy for a few more weeks or even months.

Down on the turf soccer field, a premier club, that rents the field when available, played a game. Spectators had to stand behind the snow pile, but everyone seemed content. Equipment was obviously used to move much of the snow off the turf, and then the sun did the rest.

One young man did some batting practice with his coach on the all-purpose field at Auburn High. The fence on the driveway side is in obvious need of repair after feet of snow were plowed against it.

Some lanes on the high school track are still partially covered with snow, but even on a cool Sunday, solar energy was hard at work. It looks like track and field will have to wait a bit.

The tennis courts still have significant coverage, and the first practice might need to employ shovels rather than rackets. The courts near Drury Square are looking a bit better with more direct sun.

The Auburn High baseball teams recently used shovels to clear the infield, especially the fragile clay surface. After that, the DPW used a front-end loader to clear the turf and dump the snow over the back fence.

Even on a Sunday, a few players were doing some pitching and batting practice on the turf field. Although the schedule has not been published, they said their opening game is on Wednesday.

Canoes rested in the snow by the tennis courts. They await the gym classes on the pond that will come soon enough for the seniors.

It really was a perfect day for a little pick-up football on Memorial Field. The players didn’t even get their feet muddy.

Over the nest few weeks the storm drains will be getting a workout of their own as gallon after gallon of snowmelt makes its way to the Blackstone River. The geometric patterns from the harsh afternoon sun make the old snow a bit more interesting.