OTHELLO — I was looking out at the steady drizzle with ducks padding around on the infield, water running down the No. 1 fairway, a little crust of ice on the tennis courts, thinking this reminds me of home.
I grew up in Colorado, where a guy can wear suntan lotion and mittens all in the same day. My sophomore baseball season we were snowed out 20 of 25 games, and the ones we did play, you looked like a locomotive chugging down the line as you ran the bases with steam flaring out your nostrils.
I had a chance to watch the defending 2A state champion Othello Huskies softball team take a little infield. As in the wrestling room (where it is much warmer, by the way), the Ochoas run the show. In this sport, the natural order is restored. Rudy senior is the big dog and Rudy “The Dos” is the assistant.
Back in the day, it wasn’t all that uncommon to take diesel fuel and pour it on the infield and set it on fire to dry it out. But in this day of $3 bucks a gallon, that ain’t going to happen.
So the girls are bundled up in hoodies and ear muffs, fielding balls on an infield with little puddles of standing water. Coaches got so many layers they look like the Michelin Tire Man, and then there’s me and athletic director Don Bullis standing over there shivering on the sidelines.
But if you think we were going to admit frostbite while the girls are running around getting in a day’s work, you don’t know machismo. Wars have been fought over foolish male pride.
I am as tough as any high school girl. I gave it another 10 minutes then went over and sat in the car with the heater blowing. It’s going to be another fun softball season and we’ll see if history repeats itself.
Over on the Othello baseball diamond, there’s been a changing of the guard, and Sonny Garza takes over as the new Huskies skipper. He’s not of the soccer playing Garzas or the wrestling Garzas.
Sonny’s a beisbol guy.
First time I saw him standing next to Alix Garcia and Anthony Ruiz last year I thought he was a player. Then he starts in with a ration, and I knew I was going to like this guy.
He’s got a bunch of young guys to work with this season, probably going to fill out the lineup card with a crayon. But you know what? They’re going to be fundamentally sound and looking to slap around their elders. Might as well start with Selah.
It’s going to be a fun spring, once it gets all the way up to 40 degrees.