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Ty's Take: So much for lions and lambs; this March is in like a cheetah

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sports Fargo, 58102

Fargo North Dakota 101 5th Street North 58102

How is this for ironic? It's mid March, the snow is gone, temperatures are in the 60s and 70s, and the West Fargo track and field team's first meet was relegated to inside Concordia College in Moorhead.

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Yes, for once in, well ... ever, West Fargo and the rest of the region are in the grips of the earliest spring thaw on recent record.

Who'da thunk it?

"It's a good problem to have," West Fargo boys golf co-coach Chuck Gad said.

Gad, who recently just returned from Arizona, said winter can stay gone, as far as he is concerned.

"It's shocking, usually I'm not running around like this. And I'm wearing the same clothes here as I was in Arizona," he said.

It is tough for me to fully embrace this unseasonable heat, however. In fact, I've gone so far as to refuse even winterizing my snow blower for fear of jinxing the whole Midwest.

Stranger things have happened, but I can't for the life of me think of what they are. Maybe the Fighting Sioux men's hockey team scoring six straight goals Friday to claw back from a 3-0 deficit and beat those mangy Gophers 6-3 in the WCHA Final Five semifinals?

Nope, I'll still say this weather is stranger.

But strange or not, with forecasts staying in those balmy temps for at least the next week, West Fargo sports teams are embracing it full force.

Athletic Director Curt Jones recently put things in perspective.

"Normally, this time of year, everybody gets kind of claustrophobic from practicing indoors. And when it finally gets nice outside, their first time on the field is for a game," he said. "This is kind of exciting to have our (teams able) to actually play those games we typically schedule in March and April."

Games that, for all intents and purposes, are scheduled in the knowledge that they either will get cancelled or postponed because of inclement weather, snow- or water-covered playing fields, or all of the above.

Not this year. And try this on for another West Fargo first: spring sports teams actually are scheduling their allotted preseason scrimmages.

"I just had the baseball coach call me and ask, 'Can we have a scrimmage? I've never done that before; what are the rules?'" Jones said.

With that, the Packers baseball team gets its first scrimmage of the season (and certainly recent history) Friday, March 30, in Moorhead. Jones said the time has not been finalized, but it likely will be around 4 p.m.

Baseball and softball practices officially kicked off Monday, which means they will be able to take full advantage of this glorious spring weather.

But what about the poor track and field team forced to meet inside? While it is true that their indoor season will span a few invitations until the East Region indoor meet April 3, another unprecedented event occurs this week.

West Fargo track and field will be competing in an outdoors triangular meet 4 p.m. Thursday at Fargo South High School. To make room, West Fargo will not be attending the NDSU indoor Thundering Herd meet March 26.

As for boys golf, which can't officially meet for practice until April 9, Gad said his players already are hitting the links on their own.

"I can't coach them, but I can set up tee-times," he said.

Village Green, West Fargo's home course, opened this weekend and likely will be crawling with Packers at every available moment.

No, you won't hear a complaint out of any spring sports team this year, unless this is all a big joke by Old-Man Winter and we get his wrath in the very near future.

Oh well, can't worry about that; might as well enjoy the nice weather while you can.

"It's crazy, but it's a good deal for us because we normally don't get on the course too soon," Gad said.

Jones echoed that sentiment.

"Nobody is talking about flooding for once, and people are getting outdoors and doing things," he said.

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