A few random observations regarding the high school spring sports year before I grab my umbrella or poncho and sit on my couch again…

If forced to pick the most valuable performer over the course of this season, it’s probably, unfortunately, Mother Nature.

She’s canceled games. Postponed countless others. Even has made Jackson’s baseball field almost swamp-like at times, or at least bad enough to where it canceled nearly a week straight of home games in the beginning of April, including a milestone matchup against Miami Trace. That game will be played at some point this season … I think. 

All in all, the spring sports season really is a sprint. It’s a fun sprint, though, and it only seems to start going faster from here-on out.

Don’t blink, or you just might miss it.

With softball sectionals set to begin on Monday, three varsity teams — Jackson, Oak Hill, and Wellston — have combined to play just 49 games between them, a number slightly smaller than in most typical years. 

Then again, this season has been anything but typical. Personally, I can’t even remember a spring this chaotic where rain delays were happening weekly. Rain happens, but not like this. And it’s still not over. But here’s hoping area players and coaches get to enjoy a little bit of normalcy — and by that, I mean sunshine — the rest of the way.

Wellston shortstop Jenna Johnston has undoubtedly been one of this spring’s stars. But then again, did you really expect anything else from her?

The Golden Rockets senior standout leads her team in most offensive categories: batting average (.484), hits (31), RBIs (30), runs (30) and home runs (9) — which helped her break the school record for home runs in a career with 17, and still counting. 

She’s most likely on her way to her third TVC Offensive Player of the Year award, which possibly could have been fourth if not for COVID. All that’s left is a district championship, which is very obtainable with the Golden Rockets earning a No. 3 seed in the tournament draw on Sunday. 

Speaking of the tournament, this Vinton County team has something special, and has a chance to show that it indeed is the real deal.

Despite not being able to get its revenge on Wellston and claim the TVC crown, there’s still much to be proud of for the season this team has put together. 

17 wins in the most they’ve had in a season for a number of years and earning a No. 3 seed in a packed Division II amongst Hillsboro, Warren, Athens, Circleville, Sheridan and Unioto is rather impressive. 

It’s their highest seeding in quite a while also, and it puts them in a very intriguing position since they’ll potentially play two home tournament games. 

Not to look too far ahead because tournaments are indeed one game at a time, but they have a really good chance to make it to Ohio University. They’re motivated with a team full of seniors who have never played in district action in their high school careers. Watch out for this group. 

Baseball tournament seeds come out this weekend, and I’m anxious to see where every team lands in Division II, III and IV, but I’ll save more of that talk for next week though. 

Now is when the fun really begins.