Preparing for postseason play is stressful enough on coaches. Throw in a hurricane and things become even more stressful.
"The easy thing is playing the game," John F. Kennedy coach Dave Pappada said. "It's everything else leading up to the game that is hard."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, or "Frankenstorm," the Mahoning Valley has been dealing with high winds and heavy rainfall since Sunday night.
With the weather conditions being less than amicable for practicing, area coaches have had to use their resources wisely to make sure their teams are prepared for their postseason games.
The Lakeview boys soccer team, which is the first area team to take the field this week, will be taking on CVCA tonight at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. The Bulldogs have been utilizing Farmer Jim's in Cortland, not only to keep out of the weather, but to get used to a different surface.
"We've been practicing indoors at Farmer Jim's the last couple days," Lakeview coach Nate Mailach said. "We've only played one game on field turf this year so we're getting used to it."
For area football teams preparing for the first round of the playoffs, indoor facilities have been in high demand. The Liberty Leopards utilized the Golf Dome in Girard for their practice on Tuesday. The Niles Red Dragons, in preparation for their game on Saturday against Hubbard, found dry conditions at the Ralph A. Infante Wellness Center in Niles.
Then there were the schools that made a call to big brother - that being Youngstown State University. John F. Kennedy, Howland, Youngstown Christian and Warren G. Harding all took their turns using the WATTS (Watson and Tressel Training Site).
The Raiders waited for their chance to have a dry practice, taking the field at 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. For the Raiders, they know they can't control the weather on Saturday night against Mentor, but to get things accomplished to be best prepared, a dry environment is needed.
"You just adapt," Harding coach Steve Arnold said. "We're not the only team that has to go through the situation with the weather. You adapt and move forward and make the best out of the situation. You still have to prepare.
"It's hard to prepare in this weather, so that's why."
Both Howland coach Dick Angle and Kennedy's Pappada were gracious to YSU for letting them use the facilities. Because it's not just about the weather, it's what can result in practicing outside in the conditions of the past few days.
"In the past, we've had a situation like this, and kids get sick," Pappada said. "And if one kid gets sick, its spreads fast. And it's a bad time of the year.
"We're not the only ones that had the same idea. There were several teams in after us tonight. They are all doing the same type of thing."
But not all teams are running for the indoors. In preparation for the state cross country tournament, both the teams from Maplewood and McDonald braved the weather and ran outdoors. Not even a hurricane could stop these teams in quest of a state title.
"I made a joke about it and asked if anybody wanted to run inside," Maplewood coach Dave Deeter said. "One of my freshmen said, 'Yeah, I do.' The other guys looked at him and said, 'No you don't. They don't run the state meet inside in an indoor facility. You're running outside.'
Tim Cleveland and John Vargo contributed to this article