Or the next day. Or the day after that. Or within the next week.

Easy to forget, given our recent streak of 60-degree days and the sudden chorus of birds outside open windows, but spring arrived late this year. And later than baseball teams can afford. Most schools in the tri-county region had a deep blanket of snow covering their diamond and shrouding their outfield until Monday or Tuesday.

Many are still waiting for nature to take its course. Melting snow is no guarantee of playability, either. Once the white menace is gone, those fields require a week or two or dry, breezy days to take care of ankle-deep mud.

“It’s just one of those situations we have to deal with,” Edward Little coach Dave Jordan said. “I remember one of my years at Poland, I think it was 2007, the first time we took the field was Friday of April vacation week for our first game against Wells.”

Pitchers and catchers reported for duty March 23, with full team workouts permitted a week later.

Not one of the 20 area teams was outside to mark either milestone. Nobody was even close.

“Our first six days of practice, on at least five of those days there was snow flying outside,” Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. “When I looked out (one week ago), I did see the top of the mound peeking up through the snow. It was the only thing visible. It’s going to be a while.”

Games are scheduled to begin in earnest next week, with some big ones on the early docket. Edward Little travels to Lewiston on Wednesday. Mountain Valley Conference are slated to lace up the cleats Friday, with St. Dom’s at Lisbon and Monmouth traveling to Dirigo in two early showdowns.

All of it is up in the air. Some schools took preemptive strikes, knowing a month in advance that no act of God would provide bare ground in the backyard for school vacation week.

“We were supposed to play Mt. Abram. That has already been moved,” Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said.

The weather backup creates two headaches for even the most experienced coaches.

One is trying to get ready for a game that involves swinging bats, unpredictable pitcher’s mound terrain and tricky infield hops in a four-walled, wooden-floored gymnasium.

Keep in mind that almost baseball teams shared that same space with softball, lacrosse, or perhaps even track and field and tennis teams in March and early April.

“We aren’t able to use the gym at Livermore Falls anymore,” Spruce Mountain coach Brian Dube said. “With softball and every other activity needing to use the (Jay) gym, I’m limited to an hour and a half for combined varsity and JV with 26 kids in the gym at the same time. It isn’t a great situation.”

There is also the reality that if you don’t play games during what is a late April vacation week this year, calendar-wise, you are committed to play most of your 16-game schedule in May.

That, with limited pitching, smaller rosters than ever, and all the requisite graduation, prom, class trip and spring fever activities that offer distractions during an already compressed season.

“It’s awfully tough to keep them motivated indoors,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “I think the teams that make the best of use of their indoor practices, for the first one or two weeks, they will have a big advantage.”

Unpredictable field conditions are nothing new in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties, where many baseball layouts are located either in the foothills or in a swampy area.

Oxford Hills’ baseball field is located on the lowest plot of land at Gouin Athetic Complex. The Vikings, who played their first home game in Lewiston last year because of similar problems, have been able to use a portion of the practice field behind their school.

“This probably will be another year where we have to play a game or two at the school. We’ve done it in the past,” Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer said. “It’s not a great field, but we can play on it. With pretty much a whole team, I’m anxious to get them outside and in game situations.”

Schools traditionally work around the complications by heading down the turnpike for preseason contests, but even that advance planning was no guarantee this year.

“It’s going well, but I would love to get outside,” first-year Lewiston coach Andrew Cessario said. “We had a doubleheader (April 11) at Massabesic that got canceled.”

Edward Little and Dirigo are among the local schools that were able to work in a play day at York, although snowbanks still lined the field Saturday at that southern outpost.

Any fuel expenses and entry fees were worth the investment, considering what those teams faced back home.

“You do the best you can to simulate game situations,” Jordan said. “We had umpires in the cage the first Friday and Saturday to get in some simulated at-bats and try to get the timing down. Everybody is in the same boat.”

Well, some have it worse.

Up in Rangeley, where skiing enthusiasts may get to do their thing until Mother’s Day or beyond, Jeff LaRochelle has revived the Lakers’ program for the first time since 2012.

To this point, being outside has meant being on pavement.

“There is a cul de sac that goes past the school. We’ve been on that a little bit, but the snowbank is still so high that if kids are standing on the other side, I can’t even see them,” LaRochelle said.

As for the prospect of facing live pitching and fielding real groundballs before being launched into league play, forget it.

“It doesn’t look like we’re going to have many at-bats before the season starts,” Dube said.

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