Crandon hopes the use of wood ashes will help clear fields more quicklySubmitted: 04/18/2018
Story By Mark Spillane

Crandon hopes the use of wood ashes will help clear fields more quickly
CRANDON - Northwoods sports teams hope the latest snowstorm will be the last one from the winter that won't seem to end.

Until all that snow melts, some schools are taking proactive measures to find games for their athletes.

"We're over a month into the season and we still haven't had a practice outside," said Crandon Activities Director Josh Jaeger.

Like most schools, Crandon's sports practices have been confined to hallways and gyms, while games have been cancelled or postponed.

"Getting an opportunity to actually tell them game situation stuff, and tell them, and help them through it and coach them through it, I'm looking forward to that," said Crandon Softball Coach Shannon Howerton.

Next Tuesday the Cardinals baseball and softball teams will get that chance when they travel to the Wisconsin Dells to play Rhinelander, Crivitz and Peshtigo on the turf at the Woodside Sports Complex.

"I'm not excited for the travel, I can say that, but being able to finally go and play other teams is going to be amazing," said Crandon senior Alexis Quade.

Crandon is one of several Northwoods schools to travel for games.

While skipping a full day of school is not ideal, school administrators know students have missed less time than originally planned.

"It's like a trade-off. We've missed about six or eight games already, so they would've missed six or eight class times potentially, so it's one whole day for the four or five afternoons that they previously didn't miss," said Jaeger.

In an attempt to miss fewer games in the future, the Cardinals are taking a unique approach to clearing their fields.

"We decided to do it to our baseball field last week, and it worked really well," said Jaeger. "We had it to dirt and then Mother Nature provided us with another blessing of snow."

Crandon's teams spent Wednesday afternoon spreading wood ashes, donated by Nicolet Hardwood in Laona, across the snow-covered baseball and softball fields.

Potassium salts in the ashes help melt the snow, while also attracting the sun with the dark color.

"It works really well, because I do it in my yard and the grass will turn green much faster than it normally does," said Jaeger.

Now the Cardinals hope it will work just as well on their fields, so they can start playing games a little closer to home.

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