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PHS boys basketball: Tyler Pfarrer

Philomath High's Tyler Pfarrer — guard on basketball team and shortstop on the baseball team.

It's just a part of life in the spring when baseball practice begins. Players are usually missing because of the basketball team's consistent string of success.

While interviewing head coach Levi Webber Thursday afternoon, I threw out the question about challenges he sees while preparing for the season opener. Of course, the wet weather is a constant issue, and on this day, that was certainly the case as we huddled in the dugout with the rain coming down.

But I also brought up the multi-sport athletes because many of the team's top players were still in basketball.

"The thing about that is — it has nothing to do with our basketball program or our kids," Webber said. "I think it's more of a faction of the OSAA.

"I was talking to a parent about this the other day. I don't think it's fair how they structure our seasons back-to-back because you're asking for a tough task out of kids that do both and there's eight teams every year that go to state where their spring sports suffer because their kids go do that. I just think that puts a huge stress on teams.

"It's a little bittersweet because our basketball program's been really good. Coach (Blake) Ecker does a great job with them so they've had a lot of success. It puts us a little bit behind the 8-ball but again, it's not a reflection of them. It's just how everything's scheduled. But we move on and go."

Unfortunately, Philomath's basketball team did fall to Mazama today in the first round of the playoffs and won't be heading to the state tournament next week, so it might not be that much of an issue this time around. Baseball season starts Tuesday.



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