AGAWAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Most school districts in western Mass have next week off for February vacation.
It's a time for many high school athletic directors to take stock of their field conditions as they get ready for Spring sports to begin.
In fact, per MIAA rules, tryouts and practices start in public schools on March 16.
With a pretty snow-less Winter so far, many athletic directors are holding their breath and holding out hope that recent warm weather trends will continue.
At Agawam High School, a steady rain falls on the turf field, chipping away at a light covering of snow.
"It’s always good, when you're an athletic director, to be able to see the grass in February for sure," Agawam High Athletic Director Dave Stratton tells us.
Stratton says this is an encouraging sight, considering it's New England and Spring sports tryouts are in just about a month.
"We very rarely, if ever, get outside when we would like to," says Stratton.
Traditionally, he says, February vacation is a time for athletes to shake off the Winter cobwebs.
"It's always good for us when Spring athletes can get out and move around, whether it's running on sidewalks or being able to get on some grass to throw a ball around, because that way we have fewer injuries when they get out there and begin their practice," continued Stratton.
Western Mass News Meteorologist Dan Brown says athletes looking to practice outside next week may luck out.
"The start of the vacation for the kids is going to be cold. In fact, some of the coldest weather of the season, but it doesn't last long. It looks like temperatures get above normal for at least a few days next week," explained Brown.
We thought it would be interesting to see how this Winter break may stack up against years past.
Dan says while last year was fairly typical with snow and cold temps, remember, the two years prior were anything but typical.
"The last two years before that, 2017 and 2018, we had incredible warmth during February vacation. In fact, back-to-back years, we had record-high temperatures for the entire month when we went into the seventies," said Brown.
While it doesn't appear we'll set any records next week...
"I'm hoping that our Winter kind of continues into March the way it has and we don't get those massive snowfalls that we can become accustomed to around here. We've had plenty of April first snowfall and it’s never an April fool's joke," added Stratton.