WACO, Texas — For the first time in a week, baseball and men's basketball players at McLennan Community College were finally able to practice Wednesday.
It happened as more changes to the Highlanders' schedules were brought on by a recent winter storm which has left many Texans without power for days.
Wednesday, both MCC and Temple College announced additional changes to their sports schedules this week. TC athletic director and head baseball coach Craig McMurtry told 6 Sports the Leopards' home basketball games against Collin on Saturday were postponed.
MCC was supposed to host Ranger at the same time, but that has been rescheduled, too.
"We're going to have a back-to-back," MCC men's basketball coach Kevin Gill said. "It's going to be different but we've got to do what we've got to do."
The latest schedule shift for the Highlanders means starting Monday, they will play six games in 13 days, including a stretch of three games in four days:
- Monday vs. Temple
- Wednesday vs. Ranger
- Feb. 27th at Grayson
- March 3rd vs. Southwestern Christian
- March 4th at Collin
- March 6th vs. Hill
Roughly 40 miles south on I-35, Temple College is in a similar boat, with an extra Monday game and its own stretch of three games in four days:
- Monday at McLennan
- Wednesday vs. Grayson
- Feb. 27th at Weatherford
- March 3rd vs. Tribulation Prep
- March 6th vs. Ranger
- March 8th vs. Hill
- March 10th at Southwestern Christian
- March 11th vs. Collin
- March 13th at Hill
But Gill is taking the tough stretch as a teaching moment for his squad, which touts a lot of talent and potential as it sits at 9-0 on the young, revised junior college season, including a 3-0 conference mark.
"If you make it to the national tournament, you'll have to play on back-to-back days, anyway," Gill said. "I've always tried to turn a negative to a positive and that's what I'm telling the guys."
Meanwhile, on the diamond, the fifth-ranked Highlanders baseball team has been forced to reschedule six games because of the snow and ice, including a tournament it lost this weekend in Cleburne.
"We're going to have to make it a net neutral," MCC baseball coach Mitch Thompson said. "I don't think anybody would wish that you would go a week without practicing. We've been blessed, thankfully, that our guys really care. They've been out throwing on their own in their front yards and back yards."
But, just like their basketball counterparts, the Highlanders practiced Thursday for the first time in a week because of treacherous driving conditions.
More than that, though, Sunday's newly-scheduled doubleheader against Howard is up in the air, according to Thompson.
"Our last practice, seriously, was a week ago," Thompson said. "We haven't been able to get the kids up here to swing in a cage or do anything."
And even though the Highlanders returned Thursday to practice, it wasn't on the field. Thompson said he hopes that will come Friday, as the weather forecast shows Waco getting above the freezing point for the first time in a week.
MCC was also forced to cancel next week's Wednesday softball doubleheader at Blinn after the weather forced changes in operation at the Brenham campus next week. That means the Highlassies won't return to the field until Feb. 26th against Navarro.
TC's baseball and softball teams were relatively lucky, Thursday. Neither had any further schedule changes. However, the fate of the baseball series Sunday and Monday against Odessa will be determined either Friday afternoon or early Saturday.