With the winter sports season long since past and the spring season just around the corner, Midcoast athletic directors have been hard at work getting fields ready for the beginning of the campaigns in the coming weeks.

Well, maybe not that hard. In fact, the general consensus among many local athletic directors is that this year’s preparation has been easier than ever with the relatively short winter and how quickly the snow melted.

Whether it was tryouts or the first day or practice, most schools were out and on their respective fields at the beginning of the month and many could have been out even earlier than that. It is the earliest that the majority of the athletic directors recall being out on the field and ready for play.

Most athletic directors’ and groundskeepers’ work had been thwarted last week, as a three-day rainstorm hit the Midcoast hard and left fields covered in more than five inches of water.

Now with the rain presumably behind them, most teams are now on their respective fields and looking forward to the start of the 2010 season.

Camden Hills athletic director Bill Hughes said the Windjammers began practicing on their fields April 2, which were all in playable conditions.

“This is the earliest spring date that I have put teams on athletic fields in the 22 years I have been in this business,” he said.

Georges Valley is another matter altogether. While the baseball team is usually the first team in the area able to play their games with the field in a high spot sitting on a thick bed of ledge, the softball team is down lower and had to have a drainage ditch installed two years ago. Hastings said the softball field “still has a ways to go” but should be ready for their home opener against Wiscasset April 28.

Searsport athletic director Jim McGinn said April 5 was the first day his teams were on the baseball fields and probably could have gone on them April 2, but were still a bit damp from last week’s storm.

“That storm definitely soaked it down a bit,” he said. “They were looking pretty good before that but the grass really hadn’t started to grow yet. Our fields would have been playable but we tend to pamper our fields because they tend to get abused pretty well by the end of the season.”

Belfast athletic director Mark Babin said his fields were playable two weeks ago prior to last week’s rainstorm. While the baseball field is in great shape up on a high spot above the high school, the softball team held their last few practices at Walsh Field as Babin and his crew finished work on the softball field due to the storm. However, both Lion diamond teams were on their fields April 6.

“Our fields are good to go now,” he said. “But this is the earliest I’ve ever seen [the fields] ready.”

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.