With plenty of snow, water and ice still on the surface and several inches of frost beneath the ground, Midcoast high school spring student-athletes are back in a familiar mode this time of year — namely, hurry up and wait.

Area baseball, softball, tennis, lacrosse and track-and-field teams continue to prepare for the season with indoor practices, in school gymnasiums and hallways.

And, with the potential for continued unseasonably cold weather and snow/rain in the immediate forecast, teams might have to wait much longer than expected.

This is the standard routine most springs, especially for one when the winter was mild overall before March turned colder with considerable precipitation.

Young athletes now must wait for baseball and softball diamonds and track infields to be rid of snow, water and frost to dry so they can practice and compete in their chosen activity.

But, what they say about Maine is true: "If you don't like the weather, just wait a minute." That is especially true in the volatile time known as the annual spring thaw.

And to make things worse, the immediate forecast does not look conducive to melting snow, thawing frost or drying fields.

For coaches, athletes and athletic directors, it is April Fools Day over and over. They all have cabin feature — gym fever? — and want to get outside in the sun and fresh air. But they must be patient and wait for Mother Nature to cooperate.

Preseason games were suppose to begin in the coming days, but nothing on an actual grass field will happen for local teams in the foreseeable future. In fact, a girls lacrosse event in Bath, that featured Oceanside and Camden Hills, even on the artificial surface of McMann Stadium, has been postponed due to inclement weather forecast for the weekend.

Area field are under snow, water, ice or all of the above. There is frost in the ground and all of the frozen surface water must go away before the actual ground drying can begin, so the immediate outlook is bleak.

Even the local field that drains the best, Oceanside's baseball facility in Thomaston, is under snow.

A few teams have gotten outdoors in parking lots for a few drills, but those short stints have been in cold weather.

In the middle of the week, Midcoast high school athletic directors were cautiously optimistic that their athletes could get outside on fields perhaps the second week in April and, of course, on the all-weather tracks and outdoor tennis courts much soon because those just need to be cleared of snow and dry quickly.

"Our weather pattern will remain cooler and active as we transition into the start of April with storm systems possible through the region every three days or so," said Tyler Southard, VStv's chief meteorologist. "With colder air still lingering over the region and the occasional resupply of cold pushing down from Canada, some of these storms will feature a mix of rain and winter weather.

"Saturday April, 1 will be one of the colder days with highs in the 30s allowing for accumulating snowfall through the day. Another storm around the middle of next week will produce more rain at the coast with snow inland. High temperatures will generally range in the 30s and 40s for the first two weeks of April, occasionally nearing the low 50s with no clear sign of milder weather until perhaps the mid- to late- part of April when we may start seeing more 50s on the thermometer. High temperatures for Midcoast Maine normally average around the mid-40s at the start of April with overnight lows in the upper 20s."

That outlook has dampened the spirits of high school athletic directors.

"I went and walked all of the fields to get an idea of where we stand and it was rather depressing," said Oceanside athletic director Molly Bishop.

"The goal is to get on the fields/courts/track as quickly as we can, though of course we can’t rush Mother Nature. The timing is about the same as it was two years ago as far as expecting to get outside. As for coaches and kids, they are chomping at the bit. It is awfully difficult to truly recreate game-like scenarios in the gym.

"The idea of more snow this weekend isn’t helping the attitude, just like everyone else, we’re ready to get outside."

In a sign of spring's uncertainty, Medomak Valley athletic director Matt Lash felt one way one day and another just 24 hours later. "Given the forecast for tomorrow into Saturday, I would like to change my prediction of us getting outside onto our fields, track and courts to I have no idea."

Lash had stated on Wednesday, "We plan to get on the track and tennis courts early next week. Both facilities are getting close. As for the fields, conditions are going to have to improve very soon for us to get on the fields the week of April 10, at the earliest. There is cold and snow in the forecast for first of the week. I do not see a two-three-day stretch of sun and temperatures close to 60 that you need to work the frost out and turn fields over. At this point, we will take more rain to get rid of the snow and frost."

Mount View athletic director Chris Moreau said things in Waldo County, just like in Knox and Lincoln counties, is not great field-wise at this point. Of course, his school is situated higher in elevation and sometimes deals with slightly different weather than the schools on the coast.

"Mount View is still under snow, but if the snow loss continues at this pace we should be outside full time after April break," he said. "Our preseason baseball and softball scrimmages set for April 8 here at the complex are in real jeopardy if things do not change soon."

Perhaps Searsport athletic director John Williamson summed it up best: "A few weeks ago I thought we would get outdoors early. I just checked our fields [Wednesday] morning and they are snow-covered. So much for getting out early. This is Maine, after all though, so it is what it is. We are all in the same boat."

At this point, Midcoast athletes, coaches and athletic directors may want to jump off the current boat and book a cruise ship to a warmer climate — where they can all go outdoors to play the spring sports they love.