With both Northland Pines and Three Lakes schools back in session following spring break, the start of the WIAA spring sports season is right around the corner.

Many programs including high school track and field, softball and baseball took advantage of an extended off-season contact days format, mixing in practice-like conditions over the course of the last two weeks, and again this week.

Starting on the baseball field, both head coach Peter Aerts at Northland Pines and co-head coaches Tyler Lorenz and Brad Bisnette at Three Lakes/Phelps will begin their season with pitchers and catchers, April 19.

With typically a mid-March start date, many programs await Mother Nature before being able to take to the outdoor surfaces. Fields at the Pines outdoor sports complex and at Don Burnside Park in Three Lakes are ready to go, meaning teams will hit the season with outdoor practices for the first time in more than a decade.

The WIAA has set a date of April 27 as the earliest possible date for a high school game. With the late start playoffs will also be pushed back into June with Regionals taking place June 10, 15 and 17 followed by Sectionals, June 22 and State tentatively set for June 29 thru July 1.

Softball is following nearly the exact same schedule as they hop into full practice April 19 with first games set for April 27.

Playoff dates also mimic baseball though Sectionals will be played June 21 and 23. State softball is set for June 28-30.

The biggest impact on spring sports is likely to be in track and field after the elimination of the indoor season. Many athletes would have had three to four meets by this time in years past, however the first day for practice will be April 19.

The first day for meets outside is April 27 meaning athletes will get only seven weeks of competition before the postseason begins, June 14 with Regionals. Sectional track & field is set for June 17 with the WIAA State Track & Field Championships set in La Crosse, June 25-26.

The boys golf season will begin April 19 with their first match date set for April 22. Regionals will take place June 1-2 followed by Sectionals a week later and State, June 18-19.