It was finally going to be a great week to play some spring sports.


The weather turned warmer, the rain held off and there was going to be no concerns over games or events being postponed.


That's what it would have been like before these newfound changing times. Now, we just wonder if games will be played again, even into the fall and winter.


Spring sports definitely won't happen now, especially after the Arkansas Activities Association extended its "dead period" through the end of May. I've finally accepted that fact, and I'm sure many others have as well.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


The fertile imagination within each and every one of us can't cancel or postpone events. So I'm still taking the approach that there's still games to watch and events to cover.


Even if there’s no games actually being played.


For instance, on my regular running route, I pass by Hunts Park. The renovations to that venerable facility have been coming along rather nicely.


As a matter of fact, the new turf has arrived, and I'm seeing parts of the new field being laid down. Soon, the Northside Grizzlies baseball team will be back at Hunts Park. And their city rivals, Southside, just got a similar surface laid down at the Mavericks' Forsgren Field.


Soon, both the Mavericks and Grizzlies will get to play on the new fields before Fort Smith prepared to host the 6A State Tournament next month at both venues. Which now won't happen.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


Then, over on the softball side, Northside and Southside were going to continue its strong starts to the season with competitive games in the 6A-Central. Next month, at Grizzly Field, the Mavs were going to face the Lady Bears with the winner getting a high playoff seed at state.


Of course, it will also be the last Northside-Southside game as conference rivals for at least the near future, so that adds even more emotion to what should already be a compelling contest. And then in the top of the seventh, Northside pitcher Cailin Massey faces her close friend, Southside's Madi Conklin, with the game on the line.


Go ahead and envision what eventually happened in that at-bat.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


I was planning to go to Greenwood to interview an awesome group of softball seniors. They're also very close friends on and off the field.


Players like Paxtyn Hayes, Angela Price, Rheding Wagoner, Kya Schmidt, Emma McCorkle and Harley Terry, among others. I want to ask about their tight-knit bond and the work they've put in all off-season. The Lady Bulldogs are on another collision course with their rivals from Sheridan for the 5A title.


I'm looking forward to journeying up I-49 to Fayetteville's Bogle Park for the latest chapter in the Greenwood-Sheridan rivalry. And interviewing a victorious group of Lady Bulldogs afterward.


It's not going to happen, of course.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


I also wanted to check in on the softball action at places like Paris and Hackett, two teams seeking to take the next step and get to play at Bogle Park themselves for a title. And watching players like Paris’ Jadyn Hart or Hackett’s Kayla Richardson coming up big on the road to Bogle.


Or check in on Alma, which was off to a strong start. Or even Van Buren, which started off slow but had a solid group of experienced seniors that were determined to be in the playoff mix in the strong 6A-West.


We'll never know how those teams ended up faring in the coming weeks.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


This week would have been the LeFlore County Baseball Tournament. We know that teams like Poteau and Spiro had a pretty good chance to win it all. In recent years, the tournament was beset by bad weather and a statewide teachers' strike, but this week was a definite possibility that all the games would have been in the books uninterrupted.


Until the dreaded coronavirus.


In my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.


And I was eager to catch a few games of the resurgent Northside Lady Bears soccer team. And the Grizzlies, with experienced players like Christian Chavez, vying to return to Fayetteville to play for another championship.


There were also events like the McDonald's Relays at Southside. Maybe the weather would have been ideal that day to run some highly competitive track and field events. Van Buren was also set to host the 6A state track meet.


We won't know what transpires in real life, of course. We can only visualize what may have happened in the spring sports around the River Valley.


They may take away the games and events, but they can't take away our creativity and our conceptions that they are still going on as scheduled.


Because in my mind, though, it's still a great day for a game.