Winter sports halted in West Virginia
NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va– Oak Glen winter sports coaches are left to ponder what will become of their seasons after West Virginia’s governor announced on Friday that the start of winter sports seasons won’t begin until Jan. 11.
More information about this decision will be forthcoming, but it is yet another disappointing announcement for schools who have seen athletic schedules ripped apart by the pandemic.
“It was disappointing, that’s for sure,” Oak Glen boys basketball coach Jerry Everly said. “The health of the community is what is most important and we have to listen to the governor and the guidelines set forth and hope we can come back on the 11th.”
“I was disappointed, not just for wrestling but for all of the winter sport athletes,” Oak Glen wrestling coach Patrick McGillian said. “In the back of my mind, it was always a possibility this might happen but it is still disappointing.”
The boys and girls basketball state tournaments were canceled last winter. The girls tournament was nine games into their event when they were canceled. The boys never began.
Scheduling for this season is now a big concern. January 11th is normally when schools would be preparing for their final five or six weeks before the postseason starts. Now, it is when they will be starting all over.
“If we practice for a week and then play our schedule, that would only leave us 11 games,” Everly said. “So I hope the season would be extended. If we could get in around 15 games that would seem acceptable but hopefully more. Maybe we will be able to reschedule some of the games that we will miss. Now it becomes about when will the first game be? When will the season start? Will the season be extended? How will scheduling work?” Everly said.
“It cuts it in half for right now,” McGillian said. “Wrestling was supposed to start on December 2nd and now it is January 11th. So you figure if we come back the 11th, we practice for a week or two at least and that leaves us with five weeks of actual competition.”
For both coaches, the affect this will have on the players is the most important thing to come from this announcement.
“I just don’t want to come back on the 11th and hear that the entire season is being canceled,” Everly said.