RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WVNS) — March 12, 2020, the day high school winter sports were forced to a halt across the Mountain State due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Now, almost a year later, on February 15, 2021, winter sports are finally back.
Shady Spring Head Basketball Coach Ronnie Olson is ready for the season.
“I am ready. I talked to some of the local coaches and our girls coach, and I think everybody is ready. It is still kind of surreal, you are just waiting for someone to stop you even though it started. That is the sentiment around here,” Olson said.
One of the big concerns heading into the new season is how conditioned the teams will be. Players were limited to how much they could do during the extended time off. Woodrow Wilson Head Basketball Coach Ron Kidd said they took advantage of the time they did have.
“We had a chance to kind of workout in the summer time with the pods, and at the beginning of the school we worked out with weight lifting and VRBO max and stuff like that,” Kidd said.
Even with all this time off, Kidd said he feels confident going into the season.
“Once we start and we get everything going, we have a chance to have a real good team, we have some good players coming back,” Kidd said.
Coach Ronnie Olson said he is also feeling good about what he will be working with this season.
“I anticipate next to Poca in AAA, we should be one of the best teams in the state. With the new classifications and some of the kids we bring back and some of the young kids, I think we should compete for a state title,” Olson said.
Even though the season is finally starting, that does not mean there will not be hiccups. Coaches know things are still uncertain, so it is important for their players to be prepared for anything.
“We might have a 9th grader who has got to get ready to go in a varsity game cause maybe three kids will be out. So that is definitely going to be in our minds,” Olson said.
That next man up mentality is going to be important throughout the 2021 season.