PARKERSBURG, WV (WBOY) – Following the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission’s announcement on Tuesday that the remainder of the boys’ and girls’ basketball seasons, and all spring sports seasons have been canceled, 12 Sports spoke with WVSSAC Executive Director, Bernie Dolan.
Dolan had been holding out hope that high school sports would resume prior to Tuesday, but said that today’s announcement had been becoming more likely.
“I mean, this is when you pretty much figured it was coming, but you were hoping not to get that call,” Dolan said. “The way that thing have unraveled here, it’s the right thing. It hurts for the kids, but all in all in the big picture we spend a lot of time talking about safety. And this is just another facet of it.”
The cancellation of the remainder of the high school basketball season puts an end to the state title defense for the University High School boys basketball team, and ends title quests for other local teams like the North Marion, Lincoln, Gilmer County and University girls, along with the Notre Dame boys and any boys teams in Double-A that would’ve made the state tournament.
The cancellation of the spring sports calendar puts the end to state title defenses for Morgantown girls tennis, Doddridge County boys track & field, Bridgeport baseball, and Fairmont Senior boys and girls lacrosse.
It also ends the chance at any other local team making a long run in the postseason, as well as ending the careers of senior high school athletes across the state.
But Dolan says, when it comes to basketball, there isn’t a vote or mathematical way to determine champions that the WVSSAC is willing to explore.
“I think championships are made to be won on the field, on the court,” said Dolan. “I think that is where we would stand, and what we feel would be the right thing to do.”
The year 2020 will be the first year since World War II that West Virginia won’t crown a high school baseball champion — 1944 being the last time that occurred.
Tuesday’s announcement ends weeks of wondering if these seasons would happen, and Dolan relates the situation here in West Virginia to what’s going on nationally this way.
“You have the NCAA and the NFL, and those shut down. But you don’t really know those people. We know kids, we know coaches, we know them personally. And to hear you say 1944, wow, this virus has really upset the apple cart.”WVSSAC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BERNIE DOLAN
One major talking point surrounding Tuesday’s announcement was that some of the next scheduled high school athletic activities on the sports calendar in West Virginia occur during the three-week period in the summer where high school coaches can be with their team.
Dolan reminds that, based on a rule change from a few years ago, that that period is now determined by the counties, not the WVSSAC. That means each county across the state can decide when it’s best for athletes to be on the field with one another again.
The three weeks are to be done consecutively, between the end of baseball season and the start of football season in normal years.
Though, given the current status of the state and the country, counties will be likely to wait until later in the summer to have those athletic activities.