The Press Box: Will Sports Be Shut Down in 2021?
With COVID once again raising its ugly head, everything is hanging by a tread and the 2021 sports season is in jeopardy. Last season we saw several area teams and athletes who had legitimate chances for state recognition lose out on the opportunity due to the virus. Let’s hope we can avoid that this year.
COVID cases have been on the rise in West Virginia with the new Delta variant hitting the schools hard. Just this past week schools in New Martinsville closed until at least September 20, to try and ease the spread. Magnolia was forced to cancel all of its sporting events including the annual backyard brawl with River.
River who has been playing good football ended up falling to a good Warren Local team on Friday after picking up the last minute game when Warren and Logan had to cancel because of COVID in Logan schools.
The Blue Eagles however, will be playing Wahama on Friday, October 29, to take the place of the game with River. The Blue Eagles are hoping to reschedule this Friday nights canceled game with Cameron to a Monday night with the date still unknown. But as of right now they have a nine game schedule.
The Wildcats made the long trip to Montcalm and nearly made it two wins in a row before ending up losing a close one 20-12. The Wildcats are still shorthanded, but are playing tough football and if they get some players returning they could win a few more games.
Valley and Hundred are still winless, but give both teams and coaches credit they continue to compete, while looking for a win. Most people know good football teams come from schools that have good middle school and junior high programs. I watched a good middle school team from Long Drain last Thursday and if their win was any indication of things to come, Hundred will soon be a very competitive team. With several good 8th graders moving up next season the Hornets look to be on the rise.
The Tyler Consolidated Silver Knights picked up their first win of the season as they put a good thumping on South Harrison 40-0. The Knights are improving and starting to look like the team we expected. The Knights also have a quality middle school program as a good foundation to the varsity program.
Soccer, cross country and volleyball teams are still competing for the most part, so as of now things are nearly normal. Let’s hope schools continue to stay open and we can get this season in without any disruption. If you have never been to a cross country meet you missed out on one of the states premier meet on Saturday as the annual Chic-fil-A invitational was held at Mineral Wells. It’s a giant event made up of over 60 different schools and nearly 700 kids running. The event has schools from all sizes and there are separate races for high school boys and girls, JV boys and girls and Middle School boys and girls. Our local runners did well.
River high school girls cross country only has two high school girls running, but both are talented runners and have placed well in all their meets. Mara Beard leads the way for the team and has been first or second in most of her meets. For the Silver Knights, middle school runner Amos Kimble is pacing well in each meet and recently took top honors at the big Mountaineer meet. He also finished third overall at the Chic-Fil-A invitational out of 205 runners.
There are a lot of good things happening on the local sports scene, so if you get a chance take in a game at one of the schools.
The Wildcats and Trinity tangle this week at Berger field in the West Virginia Attorney General Opioid abuse prevention game of the week. Should be a good match up.
The WVU Mountaineers got things going on Saturday against an out manned Long Island team and evened their record to 1-1 with a 66-0 win at home. They play Virginia Tech at home this coming Saturday looking to make it two in a row before traveling to Oklahoma on the 25th.
Hopefully things will turn around and we won’t get into the same position as last year. I am perplexed as to why we are still in this situation. I have enjoyed the 2021 sports season so far and I hope and pray it can continue. However, I would rather see everything shut down than to see just one child get sick. Hang in there and stay safe everyone!