By Allen Hamrick
It’s that time of year again when fall sports would normally begin and athletes from around the state would be settling in for some fast paced action. Oh, that’s right! COVID decided to make an appearance, waging a war of its own against the world. Spring sports were cancelled, as well as many of the summer sports here in this county. Basically, it has been a postponement of the entire school system, and many questions are being asked about the reentry of teachers and students.
It is a priority for those in power, or at least it should be, to make sure that the COVID war machine comes to a fluttering end in the communities and has no place in the schools as they start back up. This doesn’t come without sacrificing a few of the normal routines that students, as well as teachers, are used to. The population as a whole, not just the school system, is being affected. There are a ton of questions as to how normal activities are going to happen and not all the decisions made will be popular. It is critical, though, to understand that we have to be flexible, but most people seem to break when pressure is applied and want none of the change that has to be made. So, in order for academics or sports to resume, there are just some things we must do to get to enjoy some semblance of normalcy. The most certain information is uncertain at best, and decisions on how to move forward change by the week. So, for now, politicians and the general decision makers from the WVDE and the WVDHHR, who hold everyday routines in the palm of their hands, have decided that counties will operate on a color coded system. This is to say that a county can move forward with their activities so long as that county stays in the green or yellow zone. This means class can go on, as well as afterschool sports and activities. A county that falls to orange or red zones have all school activities and sports suspended until that county gets back to yellow or green.
In order for a county to be labeled green, there must be seven or fewer cases per 100,000 people. Sports activities will be accessible to fans but with limited tickets. If a county is yellow, there are 8-15 cases per 100,000 people. Sports activities will be accessible to fans but with limited tickets. If the county is orange, there are 16-24 cases per 100,000 people. Sports and afterschool activities will be limited to controlled practices. If the county is red, there are 25 plus cases per 100,000 people. This means that all school instruction will be suspended and only when the county reaches yellow again will the suspension be lifted. All sports and afterschool activity will be suspended until the county maintains yellow zone conditions for a 7 day stretch.
With all these new regulations, it is important for people wanting to see things return to normal to practice and maintain safety protocols so that the youth of this county will have a chance at a proper education and the opportunity to take their game to the fields, courses and courts. If you enjoy watching local sports activities, it goes without saying that the fall season will be different. At least there is hope for fall sports for now. There will be no more packed stadiums or fields of screaming fans as tickets to the events will be limited. Volleyball teams will be wearing masks while playing, and cross country teams are to remain six feet apart unless passing. It is not certain at this time if football players will be required to wear masks, but there will no doubt be some different rules there as well.
We may as well face it, COVID-19 is here and is beginning to slowly lose its grip in many areas. Either we maintain efforts to get rid of it or are constantly looking over our shoulder at a COVID comeback. It is what it is folks; it’s here, but let’s make the best of it and get our lives back on track for our community, our schools, our businesses and our families.
All the teams are primed and ready to get back to business at hand. The opening game for CCHS football is scheduled to be away at Philip Barbour High School on the September 4 at 7:30 PM. The opening game for the CCHS Volleyball team is scheduled to be away at Calhoun County on September 3 starting at 6 PM. The opening game for the CCMS Mustang football team will be at Philippi on September 3 at 6:30 PM. CCMS Volleyball will open up on September 9 at 6 PM.
Let’s go Panthers, Lady Panthers, Mustangs and Lady Mustangs!