Winter sports off until January 11

Mark Martin
Jackson Newspapers

The nightmare continues.

West Virginia high school athletic teams in the winter sports of basketball, wrestling and swimming will have to wait several weeks before getting their seasons up and running.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced last Friday during his dialy COVID-19 press conference that winter sports teams in the state will not be allowed to start until January 11.

It sent shockwaves in all directions of the state to coaches of the three winter sports in West Virginia and certainly in Jackson County.

The girls basketball programs and middle school teams at both Ravenswood and Ripley had started practices last week.

Boys basketball and wrestling workouts were set to begin this past Monday.

Neither of the two Jackson County high schools have swimming teams.

Last March the West Virginia High School Girls State Basketball Tournament was shut down on its second day (Thursday) of four after three of the scheduled six games had been played.

Class AA regional games were cancelled that night (Class AAA and Class A regionals had been played earlier in the week) to determine the field for the Boys State Tournament the following week, which ended up not being played.

In the spring, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, girls softball, and boys baseball had their entire seasons called off.

Ripley’s girls track and field program was gunning for a third straight Class AAA state championship.

So far this fall, golf, cross country, soccer, and volleyball have staged championships but not without snags.

The football playoffs moved into the second round this weekend. The first round had its share of problems due to the state’s color-coded COVID-19 map. Of the 24 first-round postseason games, 12 were decided on the field while 12 other teams advanced due to forfeits.

One of those teams not getting to play was Ripley. The Vikings were scheduled for a Class AAA showdown with South Charleston (see story elsewhere on sports pages).

The State Cheer competition is still to come on the fall sports calendar.

It still hasn’t been made clear if the proposed January 11 date is for the start of games or practices.