Susan Adkins has probably been asked the question a thousand times.
When are the Logan Wildcats going to be allowed to play?
Nobody knows, and with ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a day to day question and a day to day headache.
Adkins was hired back on July 15 as Logan High School’s new Athletics Director and her job has been met by daily challenges and all of the unknowns and uncertainties. She replaces former AD Dan Hensley, who had previously resigned.
“Take out the COVID and this might be a good year,” Adkins said. “It’s been hard. Everybody wants to play. It’s been hard keeping up because things change daily, keeping up with can we practice and can we not practice and when are we going to play? How can we practice? Is it just conditioning? It’s been confusing and frustrating but that’s been for everybody. It’s not just us. Everybody has been in the same boat.”
Since Logan County was initially red on the state’s COVID-19 map all practices were shut down back in August.
Then the county went orange and practices were allowed to begin on August 31 but no games have been played by rule.
The Logan football team has had three games canceled already — four if you count the season opener with Man which was originally set to be played in late August.
Logan’s other fall sports — golf, volleyball and soccer — have also been shut out of games as well.
“They put up an updated map all week long but the one that counts in the one on Saturday,” Adkins said. “If we are yellow, from my understanding, we would have to be yellow for one week in order to start participating. If we are yellow on Saturday then we have to wait until the next Saturday and if we are still yellow then we can begin to start competing.”
The color-coded map system has been confusing to many.
In the state’s four-color school reopening plan, which also governs school activities, a county’s status on Saturday evening dictates whether it can play sports the following week.
Counties in the yellow category can practice and play games with limitations, but orange counties can only practice and not play games.
The color-coded map is a part of the re-entry metrics and protocols issued by the WV DHHR, WVDE, and Gov. Jim Justice which assesses community virus transmission and determines how and when in person instruction, athletics, and other extra curricular activities are conducted at West Virginia’s in-person schools.
An orange designation, which is determined by the number of daily cases per 100,000 residents on a seven-day rolling average, means that games in the affected county are canceled for a week until the new map is released by the DHHR the following Saturday.
If the number of average cases in the county drops the county’s status to yellow or even green, games can resume. But for the week present, games for all programs in the county are postponed and teams are limited to practice only.
Another caveat in the confusion is the status of remote school counties, which are not allowed to participate in athletics.
Logan County has held remote schooling since early September.
“I am also confused over this remote rule in that as long as you are remote you can’t play,” Adkins said. “Logan is going to be remote until at least the first of October.”
So technically, that means Logan High School, and also Man and Chapmanville, would not be allowed to play any games until early October. That is, of course, if Logan County goes down to yellow.
“Probably not, and not until October. Not unless something changes,” Adkins said. “And we all know that something can change. It’s day to day. It’s possible they could waive the remote rule or they could waive the yellow. Governor Justice was having a special meeting at 5 o’clock on Monday to discuss adding colors to the map. It’s a hard time living right now because everybody is living day to day and wondering what’s going to happen next.”
Adkins is a 1983 graduate of Chapmanville High School. She graduated from Glenville State College in 1987.
As an educator, Adkins taught a few years in Logan County after graduation then moved to Tennessee. She lived in the Volunteer State for 20 years, got married and raised a family. She’s lived back home in southern West Virginia the last 10 years.
Adkins earned her Master’s Degree online from the University of Phoenix in 2018.
She is also an Assistant Principal at Logan High School.
Adkins has a sports background as well.
“I’ve participated in sports all my life,” she said. “I was President of a Little League in Tennessee. I played sports. Both of my kids played basketball, baseball and softball. My husband was a basketball player. Athletics has been a family tradition here.”
Adkins said she’s received a lot of support from her new LHS peers.
“I’m proud of all the coaches and the players and also the administration,” she said. “Everyone has worked together and stuck together. We’ve done everything that we can to follow protocol and follow all of the rules. We are doing everything that we are supposed to do to put our athletes back on the field. A lot of people stepped up to help me since I’m new to this. It’s really been a team effort from day to day. I want to say thanks. There are great people around me and it’s a great community. We are all trying to keep everybody safe and get back to normal life as best as we can.”
Adkins is believed to be the first female AD at Logan High School.
“If I’m the first everyone has sure been good to me,” she said. “Everybody has been supportive and has kept me in the loop. The WVSSAC officials have been fantastic in answering questions and responding. Any time I have sent an email or called them they have responded almost immediately with some guidance.”
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.