Are you ready for some football?
Are you ready to get back to normal life?
You might answer yes to both questions but if you live in Logan County life has been anything but normal and the frustration level is reaching a breaking point for many.
When the state updated its COVID-19 color-coded map on Saturday Logan County was still showing orange.
And that means practice only and no games, yet again, for Logan County’s three high school athletic programs.
Affected football games are this Friday, Sept. 18.
Man was scheduled to play at Mingo Central this week in its season opener, while Chapmanville was slated to host Nitro and Logan was set to host Poca.
All three games have been canceled.
Mingo County is also still orange along with Putnam County, home to Poca and Nitro. Nitro High School’s school district also stretches into the Cross Lanes area in Kanawha County and Kanawha was also orange. Boone County, Fayette County and Monroe County were also orange.
Monongalia County was the state’s only red county and the athletic teams there are shut down with no practices and no games allowed.
The rest of the state’s counties are either green or yellow and are allowed to practice and play games.
“We we started practice on Aug. 24, Logan County had 208 active cases,” Chapmanville football coach James Barker said. “Now we have 75 active cases. We only have 29 new cases in seven days. I think our communities of Chapmanville, Logan, and Man are doing their parts to help bring these numbers down and I commend them for that.”
Man already had two games canceled before this week — September 4 at home against Mount View and Sept. 11 vs. Westside in another home game.
Chapmanville had previously had games against Poca and Winfield canceled.
Logan’s first two games against Sissonville and Mingo Central had earlier been wiped out.
All the uncertainties have made things difficult, Barker said. The WVSSAC also reportedly changed guidelines for orange status counties making practices conditioning only with no contact drills.
“It’s tough on our student-athletes to wonder when and ‘what-ifs’ about their season, and now they can’t even have a normal practice,” Barker said. “I understand the concerns of the spread of the virus, but I also know that we are doing everything in our power to limit the spread as a football program. We aren’t even using our locker room this season. I don’t know what more we can do to give our student-athletes a chance to compete this fall sports season.”
Barker said it’s very unfair.
“For some reason the goal posts are being moved on us and the numbers for other counties are being adjusted on the map to help them, but not us,” he said.
If Logan County goes back to yellow this coming Saturday, the Hillbillies, Wildcats and Tigers will be given the go-ahead to play — given their opponents are also yellow or green.
If not, new opponents will have to be found quickly.
Man is scheduled to play Sept. 25 at Wheeling Central. Chapmanville plays at Scott, while Logan is set to hit the road at Winfield.
Teams from around the state have been scrambling to find games in the chaotic scheduling mess.
Scott’s game with Sissonville was canceled last Friday but the Skyhawks were able to schedule a game Saturday afternoon at Weirton Madonna and Scott came away with a 38-20 win. Boone County was yellow then but by Saturday evening, only a few hours after the completion of the game, that had changed to orange.
This coming Friday night, Wayne was slated to host Winfield but since Putnam County is orange the Pioneers had to find a replacement game.
Wayne found one with county rival Tolsia. Since Wayne County is yellow this week it was a logical add on game.
The two rivals are set to meet in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at the Tolsia High School football field in Glenhayes.
Out of the nine Cardinal Conference teams only Wayne (1-0 overall, 1-0 in the Cardinal Conference), Poca (1-0, 0-0) and Scott (1-1, 0-1) have seen action.
Logan, Chapmanville, Nitro, Sissonville, Winfield and Herbert Hoover have yet to play a game.
Only seven games are left on the regular season schedule.