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When July rolls around there will be a lot of area high school athletes more than ready to take to the ball fields, gyms and tennis courts.

West Virginia normally has its three-week summer practice period in June but that has been tentatively moved to July 6-25 due to the COVID-19 crisis which has engulfed the nation since mid March.

The entire 2020 spring sports season was canceled so many Logan County baseball, softball and tennis athletes will be more than happy to get some practices again and rejoin teammates.

Man High School softball coach Randy Epperly said he hopes to use that time wisely with his Lady Billies, who, like all spring sports teams, never took to the field this season.

“They told us it will be July 6-25,” Epperly said. “We are looking forward to the three-week period and possibly getting them back together a little bit. They told us that we can go ahead and make plans and that if there are any changes they will let us know. I’m planning on doing a three-week period this year more so than in the past because we need to practice.”

Epperly said he would like to schedule some scrimmage games with some area teams if he is able to. In years past, Man played Wyoming East in softball scrimmages.

“I’m hoping to get in touch with two or three of the local coaches and maybe getting some games scheduled. That should help us. It might be a deal where they won’t let us have people around too but that’s OK too,” he said.

Epperly said his team is looking forward to the 2021 season.

Man went 13-11 last year and was hoping to turn the corner this spring. Five seniors — Olivia Short, Isabella Conn, Reagan McCoy, Skylar Copley and Makenzie Adkins — didn’t get a chance to play in their last season of prep ball.

The Lady Billies return a talented corp of players for next year, however, led by pitching ace Shania Kennedy.

Sophomores Kirsten Ellis, Ashlee Tomblin, Olivia Ramsey and Baylee Muncy are back as well as incoming freshman pitcher Morgan Cooper who was also expected to see action within the circle this spring.

Freshman Kalila Collins was also projected to play some in the outfield this spring.

“We will probably use some flex days in the fall too. We are looking forward to next year,” Epperly said. “That’s all that we can do and that’s all that anybody can do. Hopefully, everyone will get through this thing OK and hopefully it will turn out well. I think it will. We are in an area that we can control things a little bit better as compared to some of the metropolitan areas.”

Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter at @PAdkinsBanner or email him at padkins@hdmediallc.com