Fate of fall sports season could be announced Friday

(Citynet Statewide Sportsline interview with Bernie Dolan)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — It is anticipated that the timeline for the 2020 high school fall sports season in West Virginia will be unveiled at Governor Jim Justice’s regularly scheduled press conference.

“We will finalize that tomorrow,” said WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan. “I would anticipate moving back a couple weeks in practice. Instead of starting on (August) 3rd, we are going to be back a little bit before we get settled. That’s if everything goes smooth. And that is the hope that this was a spike and everybody realized the seriousness of the consequences of what is happening. Maybe we can reel this back in and get it under control.”

Rising positive COVID-19 test numbers across the state of West Virginia led Governor Justice to delay the opening of schools to September 8.

“If you are following the numbers, two weeks ago we all would have sat there and thought that these numbers are looking good,” Dolan said. “Two weeks later, we are looking at them thinking they are not so good. And you don’t know which way they are headed.”

Dolan confirmed that the plan is to allow schools to complete their ‘sport-specific’ Phase III practices, which will run through the month of July.

“We are certainly going to allow our schools to continue their three-week (instructional) period. The pushback of schools is because there are a lot more complications for schools than there are for practice. Most of our events are outdoors at this point.”

The traditional football schedule features state semifinal matchups on Thanksgiving weekend and the Super Six in the first weekend of December.

“We won’t have to condense much of the season. Obviously, we go with cheer clear up to two weeks before Christmas. I wouldn’t anticipate being able to move everything a couple weeks, the whole schedule. So something is going to have to get cut out.”

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