MORGANTOWN – After being shutdown for two weeks, teams in Monongalia County are back on the practice field for workouts and remain optimistic that actual competition is not far away.
Until Saturday, Monongalia County had been in the ‘red’ category on the West Virginia Department of Education’s color-coded map, mandating remote learning and all extra-curricular activities cancelled. Mon County begins this week in the ‘orange’ allowing workouts to resume but playing actual games is still at least a week away.
“Two of the most miserable weeks of my life, honestly,” Biser said last week on Talk of the Town with Dave & Sarah on WAJR-AM.
“I think I’ve been kind of a bear on Friday evenings. I haven’t really watched any other games or wanted to watch football because it makes me sick to my stomach that we couldn’t be out on the field.”
Biser had no other choice than to make the best of an unfortunate situation, holding Zoom meetings everyday instead of practice, checking in with his players, sending them workouts and encouraging them to stay active. After games were abruptly cancelled just hours before kickoff, players were understandably dejected and for Monongalia County, there didn’t seem to be any end in sight.
With COVID-19 cases rising at among the West Virginia University student population, there was not path to getting back to the classroom or back on the field.
That was until last week.
With changes to the back-to-school metric, allowing for COVID-19 testing positivity rate being factored in to the color designation and counting WVU students isolated at Arnold Hall as a congregate, suddenly there was renewed optimism.
“We went from being ‘is this ever going to end?’ then when this all transpired, it was like ‘there’s some light at the end of the tunnel,’” explained Biser. “It gave everybody a bit of hope.”
Biser was thankful to everyone who came out for a rally prior to WVU’s first football game against Eastern Kentucky to bring attention to, what they felt, was a hopeless situation. Now, he’s asking for the community to step up again.
“Let’s do what we’re supposed to do. Let’s wear our masks. Let’s wash our hands. Let’s social distance. Let’s do all the things the guidelines have set for us and that includes the WVU students too. They’re a huge part of this. Their numbers have directly affected our community and I’m asking them to do what they’re supposed to do,” Biser requested.
“I’m a Mountaineer too. I went to WVU and played football there and If we can all pull together and do this, we can get our kids back in school and back on the field.”
Biser remains hopeful COVID-19 case numbers will continue improving and his players will back in the classroom and on the field, sooner rather than later.
“ For my kids, we’ve just been trying to keep them hanging in there and trying to give them hope there may be light at the end of the tunnel and we can get back together. “