BLUEFIELD – The schedule is usually set far in advance, especially for football, but Friday’s announcement pushed back the season for West Virginia high school athletics putting everyone’s schedule in flux.
The start date for training all fall sports has been pushed back to August 17, two weeks ahead of the scheduled schedule, and golf is the only sport that can play contests before September.
All other autumn sports except football can play their first game on September 2, with soccer starting the next day.
The big impact of the announcement by the West Virginia Middle School Activities Commission Executive Director Bernie Dolan for this area was that the annual Beaver-Graham football match at Mitchell Stadium was postponed.
This game has been played every year since 1937.
Both school administrations work to find suitable dates for the game if the season is played with many who depend on the decisions of the Virginia High School League. VHSL will meet on Wednesday where High School Athletics Director Graham Matt Dixon expects a decision to be made about autumn sports.
The match was one of five soccer matches in Four Seasons County in West Virginia that had to be moved as a result of a delayed start.
‘Battle of the Views’ scheduled for the last Friday in August between River View and Mount View needs to be moved if it wants to be played.
Both teams do not have a game scheduled for October 16 and want to play the game even though there are moving parts on everyone’s schedule.
“We will try to fill that void with them, we really want this game. I think this is good for the county, good for the student body, “said Mount View soccer coach Maurice Gravely.
River View not only has one game to be rescheduled but the second because they are scheduled to play in a middle school football match in West Virginia, August 24, Monday, against Montcalm.
Other football matches that were affected were Summers County on PikeView and James Monroe hosting Rye Cove.
James Monroe’s chief soccer coach Chris Boothe said that the match against Rye Cove had been canceled because it was the only week working for both sides.
The game’s cancellation made the Mavericks only have three home games and six away games in their first season in Class A.
“If it wasn’t for a pandemic we would have four home games and six on the road,” Boothe said. “Now we have six on the road and three home games but I fully understand what SSAC is doing and I support their decision 100 percent.”
The date has not yet been determined but PikeView head coach Jason Spears wants to find a place to return Summers County to his schedule for this year.
“It’s not fun that we can’t play in Summers County in the first week because it’s a rival,” said Spears. “We try to move things if we can play because it’s a fun game for our school and their school.” Said Spears.
Usually teams have four weeks of training time to prepare for their first match of the season, but this year they will only get three weeks before kick-off.
Teams have had time to conduct conditioning in small groups and have started or will start this next week’s three-week window for summer training with small restrictions.
The shortened training time before the start of the season affects all teams who have to make adjustments to how they prepare their players.
“We will do whatever we have to do to play because all the other schools have to do the same so it’s not a problem,” Bluefield soccer head coach Fred Simon said. “The key is let’s hope we can play.”
Even though West Virginia has set a planned start date almost all teams close to the state line with Virginia crossing to play at least one match of the season. The VHSL has not yet made a decision about what it plans to do with the fall sport and depends on whether that decision can push the schedule in West Virginia further.
Four matches on Bluefield’s schedule are against the Virginia team while River View crosses the country line three times. Montcalm played two Virginia schools with one each for Mount View and James Monroe
Spears said he would not be surprised if the team played each other twice if they could not change opponents on a schedule and wanted a full game.
Although the date to start the first practice and to start the game has been set, the uncertainty of the virus can change that in the next six weeks.
“We say football will start now and you hope so, but maybe not,” Simon said.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]