The regular seasons for the two football teams in Mingo County has come to a close after the county landed a ‘red’ status on the state’s most recent color coded map released on Saturday which determines whether in-class school and extra curricular activities can be held.
Additionally, both teams are now eliminated from being eligible for postseason play because they each fell short of reaching four games played in the regular season, which was the minimum amount of games required to be eligible for the postseason.
Tug Valley and head coach Hady Ford only needed to play one more game to secure their spot in the Top 16 in Class A, as they won all three of their games in 2020 and have set high atop the Class A ratings all season long.
They beat Sherman 22-20 in the opening week of the season on Sept. 4 and then had to wait nearly a month to play their next game, a 22-12 win at home against Class AA Logan on Oct. 2.
TVHS then took the field again just four days later on Oct. 6 when they beat James Monroe 38-32 at Bob Brewer Stadium to improve to 3-0.
The comeback win over the Mavericks was the last time the Panthers took the field in 2020 as a player on the team tested positive for COVID-19 the following day, forcing the entire team into a two-week quarantine.
Mingo Central and head coach Josh Sammons dealt with the same issue early in the season when a player tested positive for COVID-19 forcing them into a 14-day quarantine and having to cancel the season opening game which scheduled for Sept. 4 against Wyoming East.
Since then, the Miners were able to play three games, with two of those coming in the same week.
MCHS played their season opener on Wednesday, Sept. 30 when they were knocked off by Class A Man 28-24. The Miners, desperate for games, took the field again two days later on Friday, Oct. 2 against Class AA Oak Hill and lost another close game, 34-26.
Mingo Central got their first win a week later on Oct. 9 as they went on the road and beat Class A Tolsia 28-22 in Glenhayes, in what would end up being their final game of the regular season.
Since moving back to the ‘orange’ in the Oct. 10 map, Mingo County hasn’t been able to get out of the ‘orange’ or ‘red’ status on the map and no games have been played by any team in the county and all students have been learning virtually instead of in person.
So unless a late change comes in from the WVSSAC, it looks like both the gridiron teams in Mingo County will get the short end of the stick and not be competing in the postseason in 2020.
The WVSSAC also announced last month that teams not eligible for the playoffs or teams that did not compete in 10 regular-season games may add games to their schedules until Nov. 28th, so both teams could schedule more games later this month if cleared to play.
Bonus points accumulated during any added games will not count towards playoff seeding.
The football teams weren’t the only teams affected by the color-coded map, as the Mingo Central and Tug Valley soccer and volleyball teams already lost their postseasons and played minimal games in the regular season.
The Mingo County middle schools were also not able to complete the postseason for any of their Fall sports.
The Saturday Education Map is guided by metrics developed by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and is based on a five-color system of green, yellow, gold, orange and red. Each county is assigned a color based on the prevalence of COVID-19 within its borders.
The next weekly map release will be at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7.