The sporting world definitely took a back seat in Thursday’s whirlwind of a day amid the Coronavirus outbreak both nationwide and across the world.
A myriad of local, state and national sporting events were postponed or canceled, including Class AA regional basketball games involving Chapmanville Regional and Logan. That also put the upcoming state tournament, originally scheduled to begin on Wednesday, March 18, on hod, leaving Tug Valley’s postseason future up in the air.
The West Virginia state girls’ basketball tournament, being played at the Charleston Coliseum, was also halted on Thursday.
Things continued to accelerate on Friday as Gov. Jim Justice closed all West Virginia schools until further notice.
All West Virginia after school activities, including sports, have also been canceled through at least April 10, according to West Virginia State Schools Superintendent W. Clayton Burch.
On Friday, President Trump declared a national state of emergency.
With no games or practices allowed until mid-April, did that effectively kill the opportunity to even have a state basketball tournament of any kind?
That question has yet to be answered as everything is in a holding pattern. No decision has yet been made.
“As of right now, everything has been suspended,” Logan Athletics Director Dan Hensley told the Logan Banner. “That’s all that I know as of right now.”
The Class AA No. 5-ranked Logan Wildcats were scheduled to play at No. 6 Poca (21-3) in one of Thursday night’s Class AA Region 4 co-championship games.
No. 1-ranked and two-time defending state champion Chapmanville (22-2) was slated to host Winfield (10-14) in Thursday’s other co-final.
Those games were both postponed.
Logan High School was offering refunds on Friday afternoon on tickets LHS fans had bought for the Poca game.
“There’s a lot of unknowns but, of course, the safety precautions are much more important than basketball. I think that we are going to have some tough decisions to make,” Chapmanville coach Brad Napier told The Logan Banner on Thursday.
Both the Tigers and Wildcats had planned on practicing until there was any further word but now, that apparently won’t be allowed.
The Tigers were seeking a third straight state championship, something no other varsity team in Logan County has ever done.
The season, however, could possibly be over.
“Hopefully we can get this thing figured out,” Logan coach Zach Green told The Logan Banner on Thursday. “It would be heart-wrenching to tell seniors across the state, and across the country really, that this is how your season is going to end, your final season. That’s a tough thing to do. We’re just going to take it day by day and that’s all we can do.”
All six of Logan County’s spring sports teams of baseball and softball were scheduled to open up the season by the end of the month. County tennis and track and field teams were also slated to start their seasons.
All of the county teams had been practicing.
Logan’s Roger E. Gertz Field had also received a recent face lift as 300 new chair back seats had been installed in the ballpark, replacing the old ones that were originally from the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, and had been in place since 2001.
Logan coach Kevin Gertz has trumpeted the new look to the baseball stadium saying on his Facebook page, “Thanks to the Logan County BOE for helping us once again to keep our fans safe and allow them to watch our kids play at what I feel is the most beautiful facility in the state of WV. Our old seating was breaking down bad and for safety purposes they allowed us to get new seats and add some handicapped seating behind third base. This is absolutely beautiful. Hopefully nothing crazy happens so we can start our season in the next two weeks.”
With the new statewide decree it will be mid-April, at least, until there will be any baseball. On Thursday, the NCAA canceled the entire spring sports season.
The Logan baseball team had been scheduled to open the season March 27 at Winfield and have its home opener on March 30 vs. Mingo Central.
The Chapmanville baseball team was slated to have its season opener on March 24 against Westside.
The Man High School baseball squad was to have its first game on March 18 at Oak Hill and after five straight away games, then have its home opener on March 26 against Westside.
Logan’s softball team was scheduled to open the season on March 18 at Mingo Central, then host Nitro the next day.
The Man softball squad had a March 19 season opener at Scott.
Chapmanville’s softball team was set to open the season on March 24 at Sissonville and host Tug Valley on March 26 in the home opener.
This was to be Chapmanville head coach Ronnie Ooten’s 40th season as the Lady Tigers’ coach. He’s led Chapmanville to six state championships with the last one coming in 2016. CRHS was state runner-ups to Herbert Hoover in 2017 and 2018 and lost a 10-9 extra inning thriller at Lincoln County in last year’s sectional finals.
Chapmanville closed out last season at 17-13. The Lady Tigers had gone 80-17 the previous three years. The possibility of a late start or no season at all is very disheartening to Chapmanville softball senior catcher KK Davis.
Davis sat out almost the entire 2019 season due to a knee injury. Freshman Ashleigh Mahon took her place last year behind the plate.
“I understand but it’s heartbreaking,” Davis said in a Tweet. It’s my senior year and I’m not ready for it to end! I had surgery last year on a torn meniscus, so after working hard to get back to the sport I love its devastating to have it end knowing college ball isn’t an option for my knee.”
Marshall basketball standout Jarrod West, who also saw his season come to an end, wished everyone well in a Tweet.
“I know it’s hard to be thankful and grateful at this time,” West wrote. “It hurts for sure. But now is a perfect time to understand that we shouldn’t take anything for granted and that we need to make the most of all the blessings and opportunities God gives us.”
Gov. Justice said school will be closed in West Virginia as long as this outbreak can be dealt with.
“We have a monster that’s looming but the monster’s not here,” he said. “We’ll close the schools as long as we have to close the schools.”