20200429-cvn-sports.jpg

Scott High senior Aaron Epling, considered one of the best shortstops in West Virginia Class AA, was set to return for his senior season this spring prior to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

BOONE COUNTY — The West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission have suspended the spring sports seasons for both boys and girls amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The WVSSAC agrees and supports the decision of the Governor and Superintendent [of Schools Clay] Burch,’’ Dolan said via press release. “For the safety of our students, schools and communities, this was the right decision. This is an extremely difficult time for our students, coaches, schools and communities. West Virginians are a resilient group who will overcome this virus and all problems that come with it.’’

As reported by Rick Ryan with the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Nine of 21 games were played in the girls state basketball tournament, and all 21 games of the boys tournament had been on hold, along with eight Class AA regional games that were halted on March 12. The basketball tournaments are the SSAC’s biggest moneymaker, with more than $500,000 in revenue during the 2017-18 season, and a profit of nearly $400,000.

In Boone County, the Sherman High School Softball team, led by Coach Jim Henderson, hoped to repeat as 2019 Class A state champions and the Scott High baseball squad had made it to the state semifinals.

“It would be very disappointing for the kids if we couldn’t take the field this year,” said the Skyhawks first-year skipper Kris Barrett, who had served as an assistant on the 2019 team. “We are hoping for the best right now but in the end, safety is the primary concern for everyone.”

Dolan added that the WVSSAC will be providing member schools with guidance for the upcoming three-week approved summer practice period, which is scheduled for June 8-27, but can be delayed until after the July 4 holiday if necessary. The latest dates it can begin are July 6 or July 13.

“It’s something that people en masse will have to decide for it to work well,’’ Dolan said of delaying the three-week period. “If you’re going to have games in the summer part of the three-week window, you’d better have somebody else to play.

“I expect people are going to want to be back together, but we’ll have to follow the governor and his medical people as to what the limits are. June 15 is a long way away and a lot of things will happen between now and then.’’

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.