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Four MOV schools awaiting decision on sports’ future

Four Mid-Ohio Valley high schools will find out their fate on Saturday if they will be playing in the West Virginia high school state football playoffs on Sunday when the W.Va Department of Education School Alert System Saturday Education map is released.

Parkersburg High (Wood), Williamstown (Wood), Ripley (Jackson), and St. Marys (Pleasants) have a chance of not playing in the first round of the playoffs if the counties’ positivity rate is above five percent.

For AAA, Parkersburg is scheduled to host Berkeley County’s Spring Mills at 1:30 p.m. and Ripley will travel to Kanawha County to play South Charleston for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. In Class A, St. Marys will host three-time Class A state champion Wheeling Central (Ohio), and Williamstown will also host Wayne County’s Tolsia with both games scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m…

Depending on the numbers released by the state on Saturday, PHS, Williamstown, and Ripley may not have the opportunity to play in the first round, as those counties can’t be classified under the color code “orange” to participate.

For teams in orange or red on Saturday’s state COVID metrics map, their county must drop to green, yellow, or gold on the Nov. 14 (5 p.m.) map to be able to play their opening-round games on Sunday, Nov. 15. If unable to drop after Saturday, then those schools will have to forfeit.

The opposing team must also stay out of the orange code in order to play, but will not have to forfeit as they originally could have played on Friday or Saturday, according to PHS athletic director Chris Way.

“In order for us to be able to play on Sunday at 1:30, our county needs to move from the orange color map status to gold, yellow, or green, and then Berkeley County needs to remain in the gold or move to the yellow or green also for us to play. They do testing every day, then they take the cumulative seven-day trend to create the weekly map on Saturday. Our positivity number needs to be under five percent,” Way said. “If we go down, and if they would go up, we still would have to forfeit the game. Because they were able to play on the regularly scheduled date, which will be this Friday or Saturday. So in essence they’ve given us one more opportunity to play on Sunday.”

Out of the four schools, St. Marys will be allowed if Wheeling Central is unable to play due to Ohio County being in the orange. Wheeling Central will then forfeit and St. Marys will move on to the second round.

Under the orange category, it is a heightened community transmission with 15-24.9 positive cases of infections per 100,000 cases.

Remote learning is required and extracurricular activities are limited to conditioning only and sport-specific practicing is not permitted.

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