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BACF canceled: All-Star football, basketball games lost to COVID-19

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Belpre’s Jesse Collins carries the ball during the 2019 Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis All-Star Football Classic at St. Marys High School.

PARKERSBURG — The 27th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis All-Star Football Classic and the annual basketball games pitting West Virginia against Ohio have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The boys and girls basketball games were originally scheduled for April 10 and had been postponed until what event organizers had hoped would be a safe date to play sometime in May. The football game was slated for June 5.

“The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they’ve already shut everything down through the month of June,” said BACF football game director Jodi Mote, who is the St. Marys High School gridiron boss.

“The committee felt like they couldn’t do it with all the regulations and stuff. We just felt like we couldn’t do it as bad as we wanted to.”

Frontier’s Russ Morris and Roane County’s Paul Burdette were set to lead the Buckeyes and Mountaineers, respectively.

The pandemic has left area high schools where the teams usually practice off limits. Mote also noted Ohio Valley University’s campus is closed and couldn’t be used.

“It just wasn’t going to work,” Mote added. “We had to make a decision because you’re getting so close now.

“Our hope is to have Russ and Paul do it next year and somehow recognize those guys, even though they can’t play, at next year’s game. That’s the goal.”

West Virginia leads the all-time series, 15-11, though Ohio has won the last three matchups, including a 7-0 triumph last year.

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