Justice halts winter sports once more


MORGANTOWN—During his Friday morning COVID-19 press briefing, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that high school winter sports will not be permitted to start until January 11, at the earliest, due to an uptick in COVID-19 cases across the state.

He did not specify whether that date was to start games and competitions,  or if it would be the start practices.

Justice added he will inquire about a seven-day preseason practice window as opposed to the usual requirement of 14 practices.

“We have tried with all in us to be able to support our athletic teams,” said Governor Justice. “We know it’s important.”

Girls basketball teams began preseason practices this past Monday. Boys basketball and wrestling teams were set to do so on November 16. The swimming season began on November 11. These have all been halted since Justice’s announcement.

Girls and boy’s basketball state tournaments were canceled last winter because of the COVID outbreak, with the girls tournament being stopped just nine games into the 21-game event, nearly nine months later the virus continues to plague sports across the nation.

Justice added that the fall seasons still in play (volleyball, football and cheer) will be allowed to continue.

Following the announcement, the Taylor County Middle School Girls Basketball Coach Bobby Beltner posted this message to his team:

“With our season being postponed until January, keep working and keep the faith.  Hopefully we can hit the ground  (court) running come January. We will talk very soon. Love you lady knights.”

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