How COVID-19 Has Affected Sports At JMHS

Hunter+Blankenship+batting+for+James+Monroe

Hunter Blankenship batting for James Monroe

The recent COVID-19 outbreak has cancelled many large events such as March Madness. Not only did large events get cancelled but major league sports seasons have been cancelled or postponed: Major League Baseball (MLB), National Basketball Association (NBA), and Major League Soccer (MLS), to name a few.

On a state level, the WV Department of Education (WVDE) suspended all school extracurricular activities until April 10th. This includes spring sports like Baseball, Softball, and Track & Field. The WVDE noted that during the week of April 6th, the situation will be evaluated. This means that the WVDE will then decide whether or not to continue to suspend extracurricular activities.

The men’s and women’s state basketball tournament was also postponed until further notice. The WV Secondary School Activities Commission (WVSSAC) Executive Director Bernie Dolan said, “When they cut (NCAA) March Madness, when they cut the Big 12 Tournament out completely, I think people realized the seriousness of it.”

Dolan also noted that coaches can not allow athletes to practice or work out at team facilities.

I spoke with Hunter Blankenship, a senior baseball player, about the suspension of spring sports. “I just thought about how this is my last year of getting to play the great game of baseball, probably ever, and how now there is a chance I won’t ever get to play now.” Hunter, along with many of his senior teammates would agree. Many seniors fear that their last chance to play their sport will not be a reality. I asked Hunter what he thinks will happen at the evaluation of the situation, “I have no clue, but I hope they allow us to play. I know the rest of the guys on the team along with me really want to get back out there.”

It is hard to predict what will happen next, right now all we can do is to help slow the spread of the disease.