Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $5.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.

Winf vs Poca 2

Poca’s Isaac McKneely (left) puts up a shot as Winfield’s Christian Frye (10) defends.

The world has become a very inconvenient place for all of us.

More masks than we could shake a Halloween party at. Waiting outside to get in stores while standing in rain showers that never seem to stop. Dining from an abbreviated list of pick-up options.

Not to mention, boredom, boredom and more boredom.

Yes, indeed, the coronavirus pandemic has thrown an inconvenient wrench into our normal, everyday routines.

But that’s just us — the sports fans.

Imagine what the athletes whom we love to watch are going through. They have all our problems, but also have to endure another entire list of difficulties that everyone normally takes for granted.

Like staying in shape, for example. That is very, very difficult for athletes who depend on fitness centers, YMCAs, school gymnasiums, weight rooms, etc.

Where are they supposed to work out?

“I’ve been trying to get outside, really,” said Jarrod West, Marshall University rising senior point guard. “I’ve been trying to do a lot of stuff outside — running, conditioning workouts, jumping rope, the ladders, some strength and a lot of long-distance running outside.

“A lot of what I’ve done has been outside. Obviously, it has been different. I’m just trying to stay in shape and stay prepared ... stuff like that.”

The same is true for Logan High School basketball star David Early, who has signed with Marshall University. The 6-foot-4, 235-pound guard also is doing most of his working out and conditioning outdoors.

“It’s not really difficult,” said Early, who averaged 27.8 points and 12.1 rebounds during the 2019-20 season. “I can still go out and run ... run hills. I just keep working out every day.

“The way I work out is I have a weight bench. I’ll jump rope. I’ll run hills with my weight vest on. That’s really it — a lot of conditioning.”

That doesn’t mean Early isn’t getting some shots up. He is. Early is too good of a shooter not to keep his jumper fine-tuned.

“I have an outside court just right up the street,” he explained. “So I just go there and play. They’ve locked all the gyms. But I’ve got to stay in shape. Yes sir, I have to.”

It’s a similar situation for young Poca High School standout Isaac McKneely. Although the 6-3 phenom guard still has NCAA Division I scholarship offers rolling in — the most recent arrived from Virginia Tech — the rising junior isn’t slacking off his workout regimen.

“I’ve been just making the best out of what we have,” said McKneely. “I’ve got a court outside I can get shots up, if the weather allows me to, which it’s not [Tuesday] so that’s not good.

“I’ve been really working on getting stronger, lifting every day on my Bowflex. Been running trying to stay in shape every day and I’ve also really been working on tightening my handle. I got a few ball-handling drills I have been doing every day that have helped me out getting a better handle.”

Sounds as if McKneely does indeed have a “handle” on the situation. But perhaps the best situation belongs to West.

“It’s hard to get gym time,” said the 5-10 West, who is home in Clarksburg and has his younger brother Jaidyn as a workout partner. “There aren’t many gyms available right now.

“I’m kind of lucky that I have a friend who has a gym whose OK with anytime I use it. There aren’t a lot of people out, obviously. Normally it’s just my brother and I. But I’ve been trying to keep working out just in case — because you never know when all this could end and we could get back to normal.

“I’m just trying to stay ready and stay prepared.”

Those are smart moves by smart players.

Granted, it isn’t easy.

But, hey, what is easy these days?