HUNTINGTON — A Cabell Midland football player has tested positive for COVID-19, but the Knights are still eligible to compete in Sunday’s Class AAA semifinal against Bridgeport, according to Bernie Dolan, West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission executive director.
Dolan confirmed he received a call from Cabell Midland athletic director Chris Parsons in regard to the matter Tuesday, but that Sunday’s scheduled Class AAA semifinal is on for 3 p.m., as long as Cabell County is eligible to play on Saturday’s Department of Education map.
“We were told they have an all-clear from the health department,” Dolan said of his conversation with Parsons. “I said, ‘Just make sure it’s in writing.’ ”
Dolan said SSAC policy throughout the fall season in all sports has been for county health officials to determine the needs of schools and sports programs for contact tracing and other issues related to COVID-19.
“That’s been our protocol all along,” Dolan said. “Quite honestly, we don’t have any power for that. It’s been left up to the health department of each county to do their contact tracing and follow whatever protocols they have.”
Dolan, who said he was unsure if Bridgeport — Midland’s opponent — was aware of the situation, said that if the health department gives the OK for the team to continue and the game to proceed, the game will be held as scheduled at 3 p.m. Sunday in Ona.
Cabell Midland is not eligible to play before Sunday due to the state’s COVID-19 map, which dictates eligibility for sports competition. On the most recent weekly map, Cabell County was orange (high risk), which forced the game with Bridgeport to be scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. For the game to take place, Cabell must get back to at least gold status on the new WVDE map, which is set to come out at 5 p.m. Saturday.
So far this week, Cabell has trended in the right direction, moving into gold status over the last three days. If the teams play Sunday, the winner moves on to the Class AAA championship against the South Charleston-Musselman winner, also scheduled for Sunday.
Kanawha County has been in yellow and gold in each of the past seven days, meaning that SC is in good standing for now. However, Musselman — located in Berkeley County — was in red status last week and has stayed there for six straight days, making its return to gold status unlikely at this point.
Cabell Midland, the top seed in Class AAA, has yet to play a game in the postseason with two scheduled opponents — John Marshall and Spring Mills — not being able to play under the state’s weekly COVID-19 map.