SSAC

(Brad Davis/The Register-Herald) Westside's Makayla Morgan dishes to a teammate as Winfield's Z.Z. Russell defends during girls state basketball tournament action March 11 in Charleston.

For West Virginia prep athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic which has put all athletic events on hold indefinitely, no news is almost as good as good news.

Following Gov. Jim Justice's announcement Wednesday morning that schools will be closed through at least April 30, Bernie Dolan, Executive Director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, told The Register-Herald that their board still has not come to a decision on the fate of the suspended girls basketball state tournament and Class A boys regional games.

The status of spring sports also remains in limbo.

The board met following Justice's announcement which extended the previous schools evaluation point by 10 days.

"We have not made a decision yet," Dolan said. "We went back to the board today for a meeting and discussed it a little. We want to wait and see if the model that's out has us coming down by the end of April. I think we're OK waiting. We probably won't have any plans to make a decision before then, though, unless something there's a huge change, but every time I say something it changes each day. We'll just have to keep monitoring the situation."

After showing optimism last week, Dolan acknowledged that with each delay it becomes more difficult to retain that optimism. 

"I would think it's definitely a little more difficult to come up with something," Dolan said. "We're going to be right in the mix of the peak of the virus situation if the models play out the way we think they are, so we're just waiting to see. You don't want to bring hundreds of people into one place before all of that and make things worse. Our first concern is to make sure everyone is healthy and that we're not adding to the problem."

With border states already canceling spring sports, the SSAC is holding out hope

"If you heard the governor talk today, he's hopeful we can get back into school today," Dolan said. "We're holding on because there's no better way to get the spirit back up. There's a lot going on right now and athletics are kind of an escape from all of that. We're all coming from a coaching background here. We know how much work everyone puts in. For some it's going to be the last time they compete so we're willing to wait until we can't anymore."

Email: tjackson@register-herald.com and follow on Twitter @TjackRH

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