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Color-coding system to determine fate of high school games in West Virginia

Captains for Cabell Midland and Riverside meet at midfield for the coin toss at a 2019 playoff...
Captains for Cabell Midland and Riverside meet at midfield for the coin toss at a 2019 playoff game.(WSAZ/Andrew Colegrove)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 11:34 PM EDT
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ONA, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Fall sports in West Virginia are set to start official preseason practices Monday, but how many games student athletes are allowed to play is out of their hands.

Jakob Caudill is a senior running back for Cabell Midland. Along with depending on his offensive line to open holes, he’s depending on everyone in his county to do their part to prevent the season from being disrupted.

“We still don’t know if we’re going to have a season or not,” Caudill said.

Gov. Jim Justice announced a color-coding system Friday that will determine how schools will operate, depending on COVID-19 levels in individual counties.

Schools will have to rely on a map released every Saturday to see if their county is the right color.

If they’re green or yellow, games are permitted with a limited number of fans.

If a county is orange, games are halted but practices are still allowed.

If a county is red, no games or practices would be allowed until the county maintains the yellow level on a seven-day rolling basis.

“I don’t know of any other plan out there that’s like this that incentivizes the community to get better, not only to be healthier but allow more activities to go on,” WVSSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan said.

Caudill is hoping to get college scholarship offers but is concerned what not being able to play could mean for his future.

“That’d hurt me a lot personally, because all the colleges interested in me are going off my senior season,” Caudill said.

Caudill is urging everyone to do their part to prevent their county from turning orange or red.

“We’re just hoping everybody wears their mask and does everything they can to help us out,” he said.

Private and Christian schools with athletic programs will be following the same guidelines.

A county’s color is set for that week, regardless of what happens during the week, unless you go red. Then games would be suspended.

If a county is yellow on a Saturday, and then a few days later they go orange, they could still play their games during that week.

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