The flu gets the win at Tyler Consolidated
Gyms will be silent and dark. Wrestling mats will remain rolled up and put away. There will be no need for the bleachers to be pulled out nor the concession stands to be opened . . . there will be no sports action of any kind in Tyler County this week.
A decision made by the Bureau of Public Health, the local Tyler/Wetzel Health Dept., the West Virginia State Dept. of Education and the Superintendent of Schools of Tyler County closed Tyler County schools and stopped all extra-curricular activities on Dec. 18 due to sickness befalling a large portion of the county’s teaching staff and students.
“I understand this decision perfectly,” said Tyler Consolidated Athletic Director Ryan Walton. “Our first priority has to be the well being of the students. That’s our job. Our absences have been great with so many out with this, whatever it is, and they come back to school, not fully recuperated, and often get sick again. It gets passed on to others, then they get sick. It’s just a continuing process.”
“And with sports, hot gyms and the close interaction of the athletes, sickness spreads even easier. We need a chance to let everybody get better. This was the correct decision to make. We have to put our kids first, and everything else second.”
All sporting events, including practices, have been halted in the county until Dec. 29.
With the decision made early on Dec. 18, all contests scheduled for the weekend were cancelled or postponed. Those that can be made up, will be. Some contests, however, will most likely not be rescheduled.
The Larry Richie Memorial Wrestling Tournament scheduled for Dec. 20 will not be rescheduled due to the tight schedule of wrestling programs throughout the state.
However, some basketball games have been rescheduled:
The Silver Knight basketball team was to have traveled to Wirt County on Dec. 19. Now the team will play the Wirt Tigers at home on Jan. 29.
The Lady Knight game with Wirt has be rescheduled to take place on Jan. 3 at Wirt County.
The Knight boys were to have played Ritchie County on Dec. 23, but will now be played on Jan. 30 at home.
The Lady Knights will travel to Ritchie County on Feb. 10.
The Dec. 30 Silver Knight basketball game with Magnolia has been rescheduled to Jan. 5 at Magnolia.
More changes in the schedule are likely, especially junior varsity and freshmen match-ups.
“As a coach, something like this happening certainly puts you behind the 8-ball,” Walton said. “I understand how difficult it’s going to be, with missed practices, missed learning opportunities, and missed games. But the overall well being of our students should always be our main priority.”
And you can’t fault a school system for that.