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The Press Box For July 15

By Staff | Jul 15, 2020

Will West Virginia High Schools have fall sports? Governor Jim Justice and WVSSAC executive director Bernie Dolan gave a press conference together last week, and if things go as planned sports will still be on the agenda. Granted, everything is still uncertain, but dates have been set, with opening season set back a little. That’s a positive!

Now it seems like it’s up to us to help make it happen. The timeline is closing in on us quickly, so we need to do the best we can to pull this off and get our kids back in the classroom and on the playing surfaces. The million dollar question is “can it happen?”

No one has that answer for certain, however the right thing to do is to plan ahead and pray for the best. Yes, I said pray not hope, and there is a difference. Scripture says “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Hope is just a wish, wanting something to happen and wishing it does.

During the past few weeks I have watched the progress being made at the local schools. There is improvements happening at nearly all area high schools which will make life easier for the students, teachers and visitors. Paden City high school has a much needed new parking lot beside the high school, to go along with a landscaping beautification project.

Valley high school is seeing completion of a brand new field house at Tom West stadium. I took some progress pictures of it, it’s in the same location as before, but this will be a modern facility that has been needed for years.

Hundred high school also received a new field house in it’s same location and it is a beauty. Upgrades have been made at Paden City Elementary, Shortline School, and Long Drain.

The largest project taking place is happening at Tyler Consolidated, one only needs to take a look at the transformation to see the investment was well worth it. Last week they started laying the astro turf and putting the new press box in place. This has been an ongoing project all summer and looks to be near completion sometime in August.

Once complete there will be nothing any better anywhere in the state. The site will house the football, soccer, track (8-lanes), softball and baseball fields, with new lighting, turf throughout, and better all-around facilites for everyone. It is going to be a beauty. The engineering and undertaking of a project this size was huge. Much consideration was put into this by the Tyler County Board of Education and school Administrators, they should be commended.

If all goes as planned, we will soon be sitting under the new lights watching high school sports at the best stadium in West Virginia. Wouldn’t that be something to be one of the first athletes to play on a field such as this. To be a member the team who took the field for the first time. It will be a lifetime memory for these kids.

While at the other schools with all their improvements, the 2020-21 school year could be one for the history books, and I mean that in a positive way. While 2019-20 was cut short, we want this new school year to be the best ever. There is potential in our students to do great things, in the classroom and on the playing fields.

While we want to keep our children and elderly safe with no compromise, we must still find a way to bring society back to acceptable standards. We have many small businesses that are on the verge of bankruptcy and others who have already closed. We have to support our local businesses and schools like never before. That means standing together as one, putting aside our differences and helping wherever we’re needed.

I want more than anything to see are youth attend school, play sports, go to school functions, live a normal life and experience their younger days with memories to grow old with.

As I ponder what can be accomplished this coming school year, I can see at least one local school make the state football playoffs, two schools that could send volleyball teams to state, several all-state players, soccer teams that will be competitive, there are quite a few good basketball players coming up, and those are just fall and winter sports, next spring will bring even more.

Keep praying, we have many good days ahead. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com.