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SSAC Working Contingency Plans for Super Six Weekend

Championships Still Scheduled for Dec. 4-5 at Wheeling Island Stadium

File Photo by Alex Kozlowski Wheeling Central’s Jacob Rine runs the ball during the 2019 W.Va. Class A state championship game at Wheeling Island Stadium. Rine, who graduated last year, helped the Maroon Knights win their third straight state championship. Wheeling Central made the playoffs this season, but was eliminated from the playoffs because Ohio County was orange last Saturday on the West Virginia Department of Education COVID-19 School Openings Map. As of Friday, the Super Six Championships are still scheduled for Dec. 4-5 at Wheeling Island Stadium. However, the state of West Virginia and the SSAC have been working on contingency plans as games will not be permitted to play in Ohio County.

The Super Six Football Championships are still scheduled for Dec. 4-5 at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Knowing that things — specifically color-coded maps — can change quickly in the state of West Virginia, the Secondary Schools Activities Commission has been working on contingency plans.

“It’s difficult to give a hard and fast answer of what will happen because so many things have to be right on the map — for both the host county and the competing schools,” SSAC Executive Director Bernie Dolan said.

Should Ohio County be listed on Orange or Red on the Nov. 28 map, the event would not be permitted to be held in the county. If the county were green, yellow or gold, the event would go on as planned.

According to Dolan, the SSAC has talked to Bluefield, Charleston and Marshall University about the possibility of hosting.

Another option being considered is breaking the event up and playing three single games at different venues, more centrally located to the competing teams, around the state.

“I don’t know that we’re completely sold that it has to be three games at the same site, but a lot of that will depend on who is in it,” Dolan said.

Because of the attendance restriction on fans, finding the largest venue isn’t a big factor in the SSAC’s search.

Even if the Super Six is held in Wheeling, the kickoff banquet and the academic awards breakfast have already been canceled.

“It’s just simply not good to get that many people together in close quarters, so we decided to not have those events,” Dolan said. “We plan for those events to resume in 2021.”

This season is the first of a four-year contract with Ohio County to keep the Super Six at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Dolan believes that if the event should need to be moved, Ohio County would not lose a year of its contract, meaning the next time the Super Six could be played at a different venue — barring a pandemic — is 2025.

Meanwhile, the Ohio County team, which is led by Wheeling Park Director of Athletics Dwaine Rogers, continues to prepare for the event like it normally would.

“We understand what could take place (with the map), but when you’re planning an event of this size, you have to approach it as if it’s going to happen,” Rogers said.

The Ohio County officials and the SSAC had a conference call about the Super Six last week, but there simply aren’t definitive answers on either side.

“We just continue to go week to week,” Rogers said. “It’s frustrating for everyone, but we’re all in it together.”


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