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Winter and Spring Sports Calendars Updated

WHEELING — The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission (WVSSAC) announced the starting dates for high school and middle school winter and spring sports on Wednesday.

The list is as follows:

∫ Feb. 15: Winter sports practices begin for high school and middle school.

∫ March 3: Winter sports and girls basketball games begin for high school and middle school.

∫ March 5: Boys basketball games for high school and middle school can begin.

∫ March 15: Spring practices begin for high school.

∫ March 20: State cheering competition (tentative).

∫ March 22: Spring practices begin for middle school.

∫ Apr. 12: High school spring competition may begin.

∫ Apr. 20-21: High school State swim meet.

∫ Apr. 21-24: High school State wrestling tournament.

∫ Apr. 27-May 1: High school girls basketball state tournament.

∫ May 4-8: High school boys basketball state tournament.

∫ June 3-5: High school state tennis tournament.

∫ June 10-12: High school state track meet.

∫ June 22-23: High school state softball tournament.

∫ June 24-26: High school state baseball tournament.

Teams must get 14 practices in before starting the regular season and no games or practices will be permitted in counties classified as red on the COVID-color map.

Despite winter sports and spring sports overlapping, longtime Magnolia baseball coach Dave Cisar is just hoping to get his players back on the field.

“You could say this year, if we even play baseball, whether it be overlapped, whether it be underlapped, I could care less as long as we get to play a little bit,” Cisar said. “The game is for the kids. If they can get 30 games, that’d be great. If we play 10 games, we’re still getting to play so the kids can feel good.

“If we can get basketball and so forth involved, there is a good possibility spring sports can start. If that can happen, look out baby — here comes baseball.

“I’ve been sitting on the dag-um couch for the last three months. I’m looking forward to getting out there.”

There are many athletes who play winter and spring sports, who will now look to find a way to manage both at the same time. That is nothing new to West Virginia High School Heisman winner Zara Zervos, who excels in soccer and cross country during the fall. However, running track and swimming may be more difficult to juggle.

“It’s easier to do in the fall since both sports are more similar,” Zervos said. “Cross country and soccer requires so much running that the training works for both but swimming and track are just so different. Scheduling-wise I can balance doing both but training-wise the two are vastly different.

“I really want to have a good track season so I can show times to get into college and get scholarships. I don’t want the two to interfere with each other so much that I can’t excel in both.”

Wheeling Park’s Avery Lee is also in a unique position. He plays basketball and is heading to Marshall University to play baseball next year. However, he has plans this summer to play travel ball in Cincinnati, which will affect his final high school season now.

“I’ll be playing for the Midland Redskins travel team and I have to live there the whole summer,” Lee said. “Ken Griffey Jr. played for them when he was my age and there will be 30 guys who are all going Division I. We’ll be going to New Mexico for the National Championship and Marshall’s coaches want me to play so that’s what I’m going to do.

“So, I won’t be able to compete in the state championships. I have to leave June 10. My plan is to compete in basketball and when baseball starts I’m going to do both. Both of my coaches want me to play and want to try to make it easier on me with practices.

“High school baseball is obviously important to me but it’s just something I have to do for my future.”

Magnolia senior Mady Winters has been to the state tournament for basketball and won gold at state for the discus and shotput in track as a sophomore. Now she’ll look to continue that success in both sports at the same time.

“I’ve been going to the gym a lot so lifting helps me a lot for both,” Winters said. “My freshman and sophomore year I played AAU and Club at the same time so I had some experience of going from one practice to another.

“We had a zoom meeting today with (basketball) coach (Meredith) Pilant and (assistant coach) Joey (Asturi) and they said they don’t mind us going to spring practices. They don’t want us to have to pick and choose sports.”

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