By Chapin Jewell
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission have adopted a color-coded system that dictates whether in person educational instruction and extra-curricular activities can take place.
In addition, and most pertinent to Mineral County this week as the majority of athletic contests begin, the color the county is under will directly dictate the policies pertaining to who will or will not be admitted into athletic contests, and further, the specific procedures and logistics for doing so.
The following information comes directly from Mineral County athletic directors Jay Hesse at Frankfort High School and Shawn White of Keyser High School. It is important to note that while these lists are thorough and comprehensive, the fact remains that with everything else COVID-19 related, everything is subject to change.
It is essential, however, that everyone thoroughly understand that Mineral County schools absolutely will follow the guidelines; there is no room for exceptions or special treatment. The rules will be followed and enforced. This ensures the safety of student athletes and spectators will remain of paramount importance. Compliance will go a long way in improving the chances that extra-curricular activities can continue.
Therefore, the following guidelines are being released for Keyser and Frankfort high schools:
KEYSER and FRANKFORT: Both schools will be adhering to guidelines outlined by the WVSSAC as it relates to attendance and the metric color system.
KEYSER and FRANKFORT: Neither school will be selling general admission tickets to athletic events this fall.
KEYSER and FRANKFORT: At both schools, each fall athlete and band member has submitted a list of parents and immediate household members.
KEYSER: If Mineral County is in green for that week, ALL MEMBERS ON THE LIST will be permitted to purchase a ticket and attend the games.
FRANKFORT: If Mineral County is in green for that week, ALL MEMBERS ON THE LIST will be permitted to purchase a ticket and attend the games, WITH THE POSSIBLE EXCEPTION of varsity football games due to spacing concerns. It is still being decided how Frankfort will handle green and varsity football.
KEYSER AND FRANKFORT: If Mineral County is in yellow for the week, ONLY PARENTS OF STUDENT ATHLETES ON THE LIST will be permitted to purchase tickets and attend games. If there are split families, both sets of parents will be permitted to attend games in yellow and green.
KEYSER AND FRANKFORT: If Mineral County is in orange for the week, no athletic events are permitted to take place. The teams are, however, permitted to practice.
KEYSER AND FRANKFORT: If Mineral County is in red for the week, all practices and games will be shut down.
KEYSER: In accordance with WVSSAC guidelines, teacher passes and coaching passes will not be honored at the gate.
FRANKFORT: In accordance with WVSSAC guidelines, teacher passes and coaching passes will not be honored at the gate. In addition, Miss Falcon passes will not be honored at the gate.
KEYSER: We ask that you do not show up at an athletic event if you are not on an athlete or band member’s list. All varsity football game tickets will be sold through the player/cheerleader/ band member at school. We will not sell tickets at the gate for varsity football.
FRANKFORT: We will have a list at the gate, and we are selling tickets at the gate. If a person is not on the list, they cannot purchase a ticket and may not enter. For varsity football, approved home spectators will enter through the front gate. Approved visiting spectators will enter at the gate between the visitors bleachers and the field house. Spectators will remain on their respective sides and will not intermingle with opposing spectators.
KEYSER AND FRANKFORT: For boys’ and girls’ soccer, volleyball and JV football games, you will pay at the gate and your name will be checked off the list that was turned in by the student athlete. You will not be permitted into any game if you are not on the player’s immediate household member list. Again, green allows admittance for all immediate household members, yellow allows only for parents.
KEYSER: At this point, we are not serving any concessions at any events. We hope this can change if our county numbers vastly improve. You will be permitted to bring in water or soda. No coolers!
FRANKFORT: Limited concessions of pre-packaged items (chips, candy bars, drinks) may be available.
Both schools are in agreement that spectators should remain in their seats and wear face coverings if not socially distanced. There will be frequent public address reminders. Spectators inside a gymnasium must wear face coverings at all times. In addition, for both schools, when they play away, ticket protocol will vary depending on the host county. Things will potentially be different at every away game.
While the above details are intended to be as informative and instructive as possible, every eventuality or individual circumstance cannot be imagined in print. Therefore, both Keyser and Frankfort reserve the right to handle unimagined circumstances that arise in a way that’s consistent with established protocol and guidelines.
In a perfect world, these COVID-related restrictions would not exist. Certainly, the schools wish things could go on as normal, both for the enjoyment of the student-athletes and for those that support them. Likewise, the schools certainly recognize the negative financial impact the restrictions will cause. They are, however, necessary for both safety and adherence to the rules.
Cooperation is key. Everyone working together will reduce problems, and a reduction in problems will make things go smoother and decrease the chance of the further tightening of restrictions. Specific questions can be addressed through the athletic directors at each school.