CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Over the last two days, we’ve reached out to multiple high school basketball coaches whose teams were either already at the girls basketball state tournament, or whose team would’ve been at the boys basketball state tournament next week.
Below are just some of their reactions to a crazy last 48 hours.
AMY CHAPMAN, Gilmer County girls basketball head coach: “This is something we worked for months on. And to get here, and for it to end like this, it’s just … it’s crazy.”
ROB HAWKINS, Lincoln girls basketball head coach: “They were devastated and they heard it.”
JOE SCHMIDLE, University boys basketball head coach: “The magnitude of the whole thing. The domino effect of what it’s going to have on so many people is … I mean, I don’t even know what to say right now.”
ROB HAWKINS: “It was tough watching them go from pure joy last night, and all smiles today and then all of a sudden, just the unknown of whether or not they’re going to get to complete this season.”
Not only do players, such as Khori Miles from Robert C. Byrd, Gunner Murphy from North Marion, and Lincoln’s Brynne Williams potentially miss out on achieving personal career milestones, but players also possibly miss out on playing in front of college coaches and scouts that could’ve taken their careers to another level if the tournaments never resume.
ROB HAWKINS: “You’re at the showcase event of high school basketball in this state.”
MIKE PARRISH, North Marion girls basketball head coach: “Normally when you get to the state tournament that’s your time during the season where you get to play in front of most of the college coaches. It does hurt their exposure.”
JOE SCHMIDLE: “I know he’s capable of playing at the enxt level – that Division I level. for him to not have that opportunity to showcase his talent in front of a lot of college coaches that probably would’ve been there.”
But as bleak as things look at the moment, there is still hope — and certainly a desire — that the tournaments will be played in the near future.
MIKE PARRISH: “One thing I did tell the girls, is that you’ve got a chance to play in the state tournament twice in one year. I said that’s probably never happened before.”
JOE SCHMIDLE: “Hopefully the people that are going to be governing whatever happens allow these kids the opportunity to finish their season, somehow, someway. My heart’s broken for the kids. It’s not about me, it’s not about the coaches, it’s about the kids.”
With all after-school activities canceled until April 10, it looks like we will all have to wait and see if these tournaments ever do happen. But if they do, teams will be ready.
ROB HAWKINS: “If this thing comes back up, we know that we’re still in it.”