PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – When time expired in Greenbrier County last Saturday, and No. 7 Ritchie County defeated No. 2 Greenbrier West in the Single-A quarterfinals, it appeared that the Rebels had gotten a free ride to the Super Six.
Saturday’s map by the WV Department of Education, eliminated both East Hardy and Tolsia high schools, giving the Rebels no one to play in the semi-finals. Thus, Ritchie County got an unprecedented bye this late in the postseason.
But despite not having a team to face this weekend, the Rebels do have an opponent — the map.
According to Bernie Dolan, Executive Director of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission, Ritchie County (the county itself) needs to improve to at least Gold by Saturday at 5 p.m. in order for the Rebels to appear in the Single-A title game for the first time in school history.
“They need to move quickly in their community, because they’re at 7.67 and they got to get below 5. Again, whoever is playing Ritchie wants to play Ritchie, too. Nobody wants to be handed the title,” said Dolan.
Ritchie County appeared as Orange in Wednesday morning’s daily COVID-19 map by the WV DHHR.
The county’s percent positivity rate, which is currently at 7.67, needs to improve to at least 5.00 in order for the county to turn Gold.
If that happens, the Rebels are set up to play on Saturday, Dec. 5 in the Super Six.
If not, the Rebels’ chance to win a state championship goes out the window in all likelihood.
Asked if any football team that makes it past the semi-final round could test their way into playing if their county has a spike in cases and goes Orange or Red, Dolan said that’s not an option.
“We have not allowed testing for the moderate- to high-risk sports like volleyball, football and soccer. So, if you were Orange or Red, you did not play,” Dolan said.
The WVSSAC Super Six Football Championships are currently scheduled for Friday, Dec. 4, evening (Double-A), Saturday, Dec. 5, afternoon (Triple-A) and Saturday, Dec. 5, evening (Single-A) at Wheeling Island Stadium in Wheeling.
However, the site of the Super Six could change if Ohio County (Wheeling) also doesn’t improve to at least Gold by this Saturday at 5 p.m.
We’ll have more information on that in a related article on Thursday.