FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The comments and reactions have not slowed down on social media since Governor Jim Justice announced the postponement of high school winter sports in his news briefing last week.
Players, coaches and fans are all expressing frustrations about the decision.
A big question mark was left in many of these’s frustrated people’s minds over the Governors decision to bring back in-person schooling at the end of January but to delay the start of winter sports.
Fairmont Senior basketball standout Jaelin Johnson doesn’t understand why he and his teammates can be back in the classroom, but not back on the court.
“Well, I mean like we’re going back to school now five days a week everybody is coming in so like I mean you’re pushing back sports but we’re also going back to school so how is that really affecting everything. Honestly I feel like we should all have went like remote learning and then like players even get tested before us playing against each other and all that and just like even masks are possible because I see a lot of states wearing masks and they’re still playing and able to do stuff,” Johnson said.
But this feeling is all too familiar to Johnson. The Polar Bear who is awaiting his senior basketball season had the end of his junior season cut short by Governor Justice as well.
He said he won’t let this postponement affect him or his teammates mindsets.
“I told my team don’t let it play a mental part on you because a lot of people, they can get upset, they’ll stop working out, things will change and they’ll just kind of give up. So I told them we really have to keep working because when that time comes it’ll show who has been working and who hasn’t. So me, myself, I’ve just been working out every day and getting better and when the time comes it’ll really show that you’ve been working and I’m just going to be ready,” Johnson said.
He also touched on how pushing back the start of winter sports will potentially affect high school athletes and the recruiting process.
The pandemic has already granted an extra year of eligibility to college seniors, so recruiting will be tougher on athletes, especially ones who cannot get on the court to compete.
“Yeah it does play a major part. Since Covid happened last year a lot of college seniors get their year back. So a lot of players that were going to colleges, their scholarship money might not work out anymore because the seniors are taking back that spot,” Johnson said.