Don't expect to be reading many local sports results the next few days.
That's because -by order of the W.Va. Board of Education -there will be no high school sporting events contested in the Mountain State until the statewide WESTEST concludes on Thursday.
I've got no issue with that as academics always should come before athletics, although many haven't figured that out.
Come Thursday afternoon, the bells that signal the end of the school day and the WESTEST, also will sound the alarm that sports will burst out across West Virginia.
That's when the 12 regional softball finals are scheduled to take place. That's when -weather permitting -we will learn the one dozen schools who will be in Vienna next Wednesday and Thursday competing for state titles.
The Mid-Ohio Valley is well represented. This could be the year the local contingent includes a team in all three classes, and could even witness two Class A schools in the Final Four.
In Class AAA, Parkersburg South once again has reached the Region IV finals. This time the Patriots (21-12) will enjoy home field advantage as Cabell Midland comes to town for the title game at 6 p.m. Thursday. While the Knights have the superior record at 28-5, four of those losses have come in their last 11 games. South has come so close so many times, it would be great to see the Patriots in Vienna. That would create even more interest in what already is a high-profile event.
The Mid-Ohio Valley already is assured of a representative in Class AA. That's because defending state champion Ritchie County (25-5) will travel to Magnolia (28-3) Thursday to compete for the Region I title and a state tournament berth. It's a shame both teams won't be in Vienna as each has the talent to contend for the state title.
In Class A, two Little Kanawha Conference teams have reached the Elite Eight. In Region I, 25-4 St. Marys will travel to 21-7 Wheeling Central, while in Region II, Doddridge County (23-6) will entertain Moorefield (31-4).
Once the softball games are played on Thursday, it will be time for the state track meet, which will be contested on Friday and Saturday at Charleston's Laidley Field.
Look for Little Kanawha Conference schools to dominate Class A. Williamstown's girls are so talented and deep winning the title is little more than a formality. In the boys competition, Doddridge County is the favorite with Williamstown trying to chase down the Dogs.
In Class AA, Ritchie County's boys look to be in a fight for the title with Point Pleasant. Magnolia also could be in the hunt.
Next week, in addition to the state softball tournament, we'll also conduct the regional baseball tournaments, with several area teams having a chance to make it to the state tournament in Charleston. Hopefully, they will pass the test.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org