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No school, no sports? Not here

Every time one of my friends, colleagues or readers sees something in the sports world they believe is wrong, they suggest, “You should write a column.”

As if one sports column in The News and Sentinel is going to right society’s perceived ills.

I was reminded of this on Tuesday. Arriving at the office, my first duty was to check on the status of the Parkersburg Catholic at St. Marys boys basketball game. I called the home of St. Marys coach Mark Barnhart. A young man answered the phone and when I inquired about the game, he politely replied, “We didn’t have school today,” and went on to explain when there is no school, there are no sports events.

That is a sound policy that makes perfect sense, especially since school is about getting an education, while sports is an extracurricular activity.

But it is not the policy in every county, including Wood.

I don’t know how many times on days there hasn’t been school due to weather conditions that local teams either play home games or load up a bus and make a road trip, sometimes a long one.

I fully understand there are days when the road conditions improve from the time school is called off in early morning until the sports events start in the evening.

But rather than leave such calls to school administrators, it makes much more sense to err on the side of caution and safety and have a blanket policy that if there is no school, there is no sports.

We’re not only talking about the safety of our children, but also about liability.

It’s like preventative medicine, It’s better to stop the potential problem rather than allow it to occur then have to deal with it.

There, I “wrote the column.” Let’s see if it has any impact.

* Round Three: While it is the annual football game between Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South that draws the biggest athletic crowd of the school year, it is the wrestling match between the Patriots and the Big Reds that wins the award for the most intense atmosphere.

That’s understandable. First, it takes place indoors where the fans of the two participating teams sit next to one another.

Plus, the stakes are always high as both teams are state title contenders virtually on an annual basis.

South and PHS?will meet tonight at Memorial Fieldhouse.

It will be their third meeting in a short period of time. South beat PHS?at the Wheeling Park Duals. The Big Reds turned the tables last week at the West Virginia Duals.

The two wrestling programs have a combined 39 state team titles.

Since 1988, there have been only three years when a school other than Parkersburg High or Parkersburg South has claimed the Class AAA?state championship.

That’s a tribute to great youth and middle school programs that produce both quantity and quality of talent and great coaching at the high school level.

Contact Dave Poe at dpoe@newsandsentinel.com