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Keeping head on a swivel

I’ve always joked the only goal after covering a high school football game on the sideline is to walk off the field without getting trucked.

If one doesn’t know what getting trucked is, it’s basically when you get gobbled up and knocked to the ground after you get smashed by one or more players.

Knock on wood, I’ve been really lucky on more than one occasion.

Several years ago while at Morris Stadium there was a real close call during a Glenville State College tilt.

One needs to remember even on the Division II level the action usually happens a lot quicker than on the prep level.

I can also think of a few instances where either an assistant coach or even players on the sidelines themselves have either shielded me or kept me out of harm’s way.

Unfortunately, the country is still battling through the monster that is the COVID-19 pandemic.

Conversely, the Mountain State is trying to do the best it can when dealing with everything that’s associated with this beast.

For myself, that means spending time each and every day scrolling through social media to find out the latest updates of what’s going on sports-wise.

My new favorite website, only out of absolute necessity, is the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 page which updates how all of the 55 counties are doing with SARS-CoV-2 cases.

As of Wednesday evening, only a trio of counties — Kanawha, Logan and Monroe — were in orange, which has to get to yellow or green by Saturday in order to have athletic competitions the following week.

Everything is based on rolling averages of positive cases to determine whether or not counties will be able to practice and actually play.

It’s of some concern to me that I continue to see stories around the world of supposed false positive tests.

The Associated Press reported earlier this week the story of 77 players in the National Football League getting false positive results.

In total, 11 teams had players who were re-examined by a New Jersey lab after false positives and they all came back negative.

On top of that, also this week there was the story of the German cycling team Bora-Hansgrohe having to pull out of a competition in France, which upset founder and manager Ralph Denk. One of his riders also came up as an unfortunate false positive, which led to the whole team being removed.

Another less than ideal situation, at least for myself, was an email I received on Monday from the Ohio High School Athletic Association.

In essence it stated all media must be “outside the team box” and that now goes from the 10-yard line to the other 10 for Ohio.

When I inquired about this rule and asked how a scribe was supposed to keep accurate stats if they were on the sideline I was told to use the “20 yards” from the 10 to the back of the end zone and that I had “53 yards from end zone to end zone” to utilize and “that’s actually 93 yards of space.”

Maybe that would work if I was a giraffe.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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