With football season all over for Mingo County teams (Tug Valley and Mingo Central), we look at what we’ve missed out on in the sports world so far this year.

We have to understand that the kids are the ones who have been hit the hardest as far as school and athletics are concerned.

As of 10:00 a.m. November 25, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) reports that there have been a total of 1,063,597 lab results for COVID-19, and some 43,050 confirmed cases in the Mountain State. There have also been 695 deaths.

Mingo County as a whole, has 947 cases.

The kids have been out of school what seems like forever, and with more and more opting for virtual classes, they may not change anytime soon.

This is just added stress on our student athletes. Not only is their futures in jeopardy, but their well being.

You just can’t help, but feel sadness when thinking of all the children in our region, a tough place to live when things are good, it is getting more hopeless for them everyday.

An overwhelming majority of kids from our region would never have the opportunity for college without some type of financial assistance or scholarships.

However, if athletes can’t perform on the field of play, college coaches can’t offer a spot that they would normally have a chance at.

We are already seeing the effects of missing school for such a long period and Americans being more or less locked down in their homes. Our kids will pay dearly in the future for this absence. They will be a year behind other places in our country who haven’t been as restricted as others.

With the isolated area in which we live, many stated that the virus would reach the mountains last but, it would also be the last place to leave. It’s because of our geography that this is proving true.

Mingo County improved to gold on the latest color coded metric, which means they can return to in person classes and can play sports, but with restrictions. Mingo County has been ravaged by the coronavirus, having not been back in session since the first week of October.

Tug Valley’s football team had to forfeit its first round game against Tygarts Valley. The Panthers entered the Class A playoffs with the No. 1 seed and were a contender to win the state title.

Now, all the Panthers can do is wonder, “What if?”

Hopefully, this is just the beginning of the decline in cases. One thing is for sure, 2020 will be a year we won’t soon forget.

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