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West Virginia HS Football

COVID Map Sinks 4-Time Defending Champ Martinsburg; 3 Games Set on Sunday

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Saturday’s weekly COVID metrics map update by the West Virginia Department of Education struck another blow the high school football playoff field.

This week’s update wiped out three Class AAA state quarterfinal games and one Class A quarterfinal game. Four-time defending state champion Martinsburg, perennial power Spring Valley and Spring Mills in Class AAA all had their season’s end without playing a down on Saturday. In Class A East Hardy and Tolsia were set to play Sunday, but both needed the map to improve in their favor for it to happen. They didn’t get the help they needed, and as a result the winner of Saturday’s Ritchie County-Greenbrier East quarterfinal game will have no semifinal opponent and advance direction to the small-school state championship game.

As a result of Saturday’s forfeits, Bridgeport, Musselman and Cabell Midland each advance to next week’s Class AAA semifinal round, but all eyes will be on the map again next Saturday. The status of Cabell (orange) and Berkeley (red) counties on this week’s map mean their games are scheduled for next Sunday pending next week’s map update. If they play, Musselman visits South Charleston in one semifinal while Cabell Midland hosts Bridgeport in the other.

Three teams did, however, escape map forfeits on Saturday. Randolph County improved to yellow, meaning Elkins is cleared to play its Class AA quarterfinal game Sunday at Robert C. Byrd and Tygarts Valley can play its Class A quarterfinal game Sunday at Pendleton County. Fayette County also made the needed color-coded improvement on this week’s map, so Midland Trail is allowed to play St. Marys in a Sunday Class A quarterfinal game.

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Tom has spent the last decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia, most recently as the WVU beat writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and with previous stops at the Charleston Daily Mail, the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and the Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky. He was born and raised in Cross Lanes, West Virginia -- where he currently resides -- and is a 2010 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University.

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Mark Holmes

How is Musselman cleared to move through the playoffs when Spring Mills and Martinsburg are not allowed to play? All 3 schools are located in BerkeleyCounty.

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