POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — It may not have all been wonderful, but it certainly was a wild week for football in the Mountain State.
Marching bands were not going to be allowed at football games by order of the West Virginia Secondary Schools Athletic Commission, only to have that decision overturned less than 24 hours later.
The bands are back in town, but there are guidelines to be followed.
Point Pleasant was able to pick up a ninth game for the regular season with the addition of Mingo Central.
Marshall, at least for now, lost a big non-conference game at East Carolina due to a COVID outbreak on the ECU campus … the same week that saw MU release its guidelines for attendance at home games.
At least as of Friday morning, nothing had changed for the Mountaineers of West Virginia University.
The Big Blacks still open the season in less than a week against visiting Oak Glen, but the addition of Mingo Central on Sept. 11 allows PPHS to gain a fifth home contest this fall.
Point Pleasant still has an open week on Sept. 18 before hosting Lincoln County, allowing the Red and Black to play their first three gridiron contests this year at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.
The Thundering Herd’s trip to ECU was originally set to kickoff this weekend, a game that would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Marshall plane crash following a return flight from Greenville, N.C.
That game was moved to Sept. 12 after numerous reschedulings throughout the summer, and now the game has been postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak on the ECU campus. No makeup date has been scheduled at this point.
The Thundering Herd opens their 2020 campaign by hosting Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, Sept. 5. The game will televised live on ESPN and has a 1 p.m. kickoff.
Stadium capacity will be reduced at Joan C. Edwards Stadium this fall and standard social distancing rules will be enforced at the home events, including the wearing of face masks at all times.
There will be no re-entry allowed to spectators once they are inside the stadium. Tailgating is also prohibited, though that could be revisited as the season progresses forward.
Fans can sit in a grouping no larger than six people while seated in the stands. The row in front and behind each grouping will remain empty, plus two seats to the left and right will remain empty for proper social distancing.
High school marching bands received a reprieve on Tuesday when the WVSSAC released guidelines that would allow bands to participate at football contests.
Bands will be allowed to perform pre-game (National Anthem) and halftime shows at home football games with the following mandates.
There is a designated separate seating area for band members that does not include the bleachers. Parents and family members of the band will also be seated separately.
The percussion section is the only group permitted to play during the game and face coverings must be worn at all times by all band members when not performing. Face coverings are to be worn while performing if possible.
The band will also have a separate entrance and exit area than the athletes and their families if possible.
POINT PLEASANT BIG BLACKS
|9-4||vs. Oak Glen||7:30|
|9-11||vs. Mingo Central||7:30|
|9-25||vs. Lincoln County||7:30|
|10-16||at Wyoming East||7:30|
WAHAMA WHITE FALCONS
|9-11||vs. Ritchie County||7:30|
|9-18||vs. Gilmer County||7:30|
|10-16||vs. Wirt County||7:30|
|10-23||at Calhoun County||7:30|
|10-30||at Federal Hocking||7:30|
|9-4||vs. Clay-Battelle||7 p.m.|
|9-11||at Tug Valley||7:30|
|9-18||vs. Trinity Christian||7:30|
|10-2||vs. Federal Hocking||7:30|
|10-16||at Montcalm||7 p.m.|
MARSHALL THUNDERING HERD
|9-5||vs. Eastern Kentucky|
|9-19||vs. Appalachian State|
|10-10||at Western Kentucky|
|10-17||at Louisiana Tech|
|10-24||vs. Florida Atlantic|
|10-31||at Florida International|
|11-14||vs. Middle Tennessee State|
WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS
|9-12||vs. Eastern Kentucky|
|9-26||at Oklahoma State|
|10-24||at Texas Tech|
|10-31||vs. Kansas State|
|11-14||vs. Texas Christian|
|12-5||at Iowa State|
* — at Fairmont.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.