Weather forces game cancellations in Marion County, elsewhere this week

Jan. 18—FAIRMONT — When the weather cancels sports, it's usually canceling outdoor sports such as football, soccer, baseball and softball. Outdoor conditions often spare indoor sports like basketball, but not always.

This week already, high school basketball games on Monday and Tuesday were postponed because of snow storms creating unsafe travel conditions in West Virginia.

Monday's boys basketball game between No. 1 Fairmont Senior and No. 2 Shady Spring got called off after Shady Spring's school system kept the team from traveling to the game, according to Fairmont Senior head coach David Retton.

"Their school system wouldn't allow them to travel," Retton said. "We were allowed to practice [instead], and we practiced. We don't have a [makeup] date yet."

According to the Associated Press scores from Monday, other canceled or postponed games included Richwood boys and girls versus Bath County, Va. and Tygarts Valley girls versus Highland-Monterey, Va.

The cancellations continued into Tuesday. This time, Marion County's school system made the call to cancel school, meaning three girls basketball games got postponed: East Fairmont at Preston, Fairmont Senior versus Buckhannon-Upshur and North Marion versus Bridgeport.

For the North Marion girls team, it's the second game of the season postponed because of the weather, according to Head Coach Mike Parrish. The first game was last Tuesday's match against Elkins, which has been rescheduled for Feb. 15.

"Our county has a policy of no school, no games," Parrish said. "If there's no school, they won't let us do anything. Sometimes they'll let you practice if you have more than one snow day in a row, but it just depends on the road conditions and the temperature. That's the thing principals and superintendents will decide on."

Fairmont's temperature reached a high of 20 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday, according to The Weather Channel. The National Weather Service put a wind chill advisory in place for Marion County and the surrounding area from Tuesday at 10 p.m. to Wednesday at noon.

Parrish expected Tuesday's game to be postponed, so he directed his players to watch film in preparation for Thursday's game against Robert C. Byrd.

"At Monday's practice, I told them there was a good chance we wouldn't have school on Tuesday and we wouldn't have the game," Parrish said. "So I told them to watch game film on RCB, which is the team we'll play on Thursday."

In the meantime, Parrish is working on rescheduling the game against Bridgeport. He said he was awaiting North Marion athletic director Daran Hays' approval for suggested dates.

According to The Weather Channel, Thursday, Jan. 18 will have a high of 35 degrees and a 20-percent chance for a rain-snow mix.

While it's less likely the games on Thursday will be postponed, it depends on the decision the Marion County Board of Education makes as well as the decisions of the other school districts involved, Retton said.

"That's all going to be dependent on, No. 1, the protocol from the board of education," Retton said. "No. 2, we have protocol with our school administration. No. 3, we will have protocol in working with other schools, so we will follow those protocols."

Fairmont Senior, meanwhile, prepares for the Friday game versus Preston in Fairmont.

Reach Colin C. Rhodes at 304-367-2548