UPDATE: W.Va. Sports Practice Extension Proposal Declined

By: Todd Baucher, James Sparvero Email
By: Todd Baucher, James Sparvero Email
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UPDATE 6/17/2014 5:00 PM

Two months from opening kickoff.

Local high schools return to the gridiron for summer practice.

This is week one of a three week window for West Virginia teams.

Parkersburg South and the Big Reds were out in the heat Tuesday morning.

A proposal to extend the three week practice period to the entire summer was declined last month by the state board of education.

Coaches and players we spoke with have varying opinions on changing the summer routine.

"I think the concept's a great concept from a standpoint of what we end up with," says Mike Eddy, head coach for Parkersburg South. "We've got a bunch of guys out here right now who are two and three sport athletes. That means you might have a three sport athlete that has three different practices he has to go to today."

"I like how it is. I like the intensity we have with this three hour period where we get a good practice in. This is the right thing to do for right now," says Charley Conley, a PHS senior.

Some talk of allowing year-round practice but athletic officials tell us that's highly unlikely.

More and more student athletes specialize in sports.

It's almost a year round deal for students and parents and now they can practice for the school year round.

The athletic director at Parkersburg South High School is concerned it might reduce the number of athletes who take part in more than one sport.

He says that's been a key to South's championship teams of the past couple of years.

West Virginia's Secondary School Activities Commission's Board of Control approved the change this week to include the entire summer.

The only exception is the week including the July 4th holiday.

It has been limited to three weeks in June.

One athletic director says a benefit would be students would be able to train with the same coach they work with during the school year

"If we are going to practice in the summer, I'd rather have my coaches be the ones to be able to do it," says Jeff Givens, athletic director at Williamstown High School. "I have faith in them to care about the students as student-athletes, more so than I do a volunteer or outside coach."

This is not yet a done deal.

The state board of education has to approve the change as well.

And there currently is a public comment period on the SSAC's action.

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