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No football title games as winners declared

The Inter-Mountain file photo Fairmont Senior, which defeated Bluefield 21-19 on Saturday in semifinal play, is the Class AA state champions after the title games were called off due to COVID-19.

CHARLESTON (AP) — The governing body for high school sports in West Virginia has canceled the state football championship games due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead declared winners in each class.

The Secondary School Activities Commission made the announcement Saturday night after the state Department of Education released its color-coded county map that determines whether athletic competitions can be played. St. Marys was declared the champion in Class A, Fairmont Senior in Class AA and South Charleston in Class AAA.

“It is an unfortunate situation for everyone, but we knew going into the playoffs that this could be a possibility,” SSAC executive director Bernie Dolan said in a statement.

Ritchie County was supposed to play St. Marys, which defeated Pendleton County on Saturday, for the Class A title next weekend, but Ritchie County is in the highest-risk red category where athletic competitions are barred due to the virus.

Fairmont Senior advanced to the Class AA championship game over Bluefield on Saturday.

But the Sunday Class AA semifinal game between Oak Glen and Robert C. Byrd was called off by the SSAC decision, as were the Class AAA semifinal games Sunday between South Charleston and Musselman, and Cabell Midland and Bridgeport. Those games had involved some teams from counties in higher-risk categories on the state virus map.

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