Oak Glen Golden Bear Seniors pictured: (top row, l-r) Paxton Shuman, Nick Chaney, Gage Patterson, Hunter Patterson, Evan Geisse and Brayden Mineard (bottom row, l-r) Jeremy Taylor, Kyler O’Connor, Matt Malick, Danny Beatles, Ethan Hooker and William Minnis.
While the path to the 2020 WV State AA Football Championship came to an abrupt end on Saturday November 28, the consensus among Hancock County is that the Golden Bears are the Champs as far as the people are concerned. While the Golden Bears ended the season as the Maxpreps #1 rated West Virginia AA School, as the Hancock County COVID rating turned to Gold in the Statewide Board of Education metric on Saturday, their opponent in the playoff turned orange.
Coach Ted Arneault issued the following statement:
“I regret to inform you that the 2020 season is over due to Harrison County’s placement of orange on the WVDE (West Virginia Dept. of Education) COVID Risk Map. A short explanation for this result, is that the game was originally moved to Sunday 11/29 because of our status as orange on the map preventing the normally scheduled game which would have been on Saturday. Even though we are gold for this week, Harrison’s placement of orange effectively ends our season and theirs because we are the teams that must forfeit according these rules and the championship cannot be played on Sundays according to recently announced WV SSAC rules.
I want to highlight that our community did EVERYTHING that it was required to do to get these kids a chance to play tomorrow. What a wonderful thing to be part of such a passionate group of stakeholders. I will be eternally grateful for your support throughout the process.
It is obviously not the way we wanted the 2020 football season to end. I would like to highlight what an outstanding record of achievement this group of 2021 seniors will be leaving as their legacy:
*The first OVAC Championship since 1965.
*The first undefeated regular season in school history.
*The first consensus playoff appearance and a 4-0 record in playoff games in our home field.
I could go on for a long time – but what I would like to focus on in my closing remarks is what a tremendous group of young men these guys are. These boys are my family – and (I) am proud to have seen them grow up to be the best in adult young men. I will miss them tremendously, but know there will be an aura of greatness in their wake.
(a video of the 2020 Oak Glen Football team seniors can be accessed at: https//youtube/EINyVbc1Qk4)