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Tonight’s Park-Brooke game off due to COVID

Every year since 1976, Brooke and Wheeling Park have met on the football field. Actually, there have been several times when the rivals met twice.

Like so many other things, that streak will end because of COVID-19.

Citing the growing number of coronavirus cases in Ohio County, Brooke informed Wheeling Park late Thursday afternoon that it was opting to cancel its game with the Patriots, which had been scheduled for today at Brooke Memorial Stadium in Wellsburg.

Brooke head coach Mac McLean responded via text that he was unable to speak about the decision until the school issues a release, which is expected to occur today.

Wheeling Park head coach Chris Daugherty had heard possibility of the game being called off but didn’t receive confirmation of the news until he saw it on social media.

“I would be less upset if I had seen this (decision) across the board (in all sports) that Brooke was electing not to send any of its teams or athletes to Ohio County,” Daugherty said, citing the fact that the Bruins cross country team competed in the AAA regional meet at Wheeling Park on Thursday. “I am frustrated, but I just wish this had been the standard for all sports. At the end of the day, we’re green (according to West Virginia’s COVID-19 map).”

Beyond the level of frustration about this season, Daugherty is disappointed that the rivalry won’t be contested.

“With all of the consolidations in West Virginia, we don’t have that Martins Ferry and Bellaire type rivalry in terms of its length, but when you’ve played a team every year since 1976, that’s a long time in the age of consolidations,” Daugherty said. “So, to see this game not be played this year, in this situation, is sad.”

Wheeling Park, which is sitting at at 6-1 on the season, doesn’t plan on picking up a game for this weekend, according to Daugherty. It is scheduled to visit Parkersburg South next week, while Brooke is slated to host Weir High.

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