By Marsha Chwalik November 5, 2020
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A Circuit Court Judge’s order in Berkeley County now means the state AAA high school boys and girls soccer tournament set for this weekend in Raleigh County may not happen.
The order was released just after 11 this morning from Circuit Court Judge Steven Redding. In it, he agrees to give the matter another day in court – November 12th.
The order read in part that “At this stage of the litigation, the Court FINDS that Ms. Beck and all other
high school soccer athletes in Berkeley County have raised a significant claim that they
are being denied equal protection under the law because the WVSSAC’s use of the
WVDE map does not take into consideration the disparity of testing availability among
the counties or the absurd reality that schools in counties with much higher infection
rates are not barred from playing in the tournament.”
“Accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED that the Petitioner is GRANTED a temporary
restraining order against the WVSSAC from conducting the state AAA girls and boys
soccer tournament. This matter will come on for hearing on Thursday, November 12,
2020, at 2:00 p.m. at the Berkeley County Judicial Center, 380 W. South St.,
Martinsburg, WV. … Should the WVSSAC continue to maintain
that the Governor, DHHR, and WVDE should be joined in this action, the WVSSAC is
granted leave to submit a proposed order joining them in this action for all further
Martinsburg High School Senior Emily Beck and her parents, attorneys Barry and Kelly Beck, presented the petition yesterday in Berkeley County. They argued that the Berkeley County teams were shut out by default because of their orange status on the state’s school metric map.
The petition claimed Berkeley County athletes were denied equal protection under the law because they had not had access to the amount of testing other counties had.
Barry Beck tells The Panhandle News Network the order will stand unless the WVSSAC appeals and the order is overturned.