Fall sports to continue with restrictions

Football, volleyball moved to spring season


Ryan Barnett

Senior Abby Meyer competes in a tennis match Sept. 22, 2019. Tennis, cross country, soccer and girls’ swimming will begin modified seasons Aug. 17.

Anna Benishek and Talia Lissauer

Despite being able to play club volleyball throughout the summer, senior Hannah Howell will have to wait until the newly created fourth season in March to play in the Minnesota State High School League.

“I was numb at first because so many things have been canceled that I’ve just like adjusted to it now, which is so sad. But, also super disappointed because we’ve been having open gyms. I’ve been playing club volleyball like there’s volleyball going on in a lot of places. To hear that we have to wait another season before we can have a high school season was really disappointing,” Howell said. 

The Minnesota State High School Leagues (MSHSL) board of directors voted Aug. 4 to allow cross country, soccer, girls’ tennis and girls’ swimming to begin as scheduled Aug. 17 for a season with a 30% reduction of contests and 20% shortened season. The board also voted to postpone volleyball and football to a newly created 4th season beginning in March.

Even though the seasons are shortened, athletic director Andy Ewald said he is happy that there that athletes will be able to have a modified season, while still prioritizing the health and safety of players and coaches.

“The kids that I’ve talked to are just happy that they still have a season, even though it’s different than what everybody’s been used to. Even if there’s maybe some bad feelings about it I think people can understand why the decision was made,” Ewald said.

According to senior Alex Ruiz, if fall sports are taking the correct procedures in social distancing, then it was the right decision to let them play this year.

“If it’s done right it’s the right thing to do, obviously you have to take precautions and the extra steps with things,” Ruiz said. “If we take the right precautions then we can have a good season and we can stay safe and be able to play an entire season without anyone getting the virus.”

Ewald said in order for sports to continue throughout the year, everyone has to do their part to stay safe. 

“I think everybody should do the best they can to practice safe social distancing and safe habits because that will give us the best opportunity to have sports in the 2020-2021 school year,” Ewald said. 

In the spring, some volleyball and football players may have to choose between playing high school or club sports, and multi-sport athletes may have to choose between two activities, according to Howell. 

“It will be a big issue especially with the club sports, we have multi-sport athletes … We also have club volleyball players and in the past, it’s been (that) you cannot play club volleyball during the Minnesota State High School League season, which makes more sense when the seasons don’t overlap,” Howell said.

Boys’ soccer has been communicating with the high school league to ensure that they’re taking the right steps to keep everyone free from COVID-19, Ruiz said.  

“We’re talking with the health officials and obviously the high school league to make sure that everyone stays safe and that we take everyone’s temperatures before practice,” Ruiz said. “Also maintaining social distance when we have water breaks or when we’re not on the field playing.”

Fall sports are set to begin Aug. 17.