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Area ADs, coaches excited for fall season

NEW ULM — “I am excited and I do not know what football coach would not be,” said New Ulm High School head football coach Erik Kaufmann upon hearing that the Minnesota State High School League approved fall sports seasons for both football and volleyball. Football practice can begin on Monday, with volleyball practice also beginning Monday.

First football games are scheduled to be on Oct. 9 with volleyball starting games on Oct. 8.

Football is looking at a six game season with a post-season playoff determined by Oct. 1. Playoff football will end on Nov. 28.

Volleyball will have an 11 game schedule.

Football is probably looking at a crowd restriction of 250 per game while volleyball — because it is played inside — will have no fans allowed at games and only essential personnel allowed at games.

This decision also pushes spring sports back into their regular season instead of early summer.

“Other sports have been playing this fall (soccer, tennis and cross country) so it was nice to see that the (MSHSL) was going to allow this,” said Kaufmann. “Even though the (MSHSL) says we can play, some schools because of distance learning or if the school says we do not feel comfortable playing, they will not play. No one says you have to do it. Our Activities Director (Troy Guentzel) seemed excited about it.”

Kaufmann said that Guenzel is going to a district football meeting Tuesday to piece together a schedule.

“There is going to be a lot of things happening this week with protocol, number of fans allowed in the stands,” sad Kaufmann “There will be busing restrictions and no locker room situations so there are a lot of things involved with just playing. We do not know what that is going to look like yet.”

“There are a lot of concerns with this whole deal (COVID19) and we do not know what is going to happen. We have not had any huge problems with anything.”

And with football starting up, the Activity Directors are going to be burning the midnight oil when schedules are finalized trying to find officials for games.

“I am happy and excited for the kids,” said Minnesota Valley Lutheran Activities Director Craig Morgan. “This was a great bit of news for them. Right now my biggest concern is getting my coaches and their staff ready to go. They have a week and they have been in these training sessions. It is another mentality in getting our locker rooms right. Then I will see a schedule.”

“If a school has to go to state mandated distance learning they have to sit out two weeks and the kids have to their at-home training.”

Cathedral Activities Director Alan Woitas said he is waiting “on a little bit of guidance from the (MSHSL) as far as what dates are and when playoff will start and what they will look like. We probably will not know until the end of this week or early next week what the final schedule will be. Hopefully as soon as possible because there is a lot of work to do. Our district has already put together a proposed schedule.”

Cathedral football coach Denny Lux said that hearing that football was starting ” seemed to feel more normal now. We all know that things can change from day to day. In Minnesota things are spiking a little bit. But they have given us the OK so we are going to practice for two weeks and then play that first game.”

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