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High school sports put on hold once again

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz announced new COVID-19 restrictions on Wednesday and organized youth and high school sports will be put on hold for four weeks. The last date for fall competition is Friday, Nov. 20.

All area volleyball games that were scheduled for Thursday and Friday will go on as planned. Also, the Section 2A prep football games that were scheduled for Saturday afternoon have been moved to 6 p.m. on Friday. The schedule has also changed. Minnesota Valley Lutheran will now travel to Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop and New Ulm Cathedral will travel to Bethlehem Academy.

The shortening of the season also means that the volleyball postseason, which was scheduled to start on November 30, will not be played. New Ulm High School will now play at Marshall at 6 p.m. on Friday in the Big South Conference showcase, a matchup of the top two teams in the conference.

The winter sports season was supposed to start in December, with boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ hockey, gymnastics and wrestling all scheduled to start practices in late November and early December.

It was just another busy day for area Activities Directors, including MVL’s Craig Morgan. Morgan is not only the AD at MVL, but he’s also the boys’ basketball coach.

“It sounded like it was going to be inevitable [the ending of the season], I didn’t know if the governor would let football finish or even volleyball finish down through Thanksgiving,” Morgan said. “I wasn’t planning starting on basketball next Monday, we already had a game canceled that first week in December, so it’s kind of the world we live in right now until we get the vaccine and things get under control. We’re just going to have to keep rolling with the punches in whatever we do.”

Morgan said that he’s happy that the student-athletes were able to compete this fall.

“I think everybody is grateful that they’ve gotten to play, and they’ve gotten to play during the season that they traditionally play,” Morgan said. “Although it’s been a little bit longer in that season, volleyball has gotten a chance to play, cross-country has gotten a chance to run, football kids have gotten a chance to play, they got eight games and who knows what would’ve been ahead. It was better than what we were thinking about at the beginning of September and throughout the summer. We’re just blessed that we can have this opportunity and the kids can have this opportunity.”

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