MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) has announced soccer, swimming and diving, cross-country, and tennis may proceed with in-person practices on August 17th.
The focus now surrounds the administrative and coaches side, as teams begins to sculpt their schedules to abide by the MSHSL fall season requirements.
One point of emphasis from the high school league is, minimizing travel.
“That’s all a consideration right now. Our (athletic directors) are going to have to sit down and go through schedules and trim out stuff that’s outside of what they say is too far,” head coach of the Mankato West Scarlets girls soccer team Crissy Makela said.
In addition to travel, there will be a 30-percent reduction in games and competitions, making this season a scheduling doozy.
“Although, it’s a 30-percent reduction in games, we might lose more than that if our schedules just don’t fit for us to be playing against other opponents in the widow that we have,” Makela said.
Despite the challenges and risks, coaches agree this season is worth it.
“Sports has always been or should always be an extension of the classroom. Kids should be able to take some of the same skills they’re learning in school - collaboration, respect - and then to bring those out to the field,” Makela said.
“Even if it is a little bit different, you know what, it’s ok. I rather have this than nothing at all. This is a great step, we can get these athletes out there competing - especially those who missed last spring,” head coach of Mankato Loyola/Cleveland high school cross country Dale Compton said.
As for athletes who plan to take their talents beyond high school, coaches are aiding in the recruiting process.
“We still are going to plan on recording games and putting those videos in huddle and then our athletes can always make highlight videos and send them to college coaches. It’s probably one of the few recruiting tools that college coaches will have this year,” Makela said.
“We can control what we can control. There’s certain things we’re unable to control, so we’ll just to the best we can with what we’re given,” Compton said.
Unknowns remain, as Minnesotans await for districts across the state to decide their final plans for fall instruction.