Sports rallies, defeats covid

All was quiet at the Tracy Area High School football field on Friday, Sept. 11, when the Panthers were scheduled to entertain New Ulm Cathedral. That was back when the football season was pushed to the spring — a decision that was reversed Monday. Photo / Per Peterson

MSHSL votes to reinstate football, volleyball for the fall; sports will be played under MDH guidelines

By Per Peterson

High school quarterbacks will soon be going back under center.

The Minnesota State High School League on Monday voted during a special meeting to reinstate both the football and volleyball seasons this fall.

“Just a sense of normalcy will be nice,” said TMB football coach Jason Kainz. “I wasn’t gonna be upset if they kept it at March, we would just have to deal with it. I told the kids not to get their hopes up — we’ll practice now and get ready for March. But it will be nice to play this fall.”

The Panthers started football practice last week, starting with helmets only Tuesday and helmets and shoulder pads later in the week. Not all teams in the state decided to hold practices, thinking that the football season wouldn’t begin until March, but TMB decided to move ahead with practices.

And with the practices that the football team has been able to take part in to date in lieu of a regular season Kainz feels his team is ready to go.

“We were ready for this decision to be made as a coaching staff,” Kainz said. “We haven’t done any special teams, but our whole offense — we were way ahead of last year because we had put in a new offense last year. We changed a lot of the terminology to go no-huddle. We’re farther ahead right now than where we were last year. Our camp went really well this summer, so that helped.”

It’s unclear what exactly the next week will look like for both the football and volleyball teams, but coaches will get more clarification as the week goes on.

TMB volleyball coach Rick Haberman said both he and his players are very excited to see volleyball be reinstated.

“We’re very, very excited to be back,” he said. “Overall, I feel this is the best for all sports, because now spring sports won’t be pushed into the summer.”

Haberman said it was nice to finally be able to deliver some good news to his players.

“I just think it’s really a boost to high school kids all over the state of Minnesota,” he said. “They’ve been looking for some good news, and we haven’t been able to give them much the last six to seven months.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.