MSHSL impacts fall sports season


Photo by Ella Metcalf

Varsity football is suited up and ready for one of their first games. Players are concentrating on one of their plays.

The Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) held a meeting on Sept. 21 regarding various concerns about how COVID will affect the 2020-2021 sports season. At this meeting, there were activists, athletes and board directors. Along with everyone at this meeting, athletes at Stillwater are affected by when and where their sports will be held. 

At the  meeting, the board highlighted how well the execution of the COVID protocols have been going. There have been no deaths/hospitalizations in people under the age of 19 due to sports.

“All schools were having success implementing the protocols and the low transition of COVID in our activities,” Blaine Novak, head of MSHSL said.

Many people thought that scouting would be different this year due to the Coronavirus although some football players think differently.

Senior Andrew Rantilla said it will not be different because the only difference this year is the season is shorter. It would actually be worse if MSHSL pushed the season to the spring because most football players would have been scouted regardless.

Not only is it important to athletes to play this fall, but it is also very important because being active promotes mental health. #Letusplay uses this as one of their main points on why fall sports should start up again. 

The most rewarding thing I’ve done, is to watch people come together.”

— Dawn Gillman

“It would be a higher risk of death if we did not do something. Based on the uprise of mental health issues, suicide, drug use, alcohol, and just kids being bored,”’ Dawn Gillam founder of #letusplay, explained.

One of the focal points of the meeting was the #letusplay movement. This is a group of people to strive to have fall sports and all sports to open up again. Gillman started this movement when she realized that local fall sports haven’t started even though all states around Minnesota have. 

“It’s been a full-time gig but it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve done, to watch people come together,” Gillam  explained.

Another important topic discussed at this meeting was if football would return to its normal fall season or move to the spring. The season stayed in the fall but the football players still are not happy with their short season. 

Rantilla wishes he had more games since it is his senior year and he wants to play as much as he can.

Before the MSHSL meeting was held, there was a workshop on Sept. 15 where the board discussed most of the topics before the meeting. One focal point discussed was the football schedule and how many games were going to be played. 

Novak said he was “extremely surprised that the motion came forth to have a six-game season as opposed to a four or five week regular season”, which makes sense because at the workshop the board discussed having and going through with a regular season.

MSHSL’s next executive meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2. At this meeting, the board will continue to come up with ways to handle COVID. If athletes continue to follow these procedures then with luck, sports will continue and eventually go back to normal. 

“Hopefully school districts across our state will continue to have low incidents of COVID transition and we can continue to provide these opportunities for all our participants,” Novak added.

Gillman founder of #letusplay: “It’s been a full-time gig but it’s been the most rewarding thing I’ve done, to watch people come together.”