Why is the MN State High School League Still Banning Fall Football?

Covid-19 precautions have been added to the playbook, but the Vikings have kicked off their season. The Big Ten just cleared the Gophers and other teams’ return to the playing field before long.

But the Minnesota State High School League continues to sideline thousands of high school football players who want to know why they’re being penalized while the pros, college and prep teams elsewhere are already lining up against each other on the field.

The MSHSL brain trust has granted just one exemption to its ban on fall football, a dispensation given to a dozen rural kids in western Minnesota. The students were allowed to keep their commitment to play on a nine-man team for Campbell-Tintah High School in Fairmount just across the North Dakota border, joining teammates on the unusual squad cobbled together from other small towns in the tri-state area.

The enthusiasm on the part of players and parents coming through the Inforum report on the Campbell-Tintah team might serve as a wake-up call to the MSHSL.

“It used to be all about wins and losses and right now it’s just so thankful that the kids can play and hopefully it can keep going. Even if we can get the full regular season, I know everyone wants playoffs, but even if we could get the full eight games in it would be great,” said parent Shawn Carl.

This year though it’s not about what the stat sheet reads, it’s the fact that the Tigers’ season is even happening with its full roster.

“This is it, no other option, nobody else is actually playing football,” said Tri-State Head Coach Fernando Reese.

The high school league appears to be reconsidering its postponement of the 2020 season, hinting at a big announcement at a meeting next week. If they have any doubts, they might want to check out what one of the lone twelve prep players authorized by the league to play high school football this fall have to say.

“It’s special that we get to play this year. I have friends in Minnesota that don’t get to play, they have to wait until spring to play. It just won’t have the meaning to play in the spring like it does in the fall. They wish they could come here and play with us but they can’t,” said Taylor.