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As Minnesota prep fall sports resume Monday, the hope is to finish them, too

By RON HAGGSTROM, Star Tribune , 08/16/20, 9:00PM CDT


Summer training served as a valuable dry run for enacting COVID protocols as girls' and boys' soccer and cross-country join girls' tennis and swimming for the first day of high school practice.

Farmington girls' soccer captain Bailey McCuddin and teammates practiced on June 15, the first day of summer workouts for high school athletes and coaches. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • liz.flores@startribune.com

After going through sports practice routines this summer, Park of Cottage Grove athletic director Phil Kuemmel is set to take it one step further amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practice for high school fall sports gets underway Monday for girls’ swimming and tennis and boys’ and girls’ cross-country and soccer at hundreds of schools across Minnesota.

Their seasons have been shortened, with fewer games, and will conclude in October. Marquee sports football and volleyball have been moved to the spring (mid-March to mid-May) of 2021.

“I’m so excited to start the season,” Kuemmel said. “But I want to finish the season as well.”

Coaches and athletes had limited summer training that started in the middle of June, giving them a taste of COVID-19 restrictions that will guide what happens starting this week.

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Shortened fall season ahead

Without football or volleyball this fall in Minnesota and with other sports having shortened seasons, the high school regular season will be wrapped up by Oct. 17. Two more weeks for each sport have been set aside for postseason competition but no plans have been announced. The Minnesota State High School League has indicated that traditional state tournaments are unlikely.

Boys’ and girls’ soccer
First possible games: Aug. 27
Last date of regular season: Oct. 10
Season end date: Oct. 24
Maximum games: 11

Boys’ and girls’ cross-country
First possible meets: Aug. 27
Last date of regular season: Oct. 10
Season end date: Oct. 24
Maximum meets: 7
Format: Dual, triangular meets only

Girls’ tennis
First possible matches: Aug. 24
Last date of regular season: Oct. 3
Season end date: Oct. 17
Maximum meets: 11
Format: Dual matches only

Girls’ swimming and diving
First possible meets: Aug. 27
Last date of regular season: Oct. 17
Season end date: Oct. 31
Maximum meets: 11
Format: Dual meets only