Carefully, Minnesota high school athletes return to the field

More high school athletes are now getting a chance to play this season.

The Minnesota State High School League reversed its decision and is now allowing volleyball and football this fall. The seasons may be shorter, but students are excited to go out and play.    

Football practice at Harding High School in St. Paul starts off with a lot of questions and a quick sanitation.

“We’re checking guys in with a health questionnaire, and spraying hands in, spraying hands out,” said Coach Otto Kraus.

Coach Kraus said he’s excited to have the season on the horizon, as their first game is less than two weeks away. He’s also making sure his players know it’s about more than just the game this year.

“We just have to try to keep each other safe, and if we want this opportunity, these are the things we have to do to get it.”

Players said they’ll do what it takes to stay on the field. 

“I understand that as a team that gets to play, we have to do these things, and I sort of warmed up to it so I don’t mind it as much,” player Emmanuel Hawkins said.

Even with the COVID-19 cautions, players are just glad it’s actually happening. 

“I was just hoping and hoping and wishing they would let us play this season, and they finally did,” player Elias Henry said. 

Meanwhile, in the field house, the volleyball team is having their first practice of the season.

“I’m stuck in the house all day. I finally get to see people and interact and stuff, so it’s great,” player Kelly Logan said.

Their first game is a week from Friday - a quick turnaround after weeks of uncertainty.

“All of a sudden they’re like, ‘Monday we’re going to start and next week we have a game,’ and I’m like ‘what?’ We are not ready, but we’ll make the best out of it,” player Alisia Lemmons said.