Soccer coach injured in Minnehaha Academy explosion back on sideline

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It was an unofficial homecoming for the Minnehaha Academy boy’s soccer team Thursday night, as they played their first home game since a deadly explosion rocked campus nearly one month ago. 

The boys were practicing August 2 when a gas explosion caused part of the school to crumble, killing two staff members.

Due to safety concerns, the team has not been allowed back on their field at the Upper School. Practice and games were moved to the Lower School, with Thursday marking their first home game of the season.

“It’s just nice being back and being settled,” said Head Coach Steven Barone. “It just felt normal—which is what we’ve been trying to keep for these players is some normalcy.”

On the sidelines was Assistant Coach Bryan Duffey. Duffey was pulled from the rubble with traumatic injuries and continues to recover from a leg amputation and head trauma.

“This stuff—all of this—is important for him in his healing just as much as it is for us,” said Barone. “It’s great to have him back.”

Duffey has requested his privacy as he returns to everyday life, but Barone said he has the same cool, calm demeanor he’s always had.

“If anybody can get through something like this, it’s Bryan,” said Barone.