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MSHSL decision to return football and volleyball to fall a tricky situation for St. James teams

Sean Ellertson

On Monday, the Minnesota State High School League board announced that volleyball, and later in the day football, would be moved back to the fall, after previously being pushed to the spring.

"Obviously I'm excited that we might have the opportunity to play," said volleyball head coach Jodi Geistfeld. "On the other hand, I guess you could say I'm a little pessimistic that we're going to get all 14 games in."

While the decision allows for football and volleyball competitions to start, Watonwan County's COVID-19 rate may play a factor in how much of a season each team will have.

Every two weeks, Watonwan County Public Health releases the per 10,000 people COVID-19 positive test results.

In the last release, last Thursday, Watonwan County registered a 43.74, a .92 decrease from last week.

Any school that goes above 50 will be mandated to go to full-time distance learning, which would put a pause on the season.

On Monday, St. James Public Schools administration announced that St. James Middle School/High School would be going to full distance learning before a mandate came from the state.

This allows St. James to continue athletics for the time being.

"We told the girls yesterday that professional teams are in their bubbles and they're going to have to create on with the volleyball team."

Geistfeld also advised her team to stay smart and continue to wear their mask.

"It's going to depend on them if they want to finish their season."

For the St. James football program, the original move to the spring gave Jon Wilson and his staff time to prepare and put a team together to play some varsity games.

With the MSHSL's decision, Wilson's club only has a couple of weeks before kicking off a varsity schedule.

"It's a fairly competitive schedule, but also some tougher teams for us," said coach Adam Schroeder.

The Saints kick-off their season on October 9th against New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.

NRHEG beat the Saints 55-6 a year ago.