MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The annual Minnesota Football Coaches Association convention brings both the Gopher coaches and the high school coaches to one setting where they talk football, and remember why they coach the game they love.

Minnetonka Football Coach Dave Nelson says the convention covers a host of pertinent topics.

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“The technical part of the game, the techniques, new techniques that are being taught, schemes,” Nelson said. “Have a chance to listen to coaches from all over the country – what they’re doing offensively, defensively, special teams-wise.”

It is here that young coaches like Sibley East’s Chuck Hartmann can tap into resources, learn from veteran coaches and help those Friday night lights in the fall shine brighter.

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“I have learned a lot just by talking to guys who have done it,” Hartmann said. “Football coaches are a great fraternity of guys. We’re not afraid to share things with each other, even though we might be competing with each other in the playoffs.”

According to retired coach George Thole, it’s important that coaches remember that just as the game of football keeps moving, so do the kids.

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“The players are a little bit bigger. But the question I get asked is how have kids today changed,” Thole said. “All I can ever say about that is when I started, I was about 26 years old and the kids were 16 and 17 years old. When I left, I was 60 years old and they were still 16 and 17 (laughs).”

Mike Max