MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Believe it or not, high school football season is already here for many programs.

The official start of practice is a week away, but 22 schools get an extra week of practice because they play their first game a week early, on Aug. 23.

It’s called “Zero Week,” and Edina coach Reed Boltmann says it’s a good fit for his team.

“Zero Week, for us, works because our bye is kind of, I think, at the right time of the year for us,” Boltmann said.

For a school like Edina, the head start is the first step to what they hope is another strong finish.

“First time we’ve been to state in 30 years was last year, and we’re trying to live up to that and get back to that level,” he said.

Edina linebacker/fullback Colin Ritter says the extra work helps.

“In the Lake Conference, the more practices the better,” Ritter said.

A quick shot up Highway 100, St. Louis Park is starting from the opposite end of the standings after finishing last in the North Suburban Conference last season. They’re hoping Monday is the beginning of the year they’ll turn it around.

New SLP Orioles coach Ben Wolfe says they have been looking forward to Aug. 5 for some time now.

“For us, we feel like it is a benefit,” Wolfe said. “We get out here a little bit earlier, we get that bye week a couple weeks in so we get a little more time to evaluate ourselves after our first game.”

SLP quarterback Quinn Livdahl says all and all, Zero Week pays off.

“I think it’s a huge advantage because it’s more time. More time to learn,” Livdahl said.

Here’s the Week Zero game schedule, from the MSHSL:

Chatfield at Caledonia, 7 p.m.
Edina at Holy Angels, 7 p.m.
Hayfield at Goodhue, 7 p.m.
Hopkins at Chaska, 7 p.m.
Hudson, Wis., at Minnetonka, 7 p.m.
Jackson County Central at St. Louis Park, 7 p.m.
Kingsland at Wabasha-Kellogg, 7 p.m.
New Ulm at Luverne, 7 p.m.
Pipestone at St. James, 7 p.m.
Rushford-Peterson at Southland, 7 p.m.
Spectrum vs. St. Agnes at Concordia University, St. Paul, 7:30 p.m.