MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — High school football season is officially here, and the first practices of the season were held Monday.

And one of Minnesota’s premier programs — St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall — has a new leader.

They say that the first day of high school football practice is pretty much a holiday. But it’s a little different for Chuck Miesbauer.

“I kind of look at it like maybe being the mom on Thanksgiving who’s got to cook everything,” Miesbauer said. “You know, it’s a lot better once you finally get to sit down and play a game in a couple weeks.”

And like many thanksgiving gatherings, it begins with a prayer. Miesbauer is a Cretin-Derham Hall guy through and through. He played for the Raiders. He was a 2003 graduate. He was an assistant on the 2009 state title team. And now, he is the head coach of his alma mater.

“It’s a really humbling experience. You know, part of the hiring committee was two of the guys that were very impactful. My high school head coach was part of the committee that I had to come in and interview, and ultimately when you get an offer and it’s proposed to you in that type of way, when your old mentor … I can’t speak highly enough of him, he did the readings at my wedding. And for a guy like that to come back and say, ‘Chuck, we want you to take this and we want you to run with it because we think you can do a good job,’ all you can do is again be humbled and just try to do your best to uphold the tradition,” Miesbauer said.

But for now, back to his holiday analogy.

“Right now we’re so worried about making sure the turkey’s good and the dessert’s getting ready and all that type of stuff that sometimes we don’t take enough time to stop and enjoy, but it’s always enjoyable,” he said. “I’m a lucky guy. I get to coach football and be with these guys, so I’ll step back at the end of the day and go, ‘Man, it’s pretty cool.’”