MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO’s Mike Max confirmed early Tuesday evening that the Minnesota State High School League will meet as early as this Friday to discuss whether or not to bring football and volleyball back this fall.

The league talked about restarting the season during a workshop Tuesday afternoon after hearing from health officials and schools.

If approved, football games would start around Oct. 2, and volleyball matches could begin two weeks later.

Both sports were pushed forward to the spring of 2021 after the MSHSL canceled sports and activities in late April following Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order to keep schools closed for the rest of the school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WCCO spoke Tuesday evening with MSHSL executive director Erich Martens.

“There’s an ongoing concern about how we make sure that we try to keep our kids as safe as possible, OK? So that’s number one, right?” Martens said. “There’s a strong feeling that our board believes that our schools have the best place for our kids to be able to have their experiences and their opportunities. And they want to be able to provide those. And it’s been a goal from the very beginning of we’re going to try to provide a season in every one of the activities that we have.”

Protesters, comprised of high school football coaches, players and families, rallied Saturday at the govenror’s residence in St. Paul to demand the sport’s return for the fall.

On Saturday, MSHSL officials gave this statement to WCCO: “There is no movement toward starting football and volleyball this fall … Highly unlikely, considering the calendar, that anything would change with [the] current fall sports plan.”

Both football and volleyball were singled out by the league in April for being sports that had a high potential of causing outbreaks.

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