MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a tentative plan in place for winter sports in Minnesota.

On Thursday, the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) voted unanimously to continue youth sports after Gov. Tim Walz’s executive order expires on Dec. 18.

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If the order expires, the winter season will start on Dec. 21. If Gov. Walz extends his shutdown, the season will start on Jan. 4.

Student-athletes want to make sure they get to play as early as possible, so many took to social media to send a message to their fellow Minnesotans, including Ryan Harvey, a junior on the Wayzata High School basketball team.

“We’re asking the people to wear masks and social distance,” Harvey said.

He’s not alone in that plea. Several Minnesota winter sports teams took to Twitter Thursday to ask everyone to #MaskUpMN, including the Winona boys Hockey team, Centennial basketball team, Mayo-Rochester girls basketball team and the Maple Grove girls basketball team.

Former Edina hockey player Sammy Walker, who now plays for the Gophers, sent out the same message to student-athletes online.

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“I think it’s important, you know, to do your part and wear your mask and just be smart with all this … so you guys can get back out on the ice and start playing games again,” Walker said.

It’s Jocelyn Sailor’s senior year on the Zimmerman dance team. She finds the decision by the state league on Thursday a promising one that they will have a winter season.

“It’s kind of one last chance to do what you love to do,” Sailor said. “It gave us a lot of hope, like there’s a chance.”

MSHSL officials say if the governor allows winter sports to happen, it will be up to every individual school and district if they want to participate or not.

Many high school sports teams have already started virtual practices over Zoom in hopes that they will have a season.

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Marielle Mohs