Northland Football Coaches React to Postponement of High School Season
Schedules will be adjusted as the new "fourth season" will take place from mid-March to mid-May.
DULUTH, Minn. – Northland high school football head coaches shared a similar feeling to the MSHSL’s announcement that the season is postponed to the spring. We hear from Hermantown’s Mike Zagelmeyer, Cloquet’s Tom Lenarz and Grand Rapids’s Greg Spahn as they’ll have to wait a bit longer before their season kicks off.
“There were a lot of tough decisions that had to be made today. I don’t agree with them, but I understand where they’re coming from. I understand the predicament that they’re in. But boy it’s frustrating,” said Zagelmeyer.
“I’ve had a couple of messages from some of the kids. They’re really disappointed and a little bit angry, because they’re kids and that’s kind of a natural response so I get that,” Lenarz said.
“The initial reaction that I got from most of our players was ‘OK now we’re playing in the spring’ and the hope and the anticipation of a season, regardless of when it is, I think it’s an incredibly powerful thing,” said Spahn.
The vote to play football in the fall was defeated 12-6, as many of the board members felt it wouldn’t be safe and the chance to play a state tournament was highly unlikely. But the league did vote to allow teams to practice during the fall, which the coaches agree will be huge for their players.
“We’re going to be creative in our approach to it. Why not start an intramural 7-on-7 league and get more kids that weren’t playing football playing football? We’ve got a beautiful new turf field. Alright, let’s use it,” Spahn said.
“Coaching in athletics is about contact with kids. It’s about those relationships that you have with the youth and that’s still going to be a huge factor” said Zagelmeyer.
“It’s easy to be positive when things are going good. So this is definitely a kick in the pants and we got to find a way to respond to adversity,” said Lenarz.
Schedules will be adjusted as the new “fourth season” will take place from mid-March to mid-May. Other changes to the schedule include fewer games and weeks and no scrimmages.