Northland Basketball Coaches React to MSHSL’s Schedule Changes

The Minnesota State High School League voted to reduce schedules by 30% for all winter sports, including basketball.

DULUTH, Minn. – Thursday, the Minnesota State High School League voted to reduce schedules by 30% for all winter sports, including basketball. And as of now, fans won’t be allowed to attend those games, leaving some coaches concerned about what impact that will have in their teams.

“My mind has been how are we going to prepare guys to bring the juice at an extra high level? Somehow we’re going to have to build that sort of energy with our own group instead of feeding off the fans.That’s going to be the way that we go about our daily business in practice might have to change a little bit because you can say whatever you want, the fans are really what make high school basketball great,” said Duluth East boys basketball coach Rhett McDonald.

The high school basketball season was one of the first sports impacted by the pandemic back in March when the playoffs were shutdown. So coaches like Esko’s Derek Anderson have been putting a bigger emphasis on talking with their players and helping them with their concerns, too.

“Thinking back to last year, they went through quite a bit in the Esko community with the loss of a teammate on the football field and then having one of their teammates involved in a pretty serious car crash and then having their season end right away. We talked about just trying to stay focused and if they need to talk about anything, the coaching staff is there for them. Hopefully, they can come to us and talk to us if they’re having issues or problems with anything,” Anderson said.

The MSHSL’s decision did not include any information about what the playoffs will look like so that’s up in the air right now.

Categories: High School, Sports