Minnesota governor points to youth sports ‘suspension’ affecting football playoffs

Tim Walls will announce new restrictions on youth sports on Wednesday, which could result in a “suspension” for all youth sports and the cancellation of the MSHSL football playoffs.

At a news conference on Tuesday, Walls telegraphed that he would order a “pause” in youth sports in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Monday, Epidemiologist Chris Ehresman says 10 percent of cases in Minnesota schools are sports-related.. Last week, two schools went to distance education due to exposure in sports. Authorities say there were 35 explosions in football, 46 in hockey and 25 in basketball.

When asked if high school football playoffs would be canceled, he said people should “expect it”. MSHSL spokesman John Millia said on Twitter that Tuesday could be the final day of the football and volleyball playoffs, if not the season.

Valls added that there will be suspensions in youth sports, which he describes as “broad” in a lot of sports.

“I understand the game and the interest around it,” Valls said. “But it’s bigger than that, and it’s a lot of problems we have to solve.”

Fox 9 will contain full information about Wednesday’s announcement and its meaning. Check back on FOX 9 and FOX9.com for the latest details.

An athlete, parent and administrator react

Brandi Jenk, Blaine’s mother of five athletes, pleaded with the governor and state health officials not to stop youth sports. Her daughter Morgan Zenk is about to start the hockey season and all of her kids are in home distance learning.

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“Stand up for our kids,” Brandi said. “They need it. They need this time to be with their friends. They need this time to be active and better.”

“My team means a lot to me,” Morgan said. “It’s always been a fun experience with them, and my teammates would never be the same without coming to the ring and playing hockey. It would be so sad if I did not come to see them.”

Don Johnson is the Acting Director at Hopkins High School. Recently a student on his football team had an athletic test virus that drove them out of those playoffs with isolated guidelines.

“I think everyone understands that we see some increase in numbers. You can not act as if it did not happen without this. This is a real thing, we are going to do everything we can to keep people safe.”

“I feel without hockey, I wouldn’t be anywhere,” Morgan said. “I’ll be stuck at home doing nothing.”

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