Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

By Michael Barrett

Red Lake School Board votes to allow football and volleyball at Red Lake High School

Activities Director emphasized all safety measures issued by the State would be utilized


September 23, 2020

RLNN file photograph

RED LAKE, MN – At a Special School Board Meeting held on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, the Red Lake School Board voted 2-1-2 to allow a modified football and volleyball season this fall, as presented by Activities Director Nolan Desjarlait.

On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Minnesota State High School League's Board of Directors approved a reconsideration placement of fall activities, a decision that brings football and volleyball back to the fall season.

The plan, which fits within COVID-19 guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health, will have an approved football season beginning on Sept. 28 with the first of six regular season games scheduled for the week of Oct. 5.

Volleyball will begin an 11-week season on Sept. 28 and member schools may play their first matches on Oct. 8. In the framework that was approved by the board, two weeks of postseason play would begin the week of Nov. 30. Like football, member schools have had the option of participating in voluntary training sessions since Sept. 14.

In a vote on Aug. 4, the board approved postponing football and volleyball until a spring season. But on Wednesday, Sept. 16, a day after a lengthy board workshop, Novak called for a special meeting of the Board of Directors to give reconsideration of returning the two activities to their traditional fall seasons. During the workshop, MDH shared updated information on COVID-19 analytics, spread and prevention. Board members also engaged in discussion with the Return to Participation Task Force, a group formed in late July to explore participation models and options for member schools and their participants during the COVID era.

In approving the moves in August, and again on Monday, the Board of Directors used information and frameworks provided by the Return to Participation Task Force. The primary guiding principle during the process was to provide opportunities in the safest way possible in all League activities and athletics for the 2020-2021 school year. Throughout their work, the board stressed that all aspects of athletics, including practices, competitions, transportation, and facility usage must align with the requirements of the Minnesota Department of Education Return to Learning models, must follow the requirements from the Minnesota Department of Health's Guidance on Youth Sports, and must include the required actions identified in the Governor's Executive Orders.

Approving the complete calendar for the remainder of the school year will be an Action Item at the Board of Directors' next regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 1.

RLNN file photograph

Voting for allowing volleyball and football were Michael Barrett and Chris Jourdain, voting against it was Jack Desjarlait and abstaining were Robert McClain and Marcus Tyler. Board members Barb Thomas and Roy Nelson were not at the meeting.

Their first practice would start on September 28th and schedules would be announced in the following week.

The Red Lake Warriors will have three home games and three away games with possibly Wadena, Bagley, Pine River, Cass Lake, Walker and Warroad.

In other activities a presentation by representatives of Education Minnesota Red Lake involving a grievance was presented at the Third Level, the Superintendent updated the Board on district office meetings and plans, discussed an MSBA Workshop and listened to plans on St. Mary's Mission opening their school on October 5th.


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