SARTELL -- Practice for fall sports is underway and while things look a little different, high school athletes are excited to get back to work.

Earlier this month, the Minnesota State High School League approved letting "low risk" sports such as tennis, cross country, soccer and swimming/diving continue as scheduled, while football and volleyball were pushed back to the spring.

Ryan Hauge is the Activities Director for Sartell-St. Stephen. He says while there's been a lot of changes in how each sport can operate, athletes and coaches have handled it well.

There is a lot of new things, but kids and coaches have been awesome. I think everyone wants to get back to some sense of normalcy so people have been doing what the guidance is even though that may be difficult.

Hauge says their numbers for fall athletics this year have looked better than in years past for some sports.

He says despite not having football or volleyball this fall, this is an opportunity to highlight other talented athletes.

We have a lot of other great athletes that are not football or volleyball players. It's going to be fun seeing them showcased a little bit, because we have some talented kids in all of our sports.

He says as far as competition goes, they will compete only with other Central Lakes Conference schools to make it easier for contract tracing should a student test positive for COVID-19.

Hauge says they are still working on the logistics on how allow fans to watch the games. Per the state high school rules, only 250 people are allow at any sports venue.

In addition, Hauge says there will be a short training camp in September for football and volleyball players where both teams can have up to 12 practices. Spring sports will also be allowed to have a short fall training camp to make up for not having a season last year.

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