Rocori football coach James Herberg has been among the loudest voices calling on the Minnesota State High School League to reconsider its decision to postpone the 2020 football season to the spring.

"At the end of the day, the medical doctors we've spoken with at Sanford Health have said (we should play this fall)," Herberg said. "We are talking about some very legitimate doctors who have studied this, that are giving us the green light and saying it's safest to play this fall and not in the spring."

Herberg says the Sanford doctors have said that the transmission is less possible when compared to influenza and that we don't shut down sports for the flu.

"We are not talking about a serious thing for the kids," Herberg said. "I get it, these kids could spread it to other people and we want to make darn sure we don't do that, but I think having protocols and having a sports season allows the protocols to protect those people.

"Right now, without a season, these kids are out and about doing whatever they want," Herberg said.

Herberg himself participated in a protest at the Governor's Residence in St. Paul on Saturday. He said although he felt a little out of place, he thought it was important to "lead from the front."

"My voice needs to be on the forefront of this, I can't just be on social media talking about it," Herberg said. "I'm going to show and demonstrate what it means to lead, and that is why I went down there.

"I've never been to a protest ever in my life before... I felt like a sixth grader showing up for my first dance, you are jacked and excited but you don't really know what to expect," Herberg said.

Herberg says it is important for the kids to learn that their voice matters.

"It's a huge lesson that our kids are seeing first hand," Herberg said. "Sometimes asking tough questions can make you out to be a bad guy, but so be it.

"This isn't easy.. what COVID has done to our society, our state, our country our world, it's crazy. But we have to battle, ask the questions and find out what is right," Herberg said.

"I think a lot of people laugh and say 'it's just sports,' but they don't understand what actually gets taught through sports from an interscholastic standpoint," Herberg said. "There are a lot of life lessons that are taught."

Ultimately, Herberg is hoping for at least a five game schedule to take place this fall.

"Most schools are starting football practice (Monday), give us our five days this week and five days next week, then let us open up on a Saturday," Herberg said.

A Facebook group, "Let Them Play MN" has been created to further the discussion.


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