The week of Monday, November 16 brought a definitive end to the fall sports campaign. The day after that Tuesday’s initial playoff football games, Governor Tim Walz put a four-week pause on high school sports starting Saturday the 21st, per a rise in COVID cases across the state. Volleyball’s regular and post seasons went up in smoke. Teams that could, played their last matches Thursday the 19th and Friday the 20th. COVID-idle squads saw their seasons quietly end. The football post-season (already out of whack due to teams not participating per COVID) had to be altered to be completed. Randolph beat Goodhue in a Tuesday 1A semifinal (as only three teams participated), but the “Final”contest with Blooming Prairie was moved to Friday so it could happen. Triton beat Kenyon-Wanamingo in a Tuesday 1AA “semifinal” (again only three teams). They moved on to face Chatfield in another Friday “Section Final.” Then Triton’s team had COVID issues. The game was cancelled on Thursday. In Section 1 9-Man, where the most teams remained, things changed the most. L-O beat M-C, SG beat Houston, and Lanesboro beat Kingsland in Tuesday quarterfinals (see below). Grand Meadow had a bye. Since the playoffs needed to end by Friday, the quarterfinal’s top seeded winner, 2-seed Lanesboro, was moved on to face 1-seed GM, for the “Section Final” without a semifinal round. Quarterfinal winners, 3-seed L-O and 4-seed SG, then met to play a “third place” game. Technically “Section Title” games existed, but most sections were less than full participation. At least there was a season, albeit one that will be asterisked because of COVID.
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