MURDOCK — Not that he didn’t know it already, but Jason Fernholz has learned to be extremely flexible this season.
The Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg football coach learned Wednesday afternoon that the Fighting Saints would not be preparing for Parkers Prairie in their home opener. Instead, KMS is playing Russell-Tyler-Ruthton at 7 p.m. Friday in Tyler.
“We’ve never played them before,” said Fernholz, who began watching R-T-R video Wednesday night after preparing for Parkers Prairie all week. “I guess we’ll see which coaches stay up to watch the most video.”
At MACCRAY, the football season is on hold for two weeks and the volleyball team has lost a match Thursday. Montevideo is in its second straight week of no events.
Welcome to another strange week in high school athletics during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fernholz said he learned that Parkers Prairie was forced to pull out of its game with KMS because of positive COVID-19 cases.
R-T-R, meanwhile, was scheduled to play MACCRAY, which also has to pull out of competition because of COVID concerns.
That enabled KMS and R-T-R to get together and set up a game. Fernholz said the Fighting Saints have never played R-T-R before, which used to be a nine-man program and is now playing Class A.
“I’m just so glad we’re able to play a game,” Fernholz said.
KMS athletic director Brady DeBaere said he received a message from Parkers Prairie early Wednesday afternoon after its situation. Later in the afternoon, he heard about MACCRAY’s issue and called officials at R-T-R.
“We lost a home game, but our kids get to play,” DeBaere said. “It (scheduling during the pandemic) hasn’t been easy. I’ll say that.”
At MACCRAY, the Wolverines also had to postpone their volleyball match with Lakeview Thursday night.
MACCRAY head volleyball coach Terese Bourne said there are no positive tests in her program and that the issue was at Lakeview, which notified MACCRAY that it won’t compete in volleyball for the next two weeks.
“It’s a little bit disappointing,” said Bourne, whose team continues to practice. “We’re trying to keep everybody motivated as much as possible.”
MACCRAY’s next scheduled volleyball match is 7:15 p.m. Tuesday against Canby in Clara City.
Bourne said she hopes that the match with Lakeview can be rescheduled.
“It’s going to be difficult because we’re limited to two contests per week by the high school league,” MACCRAY athletic director Jim Trulock said.
The Wolverines’ football season, meanwhile, likely will be four games long. MACCRAY’s next scheduled game Oct. 23 against Canby also has been canceled. Head coach Rick Meyer declined to comment, referring all inquiries to Trulock.
Trulock said the school learned of one football player testing positive for COVID-19 after showing symptoms over the weekend following Friday night’s 47-6 loss to Minneota.
The varsity team is in quarantine. However, junior high and junior varsity football is still practicing and scheduled to play, Trulock said.
He emphasized that just one player has tested positive and that MACCRAY intends to play Oct. 30 at Lac qui Parle Valley after all state protocols have been met.
“I feel really bad for the coaches and kids because they really want to play,” Trulock said. “But it’s hard to argue with the protocols that are in place. They are there for kids’ safety.”
Montevideo’s sporting events remain on hold for the second straight week. The Thunder Hawks have not played in any sport the past two weeks. The football team’s next scheduled game is 7 p.m. Oct. 23 against Minnewaska in Montevideo.
The Thunder Hawks volleyball team, which also has yet to play a match, is scheduled to play at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Melrose.
The tennis team had its season cut short and the swim team also hasn’t competed in two weeks.