Sitting in a packed Mayo Civic Center on Thursday, March 12, I could not imagine how the pandemic would change virtually every aspect of our lives. Now I can't even guess as to the next time there will be a packed arena for a sports event.

The Blooming Prairie boys basketball team won the Section 1A title that night. There was an inkling that the state tournament would not take place the following week. Still, the suddenness that the sports world came to a halt was quite a shock. The girls basketball tournament was in progress at the time. KDHL broadcaster Gordy Kosfeld arrived Friday morning, March 13 to Williams Arena to find the doors barred shut.

As prep athletes waited for word on the spring sports season, the Be The Light MN movement was held across the state. Stadiums and fields were lit up in honor of student-athletes missing out on the activities they love. The spring sports season was canceled. Summer baseball was held on a limited basis.

High school fall sports were restricted as well. Teams played shorter schedules, and were lucky if they got in all of their events. Spectator attendance was strictly limited and masks were common in the bleachers and on the team benches. Section tournaments were held for all sports except volleyball. No high school tournaments were staged.

Recent announcements from the Minnesota State High School League include plans for state tournaments in 2021.

The pandemic caused the cancelation of the annual Corky's Early Bird Men's Softball Tournament and numerous local running events that raise money for a variety of causes.

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Also read: Owatonna lost a pair of local legends in 2020, Many local champions were crowned before the pandemic began, High school sports will resume January 14

 

2020 in Local Sports: Champs All Around

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