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Football is back... but not everyone is invited

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Football is back in Monticello and Big Lake, but it comes with rules and regulations to follow.

As many of you have likely heard by now, the Minnesota State High School League ruled recently that high school football can be played this fall.

Monticello and Big Lake Activities Directors Gary Revenig and Logan Midthun met and discussed the necessary precautions that need to be taken by students, staff, parents, and fans in order to make this sports season a success and to keep people safe.

“To ensure that our student athletes have the chance to play their entire season as they deserve, it is critically important that we follow all guidelines as a community,” Revenig said.

For outdoor events, state guidelines require that Monticello and Big Lake High Schools have a maximum of 250 spectators attending a game.

To allow family members from each team to watch and support their children, that means the football team will have 150 tickets to delegate for every home game and 100 tickets to delegate for every away game.

The Monticello football team will be carrying 50 players on the varsity roster this year. Each player will get two tickets per game that they will be able to give to two people of their choosing.

That information will be entered and tracked via district spreadsheets in order to help with contact tracing and proper protocols should any COVID-19 related incidents take place at an event.

Families will be asked to pay up front for their allotment of season tickets, with payment due by Thursday, Oct. 8.

Player tickets will take up our entire allotment for away games, but will leave 50 tickets remaining to Monticello’s three home games. For those games, Revenig said that he will be making tickets available to just the senior class at Monticello High School.

“We are saddened that we cannot welcome all of the community members who have always provided incredible support to our program to the field this year, but we felt it necessary to prioritize our students and families and to give them the best experience we possibly can in the midst of these trying circumstances,” Revenig said.

Because of the ticket allotment Revenig wanted to stress the importance of keeping the stadium and surrounding area to that number. People will not be allowed to tailgate and spend any time in the Monticello High School parking lot while the football game is taking place.

There will also be no concessions so to ensure social distancing. Masks will need to be worn into the stadium, but can be taken off while seated in the bleachers and enjoying the game.

Fans will also be asked to leave after the game concludes and to not congregate in the parking lot.

“Due to state guidelines and in the interest of keeping our students, families, and community safe, we also absolutely will not be able to allow fans to watch from outside of the stadium,” Revenig said. “We ask that all students, staff, and community members respect this request to help ensure that our student athletes have the chance to do what they love.”

The Monticello football team plays on Friday, Oct. 9 on their home field against Sauk Rapids-Rice at 7 p.m.

The Big Lake football team plays on Friday, Oct. 9 on their home field against Rocori at 7 p.m.

Reach Jessie Meyen at jessie.meyen@apgecm.com

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