Prep football season was a slice of normal

Minnesota high school football players saw an abbreviated schedule and later start during the coronavirus pandemic. But from the first kickoffs on Oct. 9 to the last on Nov. 20, football offered players, coaches, parents and fans a little slice of normal. (Top photo by Aaron Lavinsky)

Centennial high school students Avery Unger, top, and Cedrick Tubalado, Caitlin Willenbring, Belle Huss and Nikki Thaemlitz cheered as their team scored a touchdown against Champlin Park on Friday, Oct. 9, in Circle Pines. They watched the game outside the stadium due to the limits on spectators. "I'll have $7 to spare," said Tubalado on the upside of their predicament.
Minneapolis North players took a knee during the national anthem before a game against Fridley on Friday, Nov. 6.
Fridley fans sat in socially distanced clusters in the stands during a game between Fridley and Minneapolis North on Friday, Nov. 6, in Fridley.
Linesman Jason Vogt, referee Andrew Aller, umpire Brian Grandstand, back judge Dan Sigl, and line judge David Rivera prepare for a football game between Hopkins and Apple Valley on Friday, Oct. 9.
Proctor High School running back Dane Oman (20) and lineman Dax Baney (65) waited in silence for the bus that would take them to their satellite field for the game against Cloquet on Friday, Oct. 23. Proctor lost 58-13.
Prior Lake wide receiver Joseph Krouse (23) tumbled into the end zone for a touchdown as Lakeville South linebacker Zach Juckel (85) and Camden Dean (12) were late to the tackle on Friday, Oct. 23, at Prior Lake High School in Savage.
St. Michael-Albertville quarterback Jack Drobinski (17) fumbled the ball in the fourth quarter against Eden Prairie on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at Eden Prairie.
Blaine's Dylan Muyers missed a catch, and pass interference was called on Maple Grove's Micha Vayee during the second half of their game on on Thursday, Oct. 15, at Maple Grove High School.
Steam rose from the head of Robbinsdale Cooper�s Elvin North (26) on the sideline during the fourth quarter against Copper on Friday, Oct. 16, in New Hope.
Osseo High School linebacker Michael Azure and teammates practiced outside in the heavy snow in preparation for their Friday night game against Totino-Grace, Tuesday, Oct. 20 in Maple Grove.
Members of the Osseo team practiced outside in the heavy snow in preparation for their Friday night game against Totino-Grace, Tuesday, Oct. 20 in Maple Grove.
Humboldt High School lineman Sam Smith sat on the bus with teammates before a game against Como Park on Thursday, Oct. 29, in St. Paul.
Minnetonka cheerleaders warmed up before a football game between Minnetonka and Eden Prairie on Friday, Oct. 9, at Minnetonka at Minnetonka High School.
The Proctor High School football team walked out onto the field play Cloquet on Friday, Oct. 23.
Rosemount's Christian Graske (7) paused after he walked into the end zone untouched after a seven yard run in the third quarter against Woodbury on Monday, Oct. 26, in Rosemount. The touchdown proved to be the winning score in a 9-7 contest.
Champlin Park wide receiver Evan Hammonds (10) was unable to catch a pass for a touchdown in the second quarter against White Bear Lake in a Class 6A football playoff game on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Champlin.
St. Thomas place kicker Seth Moore (97) reacted after missing a field goal in the third overtime against Mahtomedi on Friday, Oct. 23 in Mendota Heights.
Teammates celebrated with Robbinsdale Cooper cornerback Ramon Arrington (10) after his first quarter interception against Orono on Friday, Oct. 16 in New Hope.
Lakeville South linebacker Alex Vazquez, left, and quarterback Camden Dean celebrated their team's win against St. Michael-Albertville on Friday, Nov. 20 in Lakeville.
Champlin Park offensive lineman Amos Guar (72) walked towards the parking lot after a game against White Bear Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 17, in Champlin.