2023 MN High School Football season

short ornery norwegian

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with the HS FB season coming up, thought I would get a thread going.

Conditioning Practice begins August 14th - but (I assume) teams with Zero-week games start a week earlier. I'm aware of Zero Week games being played on Thurs, Aug 24 and Fri, Aug 25 in SW MN.

and now for this: MSHSL Board of Directors met Aug 1 and some football-related items were considered.

District Football Policy
The Board of Directors approved the District Football Policy, which includes updating reference language of 9-Man to 9-Player and the number and naming of districts and sub-districts.

State Tournament Seeding
During the Executive Committee report, the Board of Directors approved the creation of a sub-committee consisting of 6-10 individuals to work with League Staff in exploring a seeding process for bracketed team state tournaments.

Football State Tournament, Semifinal Seeding
League Staff shared information on a coaches association recommendation to seed the football semifinals Nos. 1-4 in all football classes except Class AAAAAA.

---it isn't 100% clear from the summary of the meeting, but I assume the Football seeding recommendation is included in the State Tournament Seeding discussion, because FB is a "bracketed team state tournament."

---I am not calling 9-man "9-player" - ain't gonna do it.

--good luck and good health to all HS FB teams this Fall.
 

Some guy

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with the HS FB season coming up, thought I would get a thread going.

Conditioning Practice begins August 14th - but (I assume) teams with Zero-week games start a week earlier. I'm aware of Zero Week games being played on Thurs, Aug 24 and Fri, Aug 25 in SW MN.

and now for this: MSHSL Board of Directors met Aug 1 and some football-related items were considered.

District Football Policy
The Board of Directors approved the District Football Policy, which includes updating reference language of 9-Man to 9-Player and the number and naming of districts and sub-districts.

State Tournament Seeding
During the Executive Committee report, the Board of Directors approved the creation of a sub-committee consisting of 6-10 individuals to work with League Staff in exploring a seeding process for bracketed team state tournaments.

Football State Tournament, Semifinal Seeding
League Staff shared information on a coaches association recommendation to seed the football semifinals Nos. 1-4 in all football classes except Class AAAAAA.

---it isn't 100% clear from the summary of the meeting, but I assume the Football seeding recommendation is included in the State Tournament Seeding discussion, because FB is a "bracketed team state tournament."

---I am not calling 9-man "9-player" - ain't gonna do it.

--good luck and good health to all HS FB teams this Fall.
😂 agreed
 

Ope3

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I'm sure this is not unique, but looking at the actual dates and times of games of the High School team I follow, it's disappointing the number of non-Friday games has increased. They only play 4 traditional Friday Night Lights games this year. Others are Thur Night Opener, 2 Saturdays and MEA Wednesday.

Bummer that the Gophers conflict with 3 of the games.

I'm sure it has to do with referee shortages.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I'm sure this is not unique, but looking at the actual dates and times of games of the High School team I follow, it's disappointing the number of non-Friday games has increased. They only play 4 traditional Friday Night Lights games this year. Others are Thur Night Opener, 2 Saturdays and MEA Wednesday.

Bummer that the Gophers conflict with 3 of the games.

I'm sure it has to do with referee shortages.

I think it is a combination of referee problems and scheduling issues with an odd number of teams in a sub-district. In SW MN, two teams that I follow are playing Zero Week games on Thurs, Aug 24 and Fri, Aug 25. (Spring Grove at Mt Lake Area - matchup of two traditionally strong 9-man - excuse me, 9-player - teams.)

teams in Mt Lake's sub-district have games on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and the MEA game, also.

looking at some of the larger schools in SW MN (class 2A & 3A) there are fewer Thursday and Saturday games - most are on Friday.

I will also note that some schools in my area choose to play on Thursday in week #7 to get an extra day of rest before the MEA Wednesday game. they've been doing that for several years.
 

Some guy

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I'm sure this is not unique, but looking at the actual dates and times of games of the High School team I follow, it's disappointing the number of non-Friday games has increased. They only play 4 traditional Friday Night Lights games this year. Others are Thur Night Opener, 2 Saturdays and MEA Wednesday.

Bummer that the Gophers conflict with 3 of the games.
Also hate conflicts. I’m fortunate to only have one conflict this year.

Nobody cares but it’s why I’m in favor of only Saturday college games. Mike Gundy said something about this in his comments the other day.
College football can’t be healthy if high school football isn’t healthy. And the nfl should take note because the same holds true for them.
I'm sure it has to do with referee shortages.
100%
But maybe 95%

Some schools are choosing to be the solution to the officials shortage because Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon, and Thursday night have fewer student behavior issues than Friday night games. There were multiple major behavioral incidents at high school games last year. Often times not involving anyone from the school. A segment of society is just showing up to stuff to cause chaos
 


MaxyJR1

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Also hate conflicts. I’m fortunate to only have one conflict this year.

Nobody cares but it’s why I’m in favor of only Saturday college games. Mike Gundy said something about this in his comments the other day.
College football can’t be healthy if high school football isn’t healthy. And the nfl should take note because the same holds true for them.

100%
But maybe 95%

Some schools are choosing to be the solution to the officials shortage because Friday afternoon, Saturday afternoon, and Thursday night have fewer student behavior issues than Friday night games. There were multiple major behavioral incidents at high school games last year. Often times not involving anyone from the school. A segment of society is just showing up to stuff to cause chaos
Agree that is started as a referee problem and schools started to see other benefits of not playing on Friday nights. (Getting volunteers, staffing the game, security, etc.) Schools have also found it better to have homecoming game on Thursday and the dance on a Friday instead of Saturday.

Each district or conference is asked to play one week of non-Friday games to alleviate the official's problem.

Our 6A team has a Thursday night opener, week 7 is a Thursday night, and week 8 is a 1pm Thursday of MEA game. Home games are all Friday's this year.

I have a varsity player this year so I can't make the Nebraska game due to conflict. Also, the first year in over 20 years that I won't be officiating. Don't know if I'll ever go back to it.
 

Some guy

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Agree that is started as a referee problem and schools started to see other benefits of not playing on Friday nights. (Getting volunteers, staffing the game, security, etc.) Schools have also found it better to have homecoming game on Thursday and the dance on a Friday instead of Saturday.

Each district or conference is asked to play one week of non-Friday games to alleviate the official's problem.

Our 6A team has a Thursday night opener, week 7 is a Thursday night, and week 8 is a 1pm Thursday of MEA game. Home games are all Friday's this year.

I have a varsity player this year so I can't make the Nebraska game due to conflict. Also, the first year in over 20 years that I won't be officiating. Don't know if I'll ever go back to it.
Need to pay officials a lot more.
Might not make you go back, but would entice some people in their early 20s to ref and hopefully rebuild it for a generation.

There is this big ref shortage but I think part of the MSHSL problem is that they’re treating it like a ref shortage when in reality it is just basically the same labor shortages all segments of society is seeing.
Being nicer to refs might gain you a ref on the margin, but the issue is structural
 

MaxyJR1

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Need to pay officials a lot more.
Might not make you go back, but would entice some people in their early 20s to ref and hopefully rebuild it for a generation.

There is this big ref shortage but I think part of the MSHSL problem is that they’re treating it like a ref shortage when in reality it is just basically the same labor shortages all segments of society is seeing.
Being nicer to refs might gain you a ref on the margin, but the issue is structural
My kid realized that he could make $40 an hour reffing flag football instead of working a variable PT job. He'd have to work 169 hours at $17 to make what he made in 72 hours. However he was willing to give up 12 Sunday afternoons to work.

Problem with pay is that as you get older, have family, and a 40 hour work week, it's harder to justify dedicating 5+ hours on a Friday night to make $100.
 

short ornery norwegian

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I certainly can't speak for Maxy, but some officials I know - not just football but other sports - are getting out of it because of the hassle. as a ref, you travel to virtually all the games, where you get yelled at by coaches and fans - and a lot of the time, the fans don't even know the rules. and if you're a good ref, you get more and more requests to work. a basketball official could literally work 5 nights a week all season if they wanted to.

you really have to want to do it (or really need the money.....)
 



GopherPoke

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Need to pay officials a lot more.
Might not make you go back, but would entice some people in their early 20s to ref and hopefully rebuild it for a generation.

There is this big ref shortage but I think part of the MSHSL problem is that they’re treating it like a ref shortage when in reality it is just basically the same labor shortages all segments of society is seeing.
Being nicer to refs might gain you a ref on the margin, but the issue is structural
Any idea what a ref makes per MN high school game? Do MN high schools charge at the gate?
 

Polski

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For HS football games near us, the officials in our local association made $90 apiece last year. This year their pay is being upped to $150 apiece.

$750 for a 5-man crew on Friday nights.

That's a substantial jump. Their pay is definitely on the rise.
 

PMWinSTP

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I certainly can't speak for Maxy, but some officials I know - not just football but other sports - are getting out of it because of the hassle. as a ref, you travel to virtually all the games, where you get yelled at by coaches and fans - and a lot of the time, the fans don't even know the rules. and if you're a good ref, you get more and more requests to work. a basketball official could literally work 5 nights a week all season if they wanted to.

you really have to want to do it (or really need the money.....)
Have a lifelong buddy who refereed hockey for 20+ years. Could work as much or little as he wanted. Really liked doing it but like you said, the hassles increased over the last few years and he decided to hang up the whistle.
 

PMWinSTP

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For HS football games near us, the officials in our local association made $90 apiece last year. This year their pay is being upped to $150 apiece.

$750 for a 5-man crew on Friday nights.

That's a substantial jump. Their pay is definitely on the rise.
Is that per game?
 



short ornery norwegian

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Any idea what a ref makes per MN high school game? Do MN high schools charge at the gate?

Yes, HS's do charge at the gate for adults. I think $6 a game is pretty common in my neck of the woods. some schools let students in for free, but that varies from district to district. A lot of schools also sell season passes at a reduced rate or have Senior Citizen discounts. So unless you have really big crowds, most schools are not getting rich off gate admissions. Concession stands add to the revenue, but that is often earmarked for various student groups.

plus, the host school has to pay the people who do the chain gang, PA, scoreboard, clock, etc.
 

GopherPoke

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Yes, HS's do charge at the gate for adults. I think $6 a game is pretty common in my neck of the woods. some schools let students in for free, but that varies from district to district. A lot of schools also sell season passes at a reduced rate or have Senior Citizen discounts. So unless you have really big crowds, most schools are not getting rich off gate admissions. Concession stands add to the revenue, but that is often earmarked for various student groups.

plus, the host school has to pay the people who do the chain gang, PA, scoreboard, clock, etc.
Pretty similar to ND, for sure. One could argue that officials are the single most important element of a successful hs athletic event. Getting officials pay to a place that it is a carrot on a stick again shouldn't be a problem for smart people.
 


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Maple Grove wiil be good! Gilmore - Any chance he changes to MN?
 

MaxyJR1

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I would guess it varies by district. @MaxyJR1 could speak to this

Yes. But who gets the money varies by district
Official game rates are set by negotiation between official's associations and conferences/districts. Negotiated about every 3 years with there being a metro and outstate rate. Metro was $92 per varsity game last year and outstate was about $110 per varsity game. Outstate can vary as some schools have to pay better to get officials to travel. Some schools get officials on their own in the outstate and have the same 4 crews come every year.

The kicker is that doing a 9th/10th or JV game is now paying $81 in the metro. Now you can work on a Thursday/Friday afternoon or Saturday morning 10 minutes from your house and make $10 less than a varsity game. Work at 4:30 and be home by 7pm or 10am and by home by 12:30pm.

You have to love the game, love your crew, and look at it as giving back to the sport you love to justify working varsity. Love it and young, you probably look at moving up to work college games.
 

MaxyJR1

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Maple Grove wiil be good! Gilmore - Any chance he changes to MN?
Gotta think if MN surprises and Oklahoma looks less attractive, he might take a look at moving before signing in December.
 

GophersInIowa

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For HS football games near us, the officials in our local association made $90 apiece last year. This year their pay is being upped to $150 apiece.

$750 for a 5-man crew on Friday nights.

That's a substantial jump. Their pay is definitely on the rise.
$90 seems incredibly low. $150 is a lot better. Are they responsible for paying for gas/transportation to get to games or are they reimbursed for mileage?

I imagine it used to be that some would do it primarily for love of the game but that's probably changing as it's not worth the hassles if you're not getting paid decently.
 

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Agree that is started as a referee problem and schools started to see other benefits of not playing on Friday nights. (Getting volunteers, staffing the game, security, etc.) Schools have also found it better to have homecoming game on Thursday and the dance on a Friday instead of Saturday.

Each district or conference is asked to play one week of non-Friday games to alleviate the official's problem.

Our 6A team has a Thursday night opener, week 7 is a Thursday night, and week 8 is a 1pm Thursday of MEA game. Home games are all Friday's this year.

I have a varsity player this year so I can't make the Nebraska game due to conflict. Also, the first year in over 20 years that I won't be officiating. Don't know if I'll ever go back to it.
Sad if you don’t get back. The sport needs people like you. My wife just reminded me that I also quite officiating when my son started to play,. Still miss it.
 

disco

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I coach youth football, and I remember talking to one of the refs last year who said he could work every day/night doing games at some level if he wanted to. I knew another guy who did it (and also umped slow pitch) to pay for his Wild season tickets.
 

MaxyJR1

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Sad if you don’t get back. The sport needs people like you. My wife just reminded me that I also quite officiating when my son started to play,. Still miss it.
Got 4 kids. It’ll be 10 years down the road. Unfortunately many officials step away during their prime years to watch their kids. Lots of 35-50 year olds have other priorities.
 

BleedGopher

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High school football: Why did Dan O’Brien jump from juggernaut St. Thomas Academy to winless Holy Family? Let him explain​

What makes the move more puzzling is that O’Brien had no intention of leaving St. Thomas Academy.

“Not at all. This came out of nowhere. I love the Academy. That place was fantastic to me. It was fantastic to my family. And it’s right by my house,” the Mendota Heights resident said. “There are a lot of reasons why you could say, ‘You could never leave there.’ So no, I certainly wasn’t looking for it. This kind of came out of the blue.”

But, O’Brien said, “as more information came out, there was more reasons for me to look at it and to consider it.”

Atop the list was his staff. Joining O’Brien in this rebuilding venture are Jeff Ferguson and Dave Nelson, Hall of Fame coaches known for their work at Totino-Grace, Minnetonka and Blaine. Those are the two guys O’Brien consulted when he re-joined the high school coaching ranks in 2018. O’Brien had a strong interest in working alongside the two coaching titans, and knew this would be his one chance to do so.

Holy Family Catholic is also investing massive resources into its athletics program, especially in football, which it hopes to get on par with the success the school has recently experienced in other sports. That administrative backing is attractive to any coach.

O’Brien also noted his mindset changes as he gets older.

“Would a state championship be nice? It would be fantastic. But more importantly to me is to take this challenge on and see if we can make better men and better leaders through the game of football,” O’Brien said. “So when you put all those things together, it just seemed like a fantastic opportunity. … At the end of the day, I said, ‘Shoot, let’s make a run at it and see what happens.’ ”


Go Gophers!!
 

Roland Brooks

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High school football: Why did Dan O’Brien jump from juggernaut St. Thomas Academy to winless Holy Family? Let him explain​

What makes the move more puzzling is that O’Brien had no intention of leaving St. Thomas Academy.

“Not at all. This came out of nowhere. I love the Academy. That place was fantastic to me. It was fantastic to my family. And it’s right by my house,” the Mendota Heights resident said. “There are a lot of reasons why you could say, ‘You could never leave there.’ So no, I certainly wasn’t looking for it. This kind of came out of the blue.”

But, O’Brien said, “as more information came out, there was more reasons for me to look at it and to consider it.”

Atop the list was his staff. Joining O’Brien in this rebuilding venture are Jeff Ferguson and Dave Nelson, Hall of Fame coaches known for their work at Totino-Grace, Minnetonka and Blaine. Those are the two guys O’Brien consulted when he re-joined the high school coaching ranks in 2018. O’Brien had a strong interest in working alongside the two coaching titans, and knew this would be his one chance to do so.

Holy Family Catholic is also investing massive resources into its athletics program, especially in football, which it hopes to get on par with the success the school has recently experienced in other sports. That administrative backing is attractive to any coach.

O’Brien also noted his mindset changes as he gets older.

“Would a state championship be nice? It would be fantastic. But more importantly to me is to take this challenge on and see if we can make better men and better leaders through the game of football,” O’Brien said. “So when you put all those things together, it just seemed like a fantastic opportunity. … At the end of the day, I said, ‘Shoot, let’s make a run at it and see what happens.’ ”


Go Gophers!!
There were nearly 150,000 reasons
 


highwayman

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However he was willing to give up 12 Sunday afternoons to work.
Hope you said "that's life". Replace Sunday with another day. I worked sometimes 70 hour weeks to finally get to 40.

The Constitution guarantees "the pursuit of happiness". Our kids need to understand that.
 

El Amin Fan

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Until they lose, Maple Grove is the team to beat. Sounds like they have a sophomore at QB1.
 

MplsGopher

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Be curious to know how many of the 2 deep on MG's team grew up, at the very least in the Osseo district, let alone in the MG boundary.

I would assume transferring is rampant in HS football in Minnesota.
 

disco

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Be curious to know how many of the 2 deep on MG's team grew up, at the very least in the Osseo district, let alone in the MG boundary.

I would assume transferring is rampant in HS football in Minnesota.
My guess, is that the Osseo district doesn't allow intra-district open enrollment, or at least not into MG from Osseo or Park Center. A friend of mine has a son who is likely to be a starter for MG. Pretty sure it's mostly kids who grew up there.

I think switching schools is more rampant for basketball.
 




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