STEWARTVILLE, Minnesota - Stewartville Head Coach Garrett Mueller expected to be on the field this week, getting ready for the upcoming football season. Now, he's getting used to spending more time at home.
"I've got three little kids at home and my wife who I get to spend a little more time with this fall," Mueller said.
The Minnesota State High School League made the decision two weeks ago to move football and volleyball from the fall to the spring.
"It was a little bit of a shock and disappointment," he said.
Coaches and players share the same sentiment as the Stewartville coach, but he acknowledges the difficult situation the MSHSL was put in.
"[I] appreciate the difficult situation the state high school league was in and trying to balance the safety of our kids and meeting the competitive desires of our athletes," Mueller said.
With no football until the spring, what's next? Teams are mandated a maximum of 12 practices this September. It's essentially an expanded offseason.
This buys more for teams like Stewartville to get more reps in for younger players.
"We have a handful of younger kids that likely would have been JV players for us this fall," he said. "But now with another six months of growth and development and getting faster and stronger, you know some of those kids might be varsity contributors for us in the spring."
The upcoming season provides more questions than answers at this point. There are rumors that some of the Tigers top players will transfer out of state to play in the fall. Mueller says they can't focus on things they can't control.
"We're going to have a disciplined response to the situation and continue to work hard to get better everyday and get ready to roll come spring time," he said.
The Friday night lights will have to wait until March, but Mueller say's there is a silver lining.
"We get football basically March until next November," he said.