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Negaunee athletics focus on what they can control, playing and preparing for their respective sports

Miner Stadium is empty on what would have been the first day of the season.
Miner Stadium is empty on what would have been the first day of the season.(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 3:05 PM EDT
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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) -

In Lansing on Friday, protesters are petitioning the governor and the Michigan High School Athletic Association to ‘Let Them Play,’ by allowing high school football to resume, despite COVID-19 concerns.

At Miner Stadium in Negaunee, Friday would have been the kickoff of another season, one that they hope would bring them back to the playoffs.

Instead the field is clear, and the bleachers are empty.

“It is what it is. there’s nothing we can really do to change that,” said Paul Jacobson, varsity football coach and athletic director at Negaunee High School.

Parents and players across the state have started petitions and held protests hoping to ‘Let the Kids Play,’ but so far, the MHSAA has stood firm. In Negaunee, Jacobson understands the movement, but he remains focused on working within the guidelines put in place.

“We’re trying to put that negative energy, instead of blaming, instead of wishing, put that energy to something positive, what can we do now to prepare ourselves for a spring season,” said Jacobson.

Instead, he wants his players to focus on what they can control, like putting in more time in the weight room, as well as working together.

“We’re trying to keep them together and keep them positive, maybe do some disk golf type, or other team building things as we move forward,” said Jacobson.

The football players, and all other student athletes are staying focused, and staying safe.

“We tell our volleyball girls, listen, you’re playing, we have to do these things, I know it may not be best for you and you may not like it, but it is what it is and we’re playing,” said Jacobson. “Our tennis girls have been off to a great start and they’re doing what they need to do in order to continue playing their sport.”

Football will have to wait, and although the thought of a spring season in the Upper Peninsula seems daunting, coaches and athletic directors across Upper Michigan believe they can make it happen.

“As long as we have an opportunity to still get on a field, that’s what we want to do,” said Jacobson.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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