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Published October 08 2010

High school football: Zero Week coming to Minnesota

Depending on the football coach, the concept of Zero Week could be both good and bad.

The Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors on Thursday accepted Zero Week. Zero Week gives schools the chance to play a football game a week before the rest of the state starts.

Any team that does Zero Week would have to start fall practices a week early but would get a bye week later in the year.

“I got mixed feelings on it to be honest with you,” said Mahnomen coach John Clark Jr. “I think something needed to be done to help these schools get a set schedule.”

Clark, who has been at Mahnomen for 10 seasons, argued schools with certain enrollments have a hard time finding competition because of geography.

In the case of this side of Minnesota, schools like Detroit Lakes can play Fargo schools.

“I know (Detroit Lakes) also travels to St. Cloud,” Clark said. “Even still, I remember a few years ago where we had one open date and we had to find a school our size. We had to play a nine-man or move up a class.”

Breckenridge coach Chad Fredericksen said his biggest fear is Zero Week could eliminate rivalry games.

Fredericksen said he’s heard rumors of schools only getting one non-conference game.

The rest of the games would be conference or section games.

“What scares me is just us playing our section opponents,” said the third-year coach. “If that happens, we’d lose our games with Pelican Rapids and Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton and those rivalry games would be a thing of the past.”

Zero Week is common in some states like Texas where the teams play an

11-week schedule with a bye week.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548