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Local athletics officials say they’re eager to get on field

Local reaction to Thursday’s Michigan High School Athletic Association decision to reinstate a fall football season in the state:

“Some of our high school teachers and myself were just discussing how dead it is in our school right now. Some of the kids were walking around like zombies. They are depressed and just don’t know what to do with themselves. This announcement has given our little school some brand-new excitement. One of my players told me that he felt like everyone forgot his birthday, only to find out they threw him a surprise party. We are very excited to have a chance to play this year.”

— Mike Christian, head coach, North Dickinson County High School

“Excitement is an understatement. My phone exploded and kids were coming to my classroom when the news broke. The smile on the kids’ faces says it all. Football is a special game. We are excited for the opportunity to play football while focusing on safety for all involved.”

— Robin Marttila, head coach, Iron Mountain High School

“We are beyond excited for our kids. Football in Kingsford is a big thing; we are happy for the opportunity to play.”

— Mark Novara, head coach, Kingsford High School

“We’re all extremely excited for the game of fall to be back. These kids love being on the field and that’s all anybody really knows is football in the fall. Some of the kids only play football and, to be realistic, there wasn’t going to be a spring season in the U.P., so now they’re going to be able to leave high school doing something they love. It’ll be interesting how this plays out for games and so on, but we know that practice starts on Tuesday and we as coaches and players are ready. Safety always comes first, so it’ll be different in that aspect, with the masks and so on. But we will do whatever it takes to get those lights turned on on Friday nights.”

— Scott Popp, head coach, Norway High School

“I am very happy for the football players. They needed some good news. I really think this was a good decision, because the spring version, I didn’t see that working in the U.P. Our kids are excited to get back to work.”

— Mike Roell, athletic director, North Dickinson County High School

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