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Tech football wraps up unusual fall

The Michigan Tech football team takes the field before a game against Northwood on Nov. 16, 2019, in Houghton, Mich. (David Archambeau/For the Gazette)

HOUGHTON — Despite a fall football season without one game played, Michigan Tech head football coach Steve Olson said the past few months have been successful and came to a great ending a week ago.

“We finished up last Saturday in the nicest November weather that I have seen in my time here,” he said. “It was awesome.”

As the temperatures reached into the 70s, it was a welcomed relief to an early snowfall and dreary gray that usually comes in with November. According to Olson is was a good way to wrap up the Huskies last few months of gridiron training.

“We were able to get in 15 practices in this fall,” he said. “It was a very successful fall. Our kids stayed focused and kept themselves out of situations related to COVID-19 and managed to stay clean. I am very proud of them for that.”

Olson explained that their practices began soon after students returned to campus in August. At first the team was only allowed eight hours of practice a week. However around the beginning of October, the team was allowed to move to 20 hours a week, and it remained that way till the end.

“Twenty hours is the norm,” he said. “We were very much in a spring-practice mode with meetings, weights and agility work. We would start the week with just our helmets and move to helmets and pads as the week progressed.”

Olson added that while NCAA Division I conferences like the Big 10 reversed their pandemic restrictions and began playing games, that wasn’t going to be an option at the GLIAC level, and for one major reason: finances.

“Division II schools like us do not have the resources for all the testing and quarantining that a Division I school has,” he said. “It just wasn’t feasible.”

He related that he and his staff feel bad for the Husky seniors who weren’t able to put on the uniform for one last game.

“We feel terrible for our seniors as they were denied one last chance to go out and play,” he said. “However we are very proud of them as well as they have been able to navigate through this situation where there were no games and stay focused and go to work.”

As the saying goes, “hope springs eternal.” However, for the football Huskies, “spring brings hope” might be more fitting for Tech. The team will get back to training in 2021 after MTU’s spring break and according to Olson there are a couple of things that could happen.

“We have the option of practicing with another team or even a scrimmage or two,” he said. “But as we know, with COVID all of that could change in a minute.”

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