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Whistle stop: Pandemic gives high school officials one more call to make

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune, 10/13/20, 2:30PM CDT


Football gets back on track, but with a noticeably smaller officiating pool.

L to R: Linesman Jason Vogt, referee Andrew Aller, umpire Brian Grandstand, back judge Dan Sigl, and line judge David Rivera prepare for the Hopkins-Apple Valley game without a locker room because of COVID-19. Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

Football official Andrew Aller arrived at Apple Valley High School on Friday equipped with the type of white hat he has worn for the past 14 years and a black face covering, a new accessory this season.

Officiating during the coronavirus pandemic gave Aller, 61, pause. But by Friday, he said he was secure in his decision and now needed to follow protocols.

Meanwhile in Shakopee, another veteran official, Matt Jurewicz, spent part of his Friday evening on a Zoom call with his five siblings to discuss holiday plans. Jurewicz elected to sit out this season. He runs a financial-planning business at his mother Maetta’s home. She is 79 years old and Jurewicz is afraid of contracting COVID-19 and putting her at risk.

“That was probably the linchpin to make me choose to opt out,” Jurewicz said.

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