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Owatonna’s football game against New Prague this upcoming Friday on the road has been cancelled. (Jon Weisbrod/SouthernMinn.com)

Due to a centralized COVID outbreak within New Prague’s football program, Owatonna’s Big Southeast District game against the Trojans scheduled for Friday, Oct. 30 has been cancelled and will not be made up.

The OHS activities department and football staff got right to work over the weekend and ultimately secured a non-district opponent, Monticello, to replace the Trojans on the schedule. Monticello has a turf field and the game will start at 4 p.m.

The Magic hail from the same district (North Central, Blue) and section (6-5A) as a familiar Owatonna opponent, Elk River, and enter Week 4 with a 2-1 record. They blew out Sauk Rapids-Rice and Cambridge-Isanti in their first two games before losing to undefeated and No. 4-ranked Rogers last Friday.

With 1,113 students Monticello has roughly the same enrollment as Austin and Mankato West and will be a major test for the Owatonna defense.

The Magic averages 200 rushing yards per game and is led by one of the most dangerous tailbacks in Class 5A, Sam Valor. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound senior is a next-level track prospect and is also being pursued by a few Division II and Division I FCS programs for football.

Through three games, he has amassed 378 yards on just 41 carries and has scored five touchdowns. Last week, though, he was held to just 26 yards against the Royals

Though New Prague, which notified the Huskies’ athletic department on Saturday that it would not be able to take the field in Week 4, is positioned roughly 20 miles south of the out-rung suburb Chaska, and 23 miles south and west of Lakeville, it is the second-closest community to the Minneapolis suburban area in the Big Southeast football district.

Over the weekend, one of the state’s largest school districts, Anoka-Hennepin, elected to transition to full-time distance learning and cancel all sports until further notice starting Nov. 2. This affects Champlin Park, Blaine, Anoka, Andover and Coon Rapids — a massive conglomerate of high schools concentrated in the northwest suburban area with a combined MSHSL enrollment of 10,563 and an “actual” enrollment pushing 13,000.

Award-winning Sports Editor for the Owatonna People's Press, Weisbrod has worked in daily newspapers his entire career. He writes a regular column called Beyond the Box that delves into local, regional and national sports storylines.

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