The summer of 2021 is coming to a close, whether you like it or not. Another sign of that came Aug. 16 on the bustling Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) campus.
Eden Prairie teams and activities joined schools across Minnesota to celebrate the first day of fall practices. Football, soccer, dance team, color guard, volleyball and others began practicing in preparation for the beginning of the fall season, which begins before the end of August for most teams.
With temperatures in the 80s and humidity rising, it was a warm day with a few needed water breaks.
But after the 2020 fall season was cut short, these athletes appear to be looking forward to what looks like a more traditional fall season.
For these athletes, this will be their first full fall season since 2019. The Eagles football team, nor any other squad, had a chance to make a run all the way through to compete for a state title. The varsity team finished with an unbeaten record.
EPHS’ boys’ and girls’ soccer teams did not get a shot at competing for a state championship last year because that tournament was canceled.
While the boys made it to the section final before falling to Edina, the girls’ struggled under first-year coach Kelly Taylor. The Eagles look to rebound with a more normal preseason.
EPHS’ girls’ volleyball teams in Minnesota faced a strange 2020 season.
After an early October start, the season came to an abrupt ending in November, leaving teams without a postseason.
Eden Prairie finished the season with an 8-4 record and was third in the Lake Conference.
Sports are not the only part of high school life affected by the pandemic.
The EPHS marching band and color guard had to adjust last year given fewer opportunities.
Just feet away from Aerie Stadium, members of the color guard could be seen stretching and preparing for the upcoming season.
It’s just one more sign that fall in Eden Prairie will look a little bit more normal as EPHS athletics resume action.