The Red Wing football team will no longer play its scheduled homecoming game on Sept. 27 against La Crescent-Hokah. Due to La Crescent-Hokah's low numbers and fear of safety for its players, the team notified Red Wing around Sept. 2 they forfeited the game.
With rumors abundant during the Red Wing football game against Albert Lea on Sept. 6 and on the following Monday, Red Wing Athletic Director Paul Hartmann sent an email to clarify the situation.
In the email, Hartmann said Red Wing looked for another opponent and said on Sept. 10 the school did not limit itself in the search for a new opponent. A school in South Dakota came close to an agreement to play, but backed out as its school had a prior commitment the morning of Sept. 28.
The next phase was to look for another Red Wing sport to host a game. The Rochester Century girls' soccer team agreed to reschedule its game against Red Wing in Rochester on Sept. 24 to a home game for Red Wing on Sept. 27.
The new schedule for Sept. 27 still includes the boys' and girls' Red Wing cross-country teams as well as the seventh and eighth grade football teams.
"Based on this schedule, we anticipate that we will have approximately 160 Wingers competing or performing in an event on Friday afternoon/evening," Hartmann said in his email to everyone in the school district. "We recognize that this may not be traditional; our goal was steadfast, to make the best of this situation for all involved."
On May 9, according to an article in the La Crosse Tribune, La Crescent-Hokah had cancelled varsity football for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. According to the article, "The Lancers were 0-9 last season and are 1-26 over the last three. Their last winning season (was) a 6-4 performance in 2010, and numbers seemed to dwindle after that.
"Mallicoat said the team suited up 29 players in the last game of last season, but "10 or 11” of them were seniors."