Northland coaches will have an opportunity to examine the reasons for athletic participation at an Aug. 7 conference at Grand Rapids High School. The “Why We Play” conference is co-sponsored by the Minnesota State High School League, Minnesota State High School Coaches Association and Minnesota Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

There are three sessions, including two at Bethel University in St. Paul on Aug. 1, and 683 coaches already have registered — 112 for the Grand Rapids session, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The conference will “delve deeply into the reasons why students play and how those reasons translate into a coaching purpose and practical strategies,” according to an MSHSL news release.

The format will include guest speakers and breakout sessions encouraging discussion.

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sports, preps