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Waseca hockey teams settle for patch to honor officer Arik Matson

Full uniform changes didn't meet league rules, so they had to go with a smaller patch.

After high school uniform bylaws prevented a Minnesota school from changing its boys' and girls' varsity team uniforms to honor a police officer shot in the line of duty, the Waseca Bluejays will instead opt for a patch that doesn't break league rules. 

The "222" patches, which pay tribute to Waseca police officer Arik Matson, will be worn during games on Waseca High School's standard uniforms. 

Originally, Minneapolis-based Gemini Athletic Wear provided the teams with uniforms that have "Waseca Police" stitched on the front, Matson's badge number near the shoulder, and "Matson" above player numbers on the back.

Despite excitement from the school to honor the Waseca police officer who was shot in the head while responding to a report of a suspicious person on Jan. 6, the fully customized uniforms were blocked by Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) because of rules and policies from the National Federation of High Schools. 

In a statement, the MSHSL said federation policy "limits the size of alterations to commemorate individuals or events within competition." 

Changes jerseys completely was a violation of those bylaws, but the patches fall within what's considered "appropriate recognition," according to the MSHSL's statement last week. 

The teams have elected to wear the full uniforms to honor Matson during warmups before changing into their league-allowed jerseys for game competition. 

Matson remains hospitalized and on Monday he underwent reconstructive facial surgery, which went well, according to the latest update from his CaringBridge page

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