KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS – When the clock strikes midnight on Friday, sports all across Minnesota will be placed on pause for four weeks. No more games, no more practices.
RCTC Athletic Director, Mike Lester, said their school will shut down all activities but notes they had already planned on doing this before Gov. Tim Walz made the announcement on Wednesday.
“We’re moving to – for a short time – an all-online model. We were already going to be in terms of athletics affected by that decision,” he said. The Yellowjackets did not have a fall season in 2020 but plans to begin the spring season on January 4.
However, not all teams will shut down. The Austin Bruins will play past the midnight deadline. They’ve scheduled road games in Janesville, Wis. for Saturday and Sunday. The team denied our request to comment but did state in a press release that talks are ongoing with other teams to allow Austin to play outside of Minnesota.
So, why are professional and collegiate teams like the Vikings and Golden Gophers exempt from this executive order? Lester said those teams simply have the ability to test their athletes on a regular basis.
“Any college athletic team could certainly continue to practice and compete if they tested three times a week,” he said. “Some organizations and institutions have a better opportunity and a better ability to be able to do that.”
RCTC plans to have a full spring season but with this pandemic, nothing is ever guaranteed.
“Everything seemingly changes hour by hour so you don’t know what the future holds, but as of right now, that’s our intention for sure,” Lester said.