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Hockey: Knights' season paused until 2021

1 Luke Schelter 2953.jpg
Luke Schelter looks for a pass during the Northstar Christian Academy's 1-0 loss to CarShield on Oct. 28. The Knights are conceding all games for the remainder of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Jared Rubado / Echo Press)
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The COVID-19 pandemic shut down the Northstar Christian Academy hockey season prematurely last spring and is now keeping the players off the ice this fall, at least temporarily.

After Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s latest shutdown announcement last week, the 18U and 16U Knights have conceded all games for the remainder of 2020. Players will take online classes and be allowed to come back at the start of 2021.

“The hope is that we are going to be able to play after the order is done,” hockey director Rick Randazzo said. “Whether we can come back on Dec. 19, or if it’s at the end of the new year, we have to abide by the regulations. We are not conceding our games for the rest of the season, but we just have to comply with the shutdown and keep everybody safe.”

The 16U team traveled to Texas this past weekend for a final series before they were sent home for the holidays.

“Everyone is disappointed,” Randazzo said. “They obviously want to be here, but this is what it is right now. It’s not ideal, but we’ll get through this and get back to playing Northstar hockey.”

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Randazzo said Northstar is looking to take preemptive measures to ensure the student’s mental health stability.

“We want to keep them involved,” Randazzo said. “When you see the depression, mental health problems and suicide rates going up, you obviously worry about the headspace in these kids. We want to keep them involved and be creative in how we do that. We need to keep them engaged.”

It was challenging for some of the Knights to say goodbye in the middle of another successful season, but Randazzo hopes they can use this time to grow outside of hockey.

“This isn’t fun for anyone,” Randazzo said. “All of us want to be playing competitive hockey, but that’s just not what we can do. Some of the kids are going to handle this better than others. It was really tough for a lot of them to leave. Being under house arrest is no fun, and these kids have gotten really close with their teammates. These athletes can use this time to grow in their faith outside of Northstar like they’ve done while they’re here.”

Even outside of the team environment, Randazzo expects the Knights to find ways to get better.

“We talk to them about individual discipline all the time,” Randazzo said. “These guys get up early and have long days. I’m not concerned they’re going to get lazy when they get home. They’ll get their stuff done. We need to give them a plan and hold them accountable. The guys that are here are self-starters, and that’s why they play for Northstar."

Related Topics: HOCKEYTHE RINK LIVE
Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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