Bolder Options director Robinson set for huge Saturday

Scott Robinson is directing his final Sportacular Tailgate Challenge, which happens Saturday at Mayo Field. Robinson, Bolder Options Program Director the last 12 years, is stepping down in September from a position that has been dear to his heart.

Mitch Stevenson, of Rochester, gets an autograph from former John Marshall, University of Minnesota and Green Bay Packers great Darrell Thompson during the Bolder Options Tailgate Challenge Saturday at Mayo Field in Rochester in 2016. The Sportacular Tailgate Challenge will happen again on Saturday at Mayo Field, from 5-8 p.m.
Post Bulletin file photo
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It won’t be an easy goodbye for Scott Robinson.

But he’s too preoccupied right now to get overly emotional yet about this being his final year as Rochester Bolder Options Program Director.

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That’s because the 44-year-old is knee deep once again in putting on the annual Sportacular Tailgate Challenge, Bolder Options’ biggest fundraiser of the year.

The family event, which features a host of Minnesota sports celebrities signing autographs and mingling with fans, as well as game stations for kids, an inflatable obstacle course, face painting, food and drink, and a silent action, happens from 5-8 p.m. Saturday at Mayo Field.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for students (kindergarten through seniors), while 5-and-under are free. Sign up is at .


Celebrities include such former Vikings players as Randall McDaniel, Bryant McKinnie, Chester Taylor, Robert Griffith, Leo Lewis, Robert Tate and Rochester’s Marcus Sherels. They also include one-time NBA standout and Wolves television color-man Jim Petersen, former Minnesota Twins star Eddie Guardado, as well as local former football standouts Sherels and fellow John Marshall and University of Minnesota graduate and star Darrell Thompson (later a Green Bay Packer). Also on hand will be former basketball star Michael Hurt (John Marshall, Minnesota), and ex-professional baseball players Michael Restovich (Mayo) and Mitch Brown (Century).

“We’re excited by the number of celebrities we’re going to have, which includes some new ones,” Robinson said. “We’re also bringing back the tug-of-war this year, which had been absent the last few years.”

The latter will pit Rochester high schools against each other, with collections of students from Mayo, John Marshall, Century and Lourdes competing.

Scott Robinson

Robinson says this will be the biggest Sportacular Tailgate Challenge yet in Rochester, with up to $50,000 raised, all proceeds going to Rochester Bolder Options.

Its mission — providing wellness-based mentoring for middle-school youth— has been close to Robinson’s heart.

It’s one he’ll continue to play a volunteer role in even after he steps away as Rochester Bolder Options director in September. Robinson is taking on a full-time physical education instructor job at Rochester elementary schools Jefferson and Gage.

But Robinson is too invested emotionally and otherwise to completely walk away from Bolder Options when his tenure is up in a few months.

“Bolder Options has really been my life,” he said. “I wake up in the morning and my first thought is always Bolder Options. I’ve had my fingerprints all over this program. My boys (Holter and Lennox) and my wife (Bonnie) have all grown up with it. They grew up coming to every activity and event, sometimes a couple of times a month.”


The need for Bolder Options has been more acute than ever the last two years, according to Robinson.

He considers that the results of the COVID-19 pandemic having had as much a psychological effect on kids as a physical one.

One year ago, schooling was done predominantly online and a number of extra-curricular activities were either shortened or halted due to the pandemic. Robinson said that acclimatizing to in-person school has been tough for many kids.

That has made Bolder Options, with its mentoring and program offerings, more crucial than ever.

Pat has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter since 1994. He covers Rochester John Marshall football, as well as a variety of other southeastern Minnesota football teams. Among my other southeastern Minnesota high school beats are girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, high school and American Legion baseball, volleyball, University of Minnesota sports (on occasion) and the Timberwolves (on occasion). Readers can reach Pat at 507-285-7723 or
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