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Cloquet-Esko closes wrestling season

Last fall, Esko senior Reid Borchardt was crowned the school’s homecoming king, but unfortunately for the wrestler last weekend, he fell short of king of the mat.

Borchardt placed third in the 138-pound weight division at last Friday and Saturday’s Section 7AA individual meet in North Branch, one spot short of qualifying for his first state wrestling meet this week at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

Borchardt, a second-year captain for the Cloquet-Esko program, was beaten in overtime to eliminate all state hopes.

“It was heartbreaking,” said Lumberjacks Coach Al Denman of his No. 7 state-ranked wrestler’s upset.

Borchardt — whose father, Dale, is an assistant coach and younger brother, Mitchell, is a teammate — was the highest finisher for the Lumberjacks last weekend, including Cloquet brothers Daniel and Seth Stevens and Denman’s son, Conner, who all placed fourth at 106-, 113- and 132 pounds, respectively.

Monday marked the final time Borchardt would clean the Cloquet-Esko wrestling room, as the season officially closed.

“He’s a standard,” Denman said. “Reid Borchardt’s name will keep coming up, just like the many others of the past.”