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Pink Panthers prove age is a title asset

CLOQUET—Despite being a science teacher at Cloquet High School, Dustin Randall admitted there is no scientific formula to his recent dominance in intramural floor hockey.

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“Shoot the ball,” he said, with a laugh. “That’s the strategy.”

At 34 years old and the oldest player in the Cloquet intramural floor hockey league, Randall has shot his way to the top again, propelling his Pink Panthers to a 13-2 win and league championship over The Shook Ones last Wednesday in Cloquet.

Randall was head scorer for a nine-man Panthers team that produced a perfect 10-0 record in the seven-team Wednesday-night league, while outscoring their opponents 93-19 all winter.

League creator, commissioner and nightly referee — from the balcony — Tom Lenarz, said the intramural sport began 10 years ago. The CHS athletic director also said the two 12-minute, running-time half games are often intense for the high school students looking to remain busy from Christmas to late February.

Randall’s colleague and teammate, CHS social studies teacher Steve Polkowski, was the league’s best goalie by far, Lenarz said, as the pair won their second straight title together.

“They do a nice job. They have fun interacting with the kids,” Lenarz said, “but they bring up the average age quite a bit.”