Young ‘Jacks show that age has nothing to do with winning
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CLOQUET, Minn. – When putting her young lineup together at the beginning of the season, Cloquet softball head coach Steph Sklors had a good feeling that her youngsters were going to surprise some people around the Northland.
Turns out, her Lumberjacks did just that, and more.
Not only did Cloquet battle for the Lake Superior Conference crown and post an impressive 12-8 overall record – four more wins than a year ago – but they also made a deep run into the Section 7AA playoffs that eventually ended with a loss to Esko in the Final Four.
Nonetheless, the Lumberjacks’ 12 wins on the year marked the most since their 2006 campaign three years earlier, making no one happier than Sklors.
“I am so proud of these girls,” said Sklors about her girls who only lost to Class AA state champ Hermantown by one run during the season. “We exceeded the expectations and really surprised a lot of people. As young as they were, these girls really stepped up this season and they are only going to get better.”
Cloquet lost just a pair of seniors to graduation in speedy centerfielder Alyssa Hanson and star pitcher Katrina Korman, but with seven starters returning to her lineup next spring, Sklors’ Lumberjacks are going to be tougher than ever – and she knows it.
“I am really looking forward to next year,” she said. “This group is really special and I think we are going to continue to win a lot of games. We just have to continue to improve and I expect a great future for these girls.”