Cloquet boys golf ends with optimism for next year
By: Jeff Papas, Pine Journal
The end of the season Section 7AA golf meet held some disappointment for the Cloquet Lumberjacks.
After finishing fourth a season ago, this year’s edition took sixth place out of 18 teams entered.
Playing in wet conditions, the ‘Jacks posted a team score of 354 in the preliminary event at The Quarry in Biwabik. Andrew Castle’s 84 led Cloquet. Playing at just under 6,700 yards from the blue tees, wind was also a factor on the Giants Ridge course.
Derek Schrecengost, Jack McFarlane, Danny Nelson and Karl Palmquist all advanced to the finals, where things went somewhat better. Again in rainy conditions, Nelson shot an 81 to pace Cloquet’s team score of 331. Castle and McFarlane both shot 84 while Schrecengost added an 85. Palmquist added an 89 in a non-scoring round for the ‘Jacks.
“I was pleased with how we competed [in the finals], being 23 strokes better [than the previous competition]” coach Tom McFarlane said. “If we had playethat [the first time], we were looking at a top four or maybe a top three finish.”
McFarlane is lood like king for his players to compete this summer to build for next season.
“With guys playing this summer, there’s no reason we can’t take a step forward next year. I thought we took one step forward and two steps backwards this year.”
The coach is optimistic about the future of Castle, who he sees as a number one player.
“He grew into the role,” McFarlane said. “He seems comfortable in it.”
Much of the team returns. McFarlane, Schrecengost and Palmquist are all expected to push Castle, “along with some others,” according to the coach.
Maturity and mental toughness are important at the high school level.
“I think the biggest things are course management and not beating yourself,” McFarlane said. “We have some guys that are pretty smart athletes in other sports but sometimes they leave their thinking cap in the van at golf tournaments.”