’Jacks end regular season, prepare for sectionsAt the tail end of last week, the Cloquet-Esko wrestling team ran into a trio of opponents that got the better number of the Lumberjacks.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
At the tail end of last week, the Cloquet-Esko wrestling team ran into a trio of opponents that got the better number of the Lumberjacks.
Last Thursday, Cloquet-Esko began their woeful late-week competition at the Chisago Lakes in a triangular meet with Chisago Lakes and Milaca, and then Friday they traveled to Ashland, Wis., for their final dual of the winter. Scores read 60-12 Wildcats, 76-0 Wolves and 63-12 Oredockers.
Posting the only points over the long two-day stretch for one-win Cloquet-Esko was Jordan Baker at 125 pounds, Marcus Hunt at 140 and Jake Baker at 171 – all by pins. Mitchell Borchardt also received a forfeit at 103, but that was it.
“We’re going up against schools with 50-60 years of wrestling tradition,” said Cloquet-Esko coach Al Denman to put things into perspective. “It’s expected to be tough. It’s like having eighth- and ninth-graders go out and play varsity football.”
Despite their struggles, Denman said his young and improving team’s courage and daily work ethic has been nothing but impressive.
With the regular season now in the books, the ’Jacks will now travel to the Great River Conference Meet Friday in Onamia. The Section 7AA Team and Individual Tournament will soon follow, with the ’Jacks heading to Virginia Tuesday for team competition, while individual competitors will hit the mats Feb. 25 and 26 in Grand Rapids.
Although battling a swollen right knee, Cloquet’s Jake Baker is slated as one of the favorites at 171 pounds and has an outside shot at advancing to the state meet.