One could argue that Cloquet running back Spencer Wehr was the luckiest player on the field during the Lumberjacks' 46-26 triumph over North Branch in the Section 7AAAA championship game. The physical senior running back piled up 221 rushing yards on 34 carries and scored seven touchdowns as the 'Jacks sewed up their fourth state tournament appearance in the last five years.
Participants then have another challenge. They’ll receive a map and need to bring a compass, which they must use to find the finish line, located somewhere west of the Pine Valley area.
"The kids showed up and we tore the cover off the ball," Klyve said. "Some games, we've hit the ball right at guys so pushing runs across the plate has been tough." The young Bombers have found this season to be a growing process. "We are a younger team in places, with some seniors who don't have a lot of varsity experience," Klyve said. "We've shown a ton of improvement and I like what I've seen." <
"We gave them a lot of baserunners," Esko coach Ben Haugen said. "But we survived it. I was happy to see us win on a day when we didn't necessarily have our best stuff." <
With a running team like Red Lake, Gronner knows defense in transition will be vital. "It's going to be huge," he said. "Against the really good teams that push the ball, we have struggled with transition defense at times. We have focused on that and hopefully it will be good for Thursday."
BOYS HOCKEY PLAYOFFS *** Despite a regular season where the team won only three games, the Moose Lake Area boys' hockey team can make a claim that about half the teams in the state can't make. They've won a playoff game, which is when the wins matter the most. Mike Knezevich's goal at 7:42 of the second overtime period lifted the Rebels (4-22-0) to a 5-4 win over Becker/Big Lake in a Section 5A play-in game at Princeton Ice Arena on Tuesday night.
I told them we had plenty of time and that if we played smart, we had time to get into the game and force overtime," Esse said. "And then they went out and showed that they could do it."
After a 6-0 whitewash of Eveleth-Gilbert in the first round of the Section 7A tournament, the Rebels were upset 4-1 by Hibbing-Chisholm in last Saturday's semifinals at Miners Memorial in Virginia.
The season is over for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team, which lost 4-1 to Grand Rapids-Greenway in the first round of the Section 7AA tournament. The Lumberjacks (8-16-2) got a second-period goal from senior forward Rose Lundquist which tied the score at 1-1, only to see a pair of goals from Sadie Peart later in the period put GRG too far ahead to catch.
"For me, the word would be 'integrity.'" The word used to by longtime Esko boys basketball coach Rod Johnson to describe his friend John Grussendorf ring true to anyone who knew him. To John, there was nothing more important than getting it right: on the court, in his faith, and in his life. Grussendorf passed away Jan. 21 and is being remembered for what he was — a great coach and an even better person.