Entering Friday night's game against undefeated McGregor, the Cards were ranked No. 1 in the state. They lived up to that billing by throttling the Mercs 55-8.
"We had a great meet considering we are unable to use the starting blocks," said CEC coach Kayla Cotner. "The new starting blocks are illegal and hang too far over the pool, so the girls have been diving from the side of the pool or starting in the water, which is difficult."
On Friday night the Wrenshall Wrens saw the best football can offer, and the Carlton Bulldogs saw the complete opposite as Wrenshall rolled to a 64-0 victory.
Cloquet rolled up 537 yards of total offense and used the one-two punch of a strong running game and an equally strong passing game to pick up the win in front of a packed house. "I thought things went very well from our standpoint," said Cloquet coach Tom Lenarz. "We executed very well considering it was the first game of the year.
Coming into the game, the Eskomos knew they would have to deal with a Cloquet-Carlton offensive attack led by Kendra Kelley, who had six goals in two games coming into the contest on Tuesday night. "We were able to shut out Cloquet with a stellar performance by Macy," Peterson said. "She came up with some great saves when we needed them and didn't give up rebounds.
The Eskomos — who now play in the Northeast Blue Division — have a tough opener with Class AAAA Cloquet on the road Friday night. The following week they will face Two Harbors on the road before finally playing their first game at home Sept. 15 against Greenway-Nashwauk-Keewatin.
"The blue tow truck that was at the races was the first of three generations of tow trucks the Thompsons owned," explained Overn. "The Pinto wagon pace car was driven by his grandson Grant with a few other Thompson Motor Service young supporters. We had many community supporters who donated to the pot for the Sunday night memorial race so we could pay our drivers $1,000 to win!
Clark will have a plethora of athletes who can contribute in the scoring column, on defense and in-goal, giving him options and adding depth to an already strong team. "We are looking for senior Zach Conklin, who was first team All-Conference last year, to be one of our leaders," Clark said. "Zach will seldom leave the field and will anchor the back line."
Cloquet used a strong pitching performance to take the second game of the tourney (also played Wednesday in Cloquet) — a 15-6 win against Hermantown. "Tim Pokornowski pitched well, and threw 75 pitches in five innings, while Alex Norgaard and Nick Baker finished the game in relief," recalled Coach Baker. "Our bats woke up with a number of players with multi-hit games.
Esko fought back to nail down wins over Two Harbors, Deer River, a rematch with International Falls that ended with Esko slipping by 5-4 in another nail biting game, and a semifinal win over Taconite. "In the win over Two Harbors we got a fantastic pitching performance from Peyton Koskela, who pitched four innings and gave up no runs and only one hit with five strikeouts," Karnas said.