Nearly perfect weather conditions greeted competitors at the Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik last Thursday when Cloquet-Esko-Carlton had three racers compete. Anja Maijala led the way for the Lumberjacks with an impressive second-place finish in the girl's race.
A furious finish nearly overcame a slow start for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton wrestling team at the Great River Conference Tournament held last Thursday. The 'Jacks trailed Aitkin by 20 points going into the final round and rebounded to nearly win the tournament. Aitkin managed to win by the slimmest of margins, 199-196 over Cloquet, while Rush City-Braham took third, Pine City-Hinckley-Finlayson was fourth, Mille Lacs was fifth and Ogilvie placed sixth.
Sophomore Aiden Ripp led a trio of Cloquet-Esko-Carlton skiers who will participate Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Minnesota State High School Nordic Ski Meet at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. The Section 7 meet was also held at Giants Ridge last Thursday with the CEC boys finishing in third place and the CEC girls team taking fifth in a tough section. "On the girls side of the section, of the Top 10 teams in the state four of them come from Section 7," said CEC coach Glen Sorenson. "Our girls skied the best they could, but this section is just so good."
The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton alpine ski-team prepared for Tuesday's Section 7 meet (Feb. 7) by hosting the CEC Invite at Spirit Mountain last week. The Lumberjacks got a number of solid performances, and both the boys and girls teams finished in third place. In an unusual twist, the event was essentially two meets in one: skiers from all around the area vied for top individual and team honors; at the same time, skiers from within the smaller Lake Superior Conference competed for conference honors.
Don't look now, but the Minnesota Wilderness hockey team is making another run for the top of the Central Division standings in the North American Hockey League. This past weekend the Wilderness improved their chances with a sweep of the Central Division leading Minot Minotauros by scores of 4-3 Friday and 2-1 Saturday at Northwood's Credit Union Arena in Cloquet.
The 3-point line turned out to be a friend for both the Cloquet and Moose Lake-Willow River boys basketball teams on Tuesday night. The 'Jacks hit eight 3-pointers and the Rebels nailed seven long-range shots, but in the end the Lumberjacks had just a bit more offense in their 69-58 win at home. "Cloquet is a far better team than their record shows and that is obvious by their scores," said Rebels coach Wes Cummins. "They've played just a meat grinder of a schedule and have been competitive with some of the best teams in northern Minnesota."
Not only are the two remaining games crucial to establishing some momentum at playoff time, but back-to-back wins for Carlton would give them the Polar League title outright. Currently the Bulldogs are sitting at 8-0 in the conference with Esko also undefeated and Cook County has just one loss.
Morrison also pitched for other powerhouse teams Perkins and Mr. D’s. Towards the end of a playing career that was cut short due to knee injuries, Morrison gave back to softball by volunteering his time to help develop young pitchers for the Esko High School girls program and also helped in the development of the U-18 boys program in Cloquet after his playing days.
“We just had some guys who didn’t block correctly,” explained Lenarz on the blocked punt. “Proctor didn’t do anything special and they were obviously coming after us in that situation. It was just one of several situations where they made a play and we didn’t.”
“Our linebackers Rodney Jones and Jeff Andrew continue to lead the defense,” Fawcett said. “Damon Garner also played well both ways and he leads by example. Our guys busted their tails to the end of the game, but we are not where we want to be as a team or a program.”