Lumberjacks are ready to hit the turf, Saturday scrimmage fares well for Cloquet boys
Cloquet football coach Tom Lenarz got a good look at this year's version of the Lumberjacks on Saturday when Cloquet hosted a six team scrimmage. "The scrimmage was great," said Lenarz. "We had six teams here and everyone was able to play a lot o...
Cloquet football coach Tom Lenarz got a good look at this year's version of the Lumberjacks on Saturday when Cloquet hosted a six team scrimmage.
"The scrimmage was great," said Lenarz. "We had six teams here and everyone was able to play a lot of football. Everyone managed to stay relatively healthy and got some work done."
Lenarz was happy with the way Cloquet handled themselves physically on the field, but he felt there was a need for the team to improve on the mental aspect of the game.
"Some mental mistakes cost us," mentioned Lenarz. "Some of our young guys got a chance to get their feet wet in a live situation and that was great to see."
With quarterback Ryan Lindstrom back for another season, along with running backs Simon Thill and Bryan Anderson and the addition of wide receiver Adam Boleman and tight end Alex Bakken, the Jacks have some very good skill position players.
"Thill and Lindstrom looked especially good on Saturday," commented Lenarz. "We are excited about this group and feel like we can be a very balanced offense. The line play will be critical for us and we have a good mix of seniors and underclassman along the offensive line."
Defensively the team has a chance to be as good as they have been for a couple of years with an athletic core of players.
"Our front seven are a very athletic and tough group of kids," explained Lenarz. "With Paul Cameron, Pete Garsow and Alex Bakken, along the defensive line, we feel like they should be a very strong core for this group to build on."
A year ago the Jacks finished 2-4 in conference play and 2-7 overall on the season, losing in their first playoff game to Eveleth-Gilbert.
"We felt like we had taken a step forward last year in terms of being competitive every Friday," suggested Lenarz. "The kids and coaches alike were heartbroken with the loss at home in the playoffs. I think it was a good lesson for all of them that you can't look past anyone and I was proud of the effort last year."
The Jacks will return nine starters on offense and six on defense from last season. The Jacks have also added some key players in Boleman and Nolan Dokken who will contribute right away.
"We should be very competitive this year and look forward to a great season with these kids," said Lenarz. "The scrimmage went about how we expected and we are looking forward to the season."
Cloquet will open the season at home on Friday night at 7 p.m. against Northwestern.