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Sklors named new Cloquet softball coach

The Cloquet girls softball team has a new coaching staff as the team hit the field for practice last week. Steph Sklors takes over after Brenda Bender decided to resign the coaching position after last season.

The Cloquet girls softball team has a new coaching staff as the team hit the field for practice last week. Steph Sklors takes over after Brenda Bender decided to resign the coaching position after last season.

"I hope we can continue the strong tradition of Cloquet softball," said Sklors. "I know that I, and the rest of the coaching staff, are all very excited."

Sklors, who was the head coach at AlBrook the past seven years, returns to Cloquet where she had been an assistant under Forrey Lundgren in the late 1990s.

Joining Sklors on the varsity staff will be her longtime assistant at AlBrook, Jill Emery, and Ron Tondryk, a coach with the Minnesota XPlosion and a youth coach in Cloquet for many years.

"I am a firm believer that to be a great coach you need to support yourself with great assistant coaches and we have that here," explained Sklors. "They have so much experience and knowledge of the game it will certainly be nice because I can completely trust in what they are doing."

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That trust will also be important in the junior varsity program, which will be run for the second year in a row by Liz "Bug" Plante and Keith Plante.

"It is great to be united with Liz again after these many years," commented Sklors. "With Keith helping her we have another one of those coaches who have been involved in Cloquet softball for many years."

Fans of the Jacks can expect the team to be very aggressive on offense and tough defensively, a formula that Sklors feels can win championships.

"Obviously we need to have strong pitching, but from there you can expect an aggressive style of play," mentioned Sklors. "We will expect the girls to work hard at what we are teaching them and the rest will take care of itself. Our goal is to go the state tournament every year."

Cloquet will return a strong nucleus of players from a year ago and very well could be a favorite in the Lake Superior Conference and in the Section 7AAA tournament this coming season.

Pine Journal sports reporter Kerry Rodd can be contacted at: kdrodd@aol.com .

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