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Boys golf: Cloquet-Esko finishes landmark season

Members of the Cloquet-Esko boys varsity golf team stop for a photo at the Minnesota boys state golf tournament June 12-13, where they finished fourth in Class AA. From left: Anthony McKay, Trevor Steinert, Brayden Tyman, Keegan Poppenberg, Matt Radovich and Sam Baker. Contributed photo1 / 3
Cloquet ninth-grader Sam Baker ponders a putt. Baker tied for fourth place at 144 in the Class AA meet at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan. Contributed photo2 / 3
Junior Keegan Poppenburg tees off during the Minnesota boys state golf tournament. Contributed photo3 / 3

A breakout season for the Cloquet-Esko boys' golf team concluded with a fourth-place team finish at last week's Minnesota Class AA state golf tournament.

The two-day event was at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.

C-E finished with a team score of 622 strokes, 22 shots off the pace set by team champion Holy Family Catholic. Detroit Lakes finished second and Red Wing finished third.

But the best news was that C-E accomplished the feat with a very young team. The group coach Jon Horbacz brought to state consisted of one senior, one junior, one sophomore and three freshmen.

Freshman Sam Baker had the best tournament overall, finishing in a tie for fourth place in the individual standings with a two-day score of 144, seven strokes behind medalist Nate Deziel of East Grand Forks.

After an opening day 76, Baker's second day score of 35-33-68 equaled Deziel's. He was the only freshman in the top ten overall.

Senior Matt Radovich tied for 40th place overall with a two-day score of 157, while junior Keegan Poppenberg tied for 48th place at 159.

Freshman Brandon Tyman was tied for 63rd place at 163, one stroke ahead of C-E sophomore Anthony McKay.

The team score was rounded out by yet another freshman, Trevor Steinert, whose score of 166 placed him in a tie for 68th place overall and which beat out 17 other golfers, including four seniors.

Coach Horbacz could not be reached for comment.