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Prep football: Cloquet looking for more balance in 2021

The Lumberjacks’ strength will be on the offensive and defensive lines, according to coach Tom Lenarz.

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Marshall Hayes (35) of Cloquet rushes the ball against North Branch during a 2020 game at Terry Egerdahl Memorial Field in Proctor. Clint Austin / 2020 File / Duluth News Tribune

With just a few days left before the season opens, Cloquet was running through the plays that will hopefully become the team’s bread and butter Tuesday, Aug. 31.

Coach Tom Lenarz spent time making sure his lineman were moving into the right places to create holes for the running backs. Lenarz believes the line play will be the key to the Lumberjacks' success this season.

“The really important pieces are on the line, both defensively and offensively, because we know that’s where the game gets won or lost,” Lenarz said. “We have great senior leadership in both those groups, and I feel like this may be as good a group as we’ve had in quite a while, so that’s going to be fun.”

Not only do the Lumberjacks have experience along the line, they also return senior quarterback Alec Turnbull and running backs Marshall Hayes and Reese Sheldon. While running the ball well has become a calling card for Cloquet, Lenarz said the team will try to have better balance on offense this season.

“We’ve made a name for ourself as a team that really likes to come in and control the football,” Lenarz said. “Our goal this year is to try to be a little more balanced than we have in the past. We feel that will help us compete at a section or state level a little more than maybe we have in the past.”

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Senior offensive lineman Reese Turnbull said he is excited for the season and the team will be prepared each week.
“We’ll be ready every Friday because we’re hungry,” he said. “Last year, we didn’t really have much of a season, but now it’s kind of normal. We’re hungry to get back out there and play a full season. I think people can expect us to come and play every night with a lot of energy.”

Cloquet will open the season at Proctor at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3.

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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