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Class AA state boys golf: Cloquet finishes strong, takes fifth

The Lumberjacks shaved 23 strokes off their score from day one to finish fifth among the eight teams at the event.

Golfer lines up putt
Cloquet sophomore Cooper Ellena reads the green during the final day of competition at the Class AA state golf tournament held Wednesday, June 15, at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal
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JORDAN — It’s been said that golf is a fickle game. The Cloquet Lumberjacks, in their quest for a repeat state title, know this all too well.

After persevering through a rocky start in the opening round of the Class AA state tournament, the group of six returned to form on day two with a bounce-back effort to place fifth among the eight teams at the event held Wednesday, June 15, at Ridges at Sand Creek Golf Course in Jordan.

In total, Cloquet shaved 23 strokes off its team score from day one with five of its six members posting improved scores. For the two-day event, the ‘Jacks finished with an overall score of 641 (332-309).

Golfer follows through on swing
Cloquet freshman Lance Sayler follows through on his drive during the final day of competition at the Class AA state golf tournament held Wednesday, June 15, at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

Ahead of the final round, head coach Aaron Young preached to his team the need to remain positive through the ups and downs.

“In golf, you have to have a very short memory of bad shots, and you want to constantly think about the good ones and build off of them, and we just never got to that point where we were feeling good about things,” Young said. ”... That moment just never got going yesterday so that was the big push today was to just try to get them to stay positive and to keep battling and see if you can make something happen.”

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Sophomore Cooper Ellena (92-84-176) and freshman Karson Young (87-79-166) recorded the biggest improvement in scores from day one to day two. Karson Young said his drives were far more consistent on Wednesday, which proved to be the biggest difference.

Golfer takes a chip shot
Cloquet freshman Karson Young chips it on the green during the final day of competition at the Class AA state golf tournament held Wednesday, June 15, at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

“I didn’t hit a lot of fairways yesterday and I was kind of spraying it all over. Today I was kind of down the middle on every shot that I pulled out the driver, and that really helped boost my confidence and get me excited for the next shots to come,” Karson Young said.

Junior Karson Patten carded the best score for Cloquet for a second day in a row after finishing with an even-par 72. Patten’s overall total of 149 (77-72-149) put him in a tie for sixth place among the 85 golfers in contention.

Senior Jacob Walsh was the next-best individual finisher among the six Cloquet players after finishing with a two-day total of 160 (82-78-160). Sophomore Anders Gunelson carded a final round score of 80 (87-80-167) while freshman Lance Sayler posted a score of 87 (86-87-173).

Golfer attempts a putt
Cloquet senior Jacob Walsh attempts a putt during the final day of competition at the Class AA state golf tournament held Wednesday, June 15 at Ridges at Sand Creek in Jordan.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

The strong scores on Wednesday came despite facing a two-hour weather delay midway through the round due to lightning and heavy rain. Coach Young said it was a fitting end to an eventful season as far as Mother Nature is concerned.

“From playing with snow on the first meet down in Stillwater, to bitter cold in other places, to rain, to almost 100-degree (heat) index down here yesterday, then having a two-hour rain delay for thunderstorms today — it was definitely a year of weather,” he said.

Reflecting on the season as a whole, coach Young said it was a year of rebuilding after losing three seniors to graduation from the 2021 state championship team. The ‘Jacks will be without graduated senior Walsh next season, but Young said the future remains bright for the program.

“It was a great group of kids. We’ll be saying goodbye to one senior, but I’m excited for what (the future) holds next year with five kids coming back and one or two other ones in the wing just waiting for a chance to join the team too,” he said. “So I’m excited for the future, and the boys definitely picked it up for the second day.”

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Class AA

State Golf Tournament

Ridges at Sand Creek, Jordan, Minn.

Wednesday, June 15, results

TEAMS

1. Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 616 (309-307). 2. Holy Family Catholic, 620 (326-294). 3. Roseau, 634 (322-312). 4. Totino-Grace, 640 (320-320). 5. Cloquet, 641 (332-309). 6. New London-Spicer, 643 (331-312). 7. Pequot Lakes, 646 (330-316). 8. Blake School, 669 (343-326).

INDIVIDUALS

1. Sam Udovich, St. Croix Lutheran Academy, 142 (71-71). 2. Jacob Ferrin, Southwest Christian, 144 (71-73). 3T. Anders Larson, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 145 (73-72); Macus Belka, Perham, (75-70). 5. Luke Ashbrook, Kimball Area, 148 (77-71). 6T. Kaiden Brovold, St. Peter, 149 (76-73); Karson Patten, Cloquet, 149 (77-72). 8. Ian Friederichs, Blake School, 150 (76-74). 9T. Joseph Scripture, Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 151 (77-74); Max Wilson, Roseau, 151 (78-73); Zac Beddor, Holy Family Catholic, 151 (78-73). 12. Henry Hartquist, Luverne, 152 (77-75).

Jake Przytarski is a reporter for the Cloquet Pine Journal covering a mix of news and sports.
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