Cloquet senior Justice Paro commits to Bethany Lutheran

The Lumberjack senior will play Division III softball and basketball for Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato next year.

Athlete signs commitment letter
Cloquet senior Justice Paro prepares to sign her commitment letter to play softball and basketball at Bethany Lutheran College on Friday, March 25, 2022, at Cloquet High School.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

CLOQUET — Lumberjack senior Justice Paro made her collegiate plans official, Friday, March 25, with the signing of her commitment letter to play both basketball and softball at Bethany Lutheran College.

BLC is a Christian liberal arts college located in Mankato that fields 17 varsity programs competing at the NCAA Division III level in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.

The educational opportunity, along with having the chance to play two sports sealed the deal for Paro in picking BLC.

“(Having) my major for media arts and sports broadcasting is what really set it (apart) for me,” Paro said. "Plus they wanted me for both sports, and that was big, because I can never really choose between the sports.”

Participating in her two favorite sports at the next level has been something she has strived for since she was a child.


“It’s something that I’ve always worked for. It’s something that I’ve always wanted. Ever since I could walk, I've been playing basketball and softball,” Paro said. “I’m just excited and proud of what I’ve done and how far I’ve come.”

Paro is coming off of a successful season on the hardwood as a standout forward for the Cloquet girls basketball team. Her rebounding ability and stingy play on defense helped lead the ‘Jacks to their first Section championship game appearance since 2004.

Cloquet's Justice Paro is guarded by Marta Forsline of Mesabi East during a Wood City Classic tournament game on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021, at Cloquet Middle School. Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

This spring, Paro will return to her post on the hot-corner as the third baseman for the Cloquet softball team. Her ability at the plate, along with her dependability in the infield makes her a huge asset for the Lumberjacks in their pursuit of improving on their 13-8 record a season ago.

“She took a nice step up last year. “We’re looking for her to continue to produce those power numbers and knock runners in, be consistent at the plate, and continue to work on that fearlessness at third,” Cloquet softball coach Tyler Korby said.

Korby said he expects her to do great things at the next level as well.

“I couldn’t be more proud and more happy for her to go play two sports in college,” Korby said. “She’s going to do a great job for the Vikings. She’s going to be a great addition for them. They’re getting a good one.”

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