Cloquet seniors Painovich and Erickson sign with CSS

Dayne Painovich will continue his baseball career with the Saints, while Matthew Erickson will continue his football career.

Cloquet senior Matthew Erickson takes a photo with head football coach Jeff Ojanen after signing his commitment letter inside the conference room of Cloquet High School on Thursday, March 16.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

CLOQUET — Cloquet High School seniors Dayne Painovich and Matthew Erickson will be reunited at the College of Saint Scholastica next fall after signing their commitment letters together on March 16 to play baseball and football, respectively, for the Division III Saints.

Erickson will continue his career on the gridiron for CSS as a defensive back following an impressive senior campaign in which he recorded 19.5 tackles and two interceptions.

Erickson said the tight-knit bond shared by members of the team, along with familiarity with the campus, factored heavily into his decision.

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“I’ve been on multiple tours, and I already liked it a lot,” Erickson said. “The coaches, when they reached out to me, were all super nice and all the players seemed like a family.”

The Saints are coming off of a 3-7 season competing in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference under head coach Mike Heffernan.


Erickson said he’s thankful for receiving the opportunity to play at the next level.

“It feels really good. (It’s) not something I expected. I started football late, and I’m just glad I got the opportunity to do it,” he said.

From the football field to the baseball diamond, Painovich will continue his playing career with the Saints as a catcher next spring after one final season with the Lumberjacks.

Cloquet senior Dayne Painovich signs his commitment letter to play baseball for the College of Saint Scholastica inside the conference room of Cloquet High School on Thursday, March 16.
Jake Przytarski / Cloquet Pine Journal

The CSS baseball team is currently 13 games into the 2023 season where they’ve compiled a 2-11 record under interim head coach Corey Kemp.

Painovich said it's a privilege to be able to continue competing at the next level.

“It’s just nice to play again. Senior year is most likely (it) for a lot of people, so it’s just nice to play,” he said.

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