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  • CEC lacrosse makes history

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 19, 2024

    A new era in Cloquet-Esko-Carlton athletics began last week when the first lacrosse team in school history hit the field April 11 with a home game against Roccori at Members Cooperative Credit Union stadium. When the final horn sounded, the Lumberjacks not only had played the first game in school history, they also had their first win, defeating Roccori 10-7. It was a far cry from playing club games on dirt and grass fields around the Northland, some without a scoreboard. Senior Saige Moran... Full story

  • Cloquet brings pitching, power into season

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 19, 2024

    Last season, the Cloquet girls softball team got over a big hurdle by winning in the first round of the Section 7AAA tournament. Next, the 'Jacks nearly pulled off the impossible by taking Chisago Lakes, the section's top seed, into extra innings before losing to the team that eventually ended as runner-up in the state tournament. "We beat Hibbing after they had eliminated us the year before, so that was big for this group of girls," said Cloquet coach Tyler Korby. "After we lost to Chisago, we... Full story

  • Raptors pitcher ready to make her mark

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 19, 2024

    It would be an understatement to say Carlton/Wrenshall pitcher Abby Mitchell had a strong start to her season last week against Hinckley-Finlayson. Just how strong has yet to be determined. "We are currently trying to solidify the number of strikeouts she had, but we believe it was 24 in that game," said Raptors head coach Anna George. "If that is true, it would be a national record. In that game we were missing four of our starters. We had three dropped third strikes in which the batter got to... Full story

  • Lumberjacks felled in opening games

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 12, 2024

    The Cloquet boys baseball team could have picked a couple of easier opponents to open with this season. Instead, the Lumberjacks opened with a doubleheader against Duluth East and Duluth Marshall at Wade Stadium last Thursday, April 4. The 'Jacks lost the opener to East 7-4 and then fell in the nightcap 8-1 to Marshall. "Both of those teams are going to be awfully good this season," said Cloquet coach Tyler Olin. The Lumberjacks will have to find a way to replace 13 players who graduated last... Full story

  • Boys tennis: New courts, new season, opening win

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 12, 2024

    The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys tennis team was all smiles on Tuesday as the team competed for the first time on the new high school tennis courts. "Everyone was so excited and thrilled with the new facility," said CEC coach Derek Johnson. "With snow last week we just didn't know if we'd get to open today, but we were able to open and they were able to get some of the bleachers in, so it really made for a fantastic night." The new Members Cooperative Credit Union athletic complex features eight... Full story

  • Late snow crimps outdoor practice

    Kerry Rodd|Apr 5, 2024

    Just a couple of weeks ago, spring sports teams were licking their chops because there was no snow on the ground. Teams were able to get outside and simulate gamelike conditions. Then Mother Nature decided to throw a curveball at local teams by dumping nearly 2 feet of snow on the region last week. Teams were suddenly pumping the brakes on the upcoming season. The Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys tennis team was excited about getting to practice on the new eight-court facility at Members Cooperative... Full story

  • And they're off ... spring sports begin

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 29, 2024

    With a snowstorm looming, the Polar League high school track season kicked off indoors Friday at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. Although no team scores were kept, local track and field athletes impressed in both the boys and girls divisions. The boys 60-meter dash featured some of the top local talent in the area. Esko's Koi Perich just nosed out Kaden Robbins of Moose Lake/Willow River to grab the win. Both Perich and Robbins were timed at 7.25 seconds with Jaxsyn Schmidt of ML/WR... Full story

  • Esko denied by Pequot again

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 22, 2024

    The Esko boys basketball team met its Achilles' heel in the Section 7AA championship Friday, falling to Pequot Lakes, 55-42, at Romano Gym on the campus of the University of Minnesota Duluth. It was the fourth year in a row Esko met Pequot Lakes in the playoffs, and the fourth year the Patriots came out on top. Esko found itself in a big hole early, falling behind 14-0 after a sluggish start. "We just didn't come out ready," said Esko coach Derek Anderson. "I didn't expect that to happen. There... Full story

  • Raptors, Ogichidaa fall in Section 7A semis

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 22, 2024

    The Section 7A boys basketball season came to an end for local teams March 13 in Hibbing, where both Carlton/Wrenshall and Fond du Lac bowed out of the playoffs after semifinal games. In the first semifinal game, Carlton/Wrenshall dropped a tough 79-70 decision to Mountain Iron-Buhl. Playing in their first season as a basketball cooperative, the Raptors ended with an impressive 21-8 record. Carlton/Wrenshall trailed 35-32 at halftime and were still very much in the game. But the Rangers rode a... Full story

  • Esko grad is an All-American thrower

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 22, 2024

    Gage Stankiewicz is now an All-American in track and field after the NCAA Division III meet in Virginia Beach, Virginia, earlier this month. A junior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the 2021 Esko High School grad had the longest throw of his career at 57 feet, 5 inches to gain fifth place and All-America status during the March 8-9 meet. "Early in the year I was still overcoming an injury from last year and it affected me along with putting too much pressure on trying to hit 17... Full story

  • Rebels surge past Bombers

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 15, 2024

    It was a tale of two halves last Saturday when No. 4 seed Moose Lake/Willow River and neighboring No. 5 seed Barnum met in the Section 7AA boys basketball quarterfinals in Hermantown. The Bombers came out on fire and surged to a 15-point halftime lead, only to have the Rebels come storming back to sneak away with a 64-63 win. "The first half we executed everything, we took care of the ball and we played really good defense," said Bomber head coach Rich Newman. While Newman was ecstatic about... Full story

  • Lumberjacks bounced in first round

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 15, 2024

    It took a nearly flawless game for the North Branch Vikings to beat the Cloquet in the Section 7AAA boys basketball tournament last week. The game was even at 41-41 at halftime on March 6, but the Vikings managed to finally pull away with a 95-85 win and a chance to move into the semifinals. “They played well and we played well,” said Cloquet coach Steve Battaglia. “It took a heck of game to beat us, but in the end they got 12 more rebounds and they were able to close it out.” The Vikings... Full story

  • Raptors rip through Section 7A foess

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 15, 2024

    The large Section 7A boys basketball tournament reached a fever pitch Wednesday, with two of the remaining four teams hailing from Carlton County. One of those local teams was expected to be in the mix, while the other has shocked everyone but themselves. On March 7, the No. 1 seed out of the south, Carlton/Wrenshall, easily handled No. 8 south seed South Ridge to the tune of 85-55. "Overall, it was a good team win," said Raptors coach Shawn Filipiak. "We came out a little slow, but we started... Full story

  • 7A girls playoffs: Cromwell-Wright, South Ridge remain

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 8, 2024

    And then there were two. The two remaining local teams in the Section 7A girls basketball tournament are Cromwell-Wright and South Ridge. Both teams won twice last week and entered Wednesday night's semifinal round at UMD after presstime. Wednesday night the Cards, who are the No. 1 south seed, were scheduled to take on the No. 2 north seed, the Ely Timberwolves, in a 5 p.m. affair. That game was scheduled to be followed by the No. 1 north seed, Mt. Iron-Buhl, taking on the No. 2 south seed,... Full story

  • Boys basketball teams ready for playoff runs

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 8, 2024

    While the girls basketball playoffs are entering their final stages, the boys sectional tournaments finally kicked off this week. The Pine Knot News offers this overview of local boys basketball teams and the potential matchups over the next week. Section 7A South Ridge entered the tournament as the No. 8 south seed and had a play-in game on Monday against No. 9 seed Floodwood. The Panthers handled the Floodwood Polar Bears by a score of 71-30. The victory moves the Panthers into a second-round... Full story

  • 'A' dream is dashed

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 1, 2024

    A slow start proved too much to overcome for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys hockey team Saturday night. Playing in the semifinals of the Section 7A playoffs, the Lumberjacks fell behind early, rallied late against Hibbing/Chisholm. That tied the game at two goals each, but it wasn't enough. The game ended 4-2 and CEC was bounced from the playoffs by the Bluejackets. Hibbing/Chisholm came out and disrupted the 'Jacks by continually pounding the body and outracing them to the loose pucks in the fir... Full story

  • Raptors feed off crowd, drop Cards

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 1, 2024

    Playing in the Carlton gym for the only time this season Friday, the Raptors defeated Cromwell-Wright 80-72 in a homecoming tour de force. "I was pretty nervous going into the game," said Shawn Filipiak, head coach of the combined Carlton/Wrenshall team. "This was the first time we hosted the game in Carlton this season, but the boys came out hot and firing on all cylinders and then kind of just settled into the game." Key for the Raptors was the hot start by guard Carter Woodall, who entered... Full story

  • Cloquet bounces into 7AAA semifinals

    Kerry Rodd|Mar 1, 2024

    Meeting for the third time this season Wednesday night, Cloquet dispatched Hibbing with ease, 56-20, in the quarterfinals of the Section 7AAA tournament. The Lumberjacks will move on to play in the Section 7AAA semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against the winner of Grand Rapids and Chisago Lakes. Cloquet did not play Chisago Lakes during the season, but they did play Grand Rapids twice. Both times the Lumberjacks came out on top. The Lumberjacks first win against Hibbing this season came in... Full story

  • Boys hockey playoffs: 'Jacks make a statement

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 23, 2024

    When the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjack boys hockey team opened play in the Section 7A playoffs Tuesday, it marked the Lumberjacks' first time playing in a Class A playoff tournament. It was also the first time CEC met Ely/Tower-Soudan in a hockey playoff game. The 'Jacks didn't disappoint the hometown fans as they raced out to a 12-0 victory, ensuring them a spot in Saturday's semifinals. "We came out just the way I hoped we would," said CEC coach Shea Walters. CEC put all kinds of pressure on... Full story

  • Young 'Jacks run out of gas

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 16, 2024

    A massive run over the second half of the season propelled the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton girls hockey team into the Section 7A semifinals on Saturday against defending champions Proctor/Hermantown. But a slow start proved costly. The young Lumberjacks were unable to overcome an early deficit as they were ousted from the playoffs by a score of 6-0. "All season we prided ourselves in coming out ready to play," said CEC coach Kennedy Houge. "I think we were overly excited and then they got an early... Full story

  • Marshall flurries end MLA's season

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 16, 2024

    Less than two weeks ago, Moose Lake Area defeated Duluth Marshall 4-0 in girls hockey in Moose Lake. Last Saturday, MLA was looking to become the first Rebels girls hockey team to play in a section final if they could beat Hilltoppers again. It wasn't in the cards. The Rebels struggled to match the firepower of Marshall and were bounced from the Section 7A tournament 5-1. "I thought we had a good edge to start the game and we had some chances early," said Rebels head coach Reilly Fawcett. "We we... Full story

  • Big night, big win for running Raptors

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 16, 2024

    The gym was rocking and the fans were in a frenzy last Friday when the Carlton/Wrenshall Raptors hosted Barnum in Wrenshall. The game was part of the Wrenshall homecoming festivities, and the Raptors didn't disappoint as they cruised to an impressive 71-58 win over a good Barnum team. "It was a great atmosphere with a student section that was really into it, and Barnum always has a lot of fans," said Raptors coach Shawn Filipiak. "It was just a fun, good, high school basketball game." The... Full story

  • 'Jacks off to a strong start in playoffs

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 9, 2024

    Tuesday night the Lumberjacks girls hockey team hosted Hibbing/Chisholm in the first round of the Section 7A playoffs. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton came in on a roll having gone 9-0-1 over their last 10 games and were the No. 3 seed while the Blue Jackets were seeded No. 6. The 'Jacks kept things rolling by skating to a 4-2 win over the Blue Jackets and will now play in the sectional semifinals against defending champion Proctor/Hermantown on Saturday morning in Duluth. The Lumberjacks were shocked earl... Full story

  • Rebels moving on after a 1-0 squeaker

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 9, 2024

    The Moose Lake Area girls hockey team opened their season with four straight losses, the last one Nov. 28 at the hands of the Rock Ridge Wolverines. On Tuesday night, the Rebels avenged the loss as they opened the playoffs with a 1-0 win over Rock Ridge as they rode the hot goaltending of junior Mallory Hartl. The first period ended with no scoring, but it was the No. 4 Rebels who carried the play to the tune of a 15-6 shots advantage over the No. 5 Wolverines. “I thought we dominated the f... Full story

  • 'Jacks feel tested for playoff run

    Kerry Rodd|Feb 9, 2024

    With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boy's hockey team is fighting for seeding in the upcoming Section 7A tournament. "Right now we could be anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the No. 4 seed," said CEC coach Shea Walters. Heading into Thursday's game with Sartell, the Lumberjacks were sporting a record of 10-13 - with all but three of those losses coming to Class AA teams and the other three losses coming against teams ranked in the Class A top 10. "Even... Full story

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