'Jacks looking for a way home

 

August 25, 2023

Contributed photo

The Cloquet football team will play its home games in Proctor this season as work remains on the stadium at the revamped athletics facility. It hopes to get in a late-season game on the turf field (above) at the updated Members Cooperative Credit Union stadium.

It will be an interesting slate of games for the Cloquet Lumberjacks football team this season as most, if not all, games will be on the road. Home games will be played at Egerdahl Field in Proctor while work continues on the Members Cooperative Credit Union Stadium in

Cloquet.

"We see the progress they are making every day we are at practice," said second-year Cloquet coach Jeff Ojanen. "We are excited about the new field and we are hoping we get to play our last home game there, and maybe a playoff game."

The Lumberjacks were 7-4 last year and made it to the section championship.

At this point, nothing is guaranteed, as the entire complex is still under construction. The turf went down this past week with the Lumberjack logo being added to midfield on Monday.

"The team is mentally taking things in and we are just working on installing things on both sides of the ball to get ready for the season," Ojanen said. "Everyone looks good in the first week when you play against air, but I think the fact that a new field is right there for the guys to see makes them work a bit harder."

The football team practices on the north side of the complex on grass, but during their practices this past week they've been able to watch the chain link fencing go up at the new tennis facility as well as the continuing work on the turf of the football and soccer field.

"While it's exciting to see the new field going, it has been a bit of a distraction," Ojanen said. "The guys have had a lot of questions about what is going on and they've been excited to see all the progress being made at the field."

On the field, the Lumberjacks will look to captains Carter Horvat and Warren Hietela to lead the team this season.

"They were selected by their teammates and they are two of our hardest-workers," Ojanen said. "Both of them are not loud kids and they both lead by example. We will also select one more captain sometime in the next week."

The 'Jacks are excited about what having a turf field will mean for the future.

"We now have the stability of not worrying about the weather and how bad our field might get as the season wears on," Ojanen said. "Having a consistent surface is a big deal, and then adding the fact that we have the new ... scoreboard going in, along with all the other improvements, will make it seem more like a stadium and give the whole place an atmosphere that will be great."

The Lumberjacks will open their season on the road on

Sept. 1 at Two Harbors and then host Hermantown in Proctor on Sept. 8.

 
 

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